The COVID-19 health crisis has had a large impact on a plethora of sectors, with the medical device industry appearing as no exception. Many companies within the space have experienced a shift in some way, either directly or due to changes in the industry surrounding them. Tracy Eberly, as CEO of Fang Consulting, has seen quite a few trends since the start of his career. As such, he is attuned to the changes in the medical device space and what they mean for entities continuing to do business during this time. To provide a more wholistic understanding of some of these industry changes, Tracy Ebert discusses a couple that he has noticed within the past few months.
Tracy Eberly notes that one of the biggest changes for medical device companies caused by the COVID-19 crisis is the EU’s vote to postpone Medical Devices Regulation (MDR) for a year. This is significant because MDR was slated to replace Medical Device Directive (MDD) on May 26th of this year, but medical device companies have been given until this date in 2021 to give the industry the time to deal with the crisis. Tracy Ebert acknowledges that company’s responses to this news is all over the map. For instance, some small and mid-sized clients are overjoyed for the extra time to prepare technical files and design dossiers. Some larger multibillion-dollar companies that have already spent the time and money to prepare for this change are left wondering if their preparation will not lead to the head start that they were expecting. While some smaller companies are certainly benefitting from the delay, Tracy Ebert does not believe that they should get complacent as they still need to work to prepare their technical files and design dossiers by the new date.
COVID-19 has also led to shifts in demand on both ends of the spectrum. Companies with a focus on devices for elective procedures, for example, have seen lower demand. This is not a surprise to most, as hospitals around the world have limited or discouraged elective surgeries during the height of the pandemic. Some of these companies have unfortunately faced a challenging Q2 but, as elective procedures increase as COVID concerns lower in areas trending downward, many are hopeful that they will return to numbers achieved pre-pandemic. Tracy Ebert acknowledges that some companies, especially those that focus on medical devices that either help control the virus or deal in respiratory related products, are seeing growth in demand linked to the COVID crisis. Of course, this surge in demand comes at a price, and companies that are seeing an uptick in their growth must deal with stressors such as operational challenges and supply chain issues.
While the current landscape for medical device companies is certainly different for certain companies based on several factors, Tracy Eberly cautions that these changes may not be permanent within the industry. Medical device companies on all ends of the spectrum, from ones that are still in development phases to those seeing huge surges or falls in demand, can benefit from the dedicated assistance of consulting firm. Firms such as Fang Consulting know that there are always steps that can be taken to ensure success in the ever-evolving medical device industry, they simply need to be identified and worked towards.