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Analysis: How digital can generate value

Mitch Beaumont, Prashanth Prasad, Ulrica Sehlstedt and Mandeep Dhillon from international management consultants Arthur D. Little explain how medical technology companies can manage going digital.

Within the Asian healthcare sector, both existing players and new entrants can create significant value with digital products and services. For established analogue-native medical technology companies, however, going digital will require significant business and operational model changes, which can be daunting. Nevertheless, executives can proactively manage these changes and their impact by considering a set of levers that they can control.

We have identified two sets of primary levers that executives can use to impact the changes to their companies’ business and operational models that are necessary to support a digital business. The specific levers used, and the degree to which they are pulled, will be unique to each company’s environment and its ultimate goals for digital. Most medical technology companies will focus more on two or three levers, with minor changes in the others. First there are business model levers:

•            Value proposition. Digital products and services can enhance or shift a medical technology company’s value proposition in the market. Or it can offer tools such as applications and reminders to increase patient engagement and improve adherence. Typically, a digital business will want to build upon the company’s existing core value proposition, rather than creating a completely new one.

•            Value extraction. Most medical technology companies have focused on selling devices, or generating revenue per unit. However, monetisation of value can take on alternative forms with digital, such as service-oriented models and data-centric models.

•            Markets served. Digital can enable a company to shift or expand the markets it serves to open up new business opportunities. Alternatively, companies may be able to create new business relationships with other value-chain players, such as home health companies, by providing information that improves the effectiveness and efficiency of in-home care delivery.

Second, there are operating model levers:

•            Process/methods. Going digital requires new ways of working. Software development cycle times are faster, and will be more effectively enabled by agile methods, which are fundamentally different from existing linear or phase-gate approaches employed by most medical technology companies. Robust technology and portfolio management methods are needed to keep up with the faster pace of technology change and ensure r&d resources are invested in the right areas.

•            Delivery network. Becoming digital can create opportunities for medical technology companies to engage with a broader ecosystem to develop offers and reach the market. The complexity and system-like nature of many digital-centric solutions creates attractive opportunities to engage development and/or delivery partners.

•            Capabilities/footprint. Adding digital elements to a portfolio will require new capabilities in areas such as application development, data management and security. In addition, medical technology companies will require capabilities in areas such as consumer insight and behavioural economics to ensure their digital-health solutions meet patient/user needs and expectations.

A more significant change in each group of levers collectively creates an overall more significant change along the respective dimension.  Companies can use this visualisation to qualitatively assess the degree of change – and change management – they will need to make to support a digital strategy and transformation.

There is a clear set of initial steps an established get started on a digital transformation, or for organisations that have dabbled in deploying digital services, ensuring strategic alignment between what the market needs and what the company does.

First and foremost, begin by taking the time to understand the needs of your customers or users; avoid making assumptions – talk to them to learn about their experiences. Next, carefully screen to determine which needs can actually be addressed by digital; in addition, screen for those needs that it makes sense for the company to address. Then evaluate solution concepts to identify the business model and operational model changes that will need to occur to implement digital. And finally, with an understanding of the implications to the business model and operating model, set a strategy and develop a plan for going digital.

There is significant value to be captured with digital products and services in the healthcare industry. Many new entrants are well positioned to compete because their models are oriented towards software development – more so than existing, analog-native medical technology companies, which are organised to comply with regulations. For these companies, going digital will require significant business- and operational-model changes. Executives can proactively manage these changes and their impact by considering our recommended set of levers.

Posted on: 16/01/2018 UTC+08:00


News

Cancer-detection company Grail has raised US$300 million Series C funding led by healthcare focused investment firm Ally Bridge Group, Hillhouse Capital and 6 Dimensions Capital.
ASX-listed, but New Zealand-based medical device manufacturer Adherium has appointed David Allinson as chief financial officer. This follows the sudden resignation of Timothy Marcotte at the end of January after only four months in the post.
Following Abano’s transition to focus solely on the NZ$11 billion (US$7.6 billion) trans-Tasman dental market, the NZX-listed specialist medical investment firm has appointed Tracey Batten to the board.
Rhythm Biosciences, which is developing a screening test intended for the accurate and early detection of colorectal cancer, has appointed Glenn Gilbert as chief operating officer. For the past eight years Gilbert has held various roles at the ASX listed pharmaceutical and device maker Medical Developments International, most recently as head of sales and marketing.
Peking University Founder Group continues to develop its bond curve with the sale of US$310 million new three-year floating rate notes at three-month Libor plus 400bp as well as a US$65 million tap of its 6.25% 2020 2.5-year fixed-rate bonds. They originally priced in mid April.
Matthew Ratty has stepped down from the board of Australian healthcare group Admedus after being appointed chief executive of performance-based online and mobile marketing solutions provider Tech Mpire.
Aoxin Q&M Dental Group (AQMD), a spin off of Singapore’s Q&M Dental Group, plans to acquire a dental hospital called Youxin Dental Clinic, better known as XY Dental, in Jinzhou City, Liaoning, for Rmb19.6 million (US$3.1 million).
Healthscope, Australia’s second largest private healthcare operator, has rejected two takeover bids saying that it will not provide due diligence access to either the BGH Capital/AustralianSuper consortium or Brookfield Asset Management. Instead, Healthscope said that it will undertake a strategic review of its hospital property portfolio.



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