Medical devices are in high demand—innovative solutions to meet the growing numbers of chronic and complex diseases are critical in order to improve patient health and reduce healthcare costs.

However, the healthcare industry is changing. The transition to value-based care, fierce market competition, and price pressures on providers and payers is making Medtech a much trickier sell.

Providing innovation alone is no longer viable for medical device companies looking to achieve success with their products. They must also be part of the long-term equation, delivering not only groundbreaking technology but end-to-end solutions and capabilities that show a device actually improves patient health, reduces costs and transforms how care is delivered.

Real-world outcomes to back innovation

There has been a lot of talk in Pharma about drug companies needing to go “beyond the pill” in order to better meet customer needs—the same philosophy applies to device manufacturers. Startups need to think and deliver “beyond the device”. Essentially, developing a product that not only impacts patient outcomes meaningfully, but also sets customers up for success with those tools needed to reach their goals.

Medtronic, for example, has done this well by offering risk-sharing models for their orthopedic solution. “…we are paid based on our performance in helping our customers reduce their total episode costs and improve quality outcomes,” explains Geoff Martha, executive vice president and president of Medtronic Restorative Therapies Group. “This is about more than just offering implants or individual technologies and services—it’s about partnering with all stakeholders throughout the entire episode of care to enable optimal patient-centered care at the best value.”

For medical device companies who may not have these resources internally, finding an experienced partner to help leverage their technology can be game changing. Capabilities that include real-time data analytics and insights on individual patient behaviors and lifestyle patterns equip providers and their patients with the tools needed to better manage and improve health outcomes. Furthermore, transparency of the patient’s journey will also help care teams not only understand and overcome any risks or challenges that may prohibit improved outcomes but address them before they become bigger issues.

Scientific Intake is a great example of a medical device start-up that has partnered to create an end-to-end solution that serves the patient through each step of their healthcare journey while building long term value for their company. The value that they are creating beyond their SmartByte device is enabling them to develop an exceptionally strong experience that spans sales acquisition through ongoing user support and encouragement as they manage their weight loss.

Nevro is another smaller medical device company that is demonstrating exorbitant growth through early partnering to acquire, retain and support their direct partners and their end users. Through streamlining processes across their organization to win and retain customers and deliver consistent positive experiences from day 1. They are improving their YoY growth as well as improving patient outcomes by 86%.

In an outcomes-oriented healthcare industry, a device will only be as successful as the patient and care teams using it. A seamless onboarding process is key. Medical device startups working with an experienced partner will have the ability to support care teams as well as make sure patient populations are engaged and motivated—for example, through coaching—contributing to the process of improving their own health. This cohesive approach will also help startups deliver the integrated solution that providers and payers are looking for and make certain patient outcomes improve.

Positioning for Success

Medical device startups face stiff competition as well as the added pressure to show improved outcomes right out of the gate. Highly differentiated products coupled with partnerships that help create cohesive, integrated long-term solutions for providers, payers and patients, will position startups for success and assure they deliver beyond the device.