Although there is a continued rise of the giant companies in Medical Devices it seems that the truly innovative and clinical breakthrough products that can really change the face of orthopaedics are mostly coming from SME’s and start-up design manufacturers via distributors and agents.
Sure there are good developments lets say “tweaks” of existing accepted products to ensure ongoing custom, but lets face it game-changing isn’t just a new coating or shape of an implant but something that perhaps replaces the implant or a completely new material, or even prevents the need for the implant, the implant could even communicate with the patient, the surgeon and the company representative via the Internet of things!
The big guys are all about tweaking and are not fully focused on delivering true innovation. In fact, they are likely to snap up and absorb any exciting and innovative company looking like having any chance of finding the next amazing clinical solution!
This focus from the big guys is not surprising as the customer is increasingly driving commoditisation of Orthopaedic implants with buying groups and procurement driving predominately cost-driven decisions.
So….. how are new ideas and interesting products getting to market?
Look one thing I will say is that Humans are amazing creatures, where there is a challenge they adapt to survive. Nothing displays this better than the Agents and Distributors around the world. In most situations, these individuals are highly motivated professionals with a fantastic depth of knowledge of their subject. Often having previous high-level roles in industry and fantastic understanding of their field, customers and their patients' needs.
These professionals not being tied to a particular company can actually spend the time to match their customers with the best products as well as the most innovative and cutting-edge clinical solutions, whilst maintaining and delivering great relationships.
So whats the message?
The realities of the economics of the big guys will remain but if SME’s, Manufacturers, Distributors, Agents and Surgeons can continue to work together there is hope that the amazing ideas will break through.
We have made it our mission to know and understand Distributors, Agents and Orthopaedics at Ortho Consulting Group, get in touch today to discuss how we can help develop your business globally.
Head of International Business Development