The coronavirus pandemic forced medtech companies to go beyond norms and collaborate to overcome critical challenges. According to the 2020 EY medtech report, Pulse of the Industry, many sectors of the industry experienced financial losses, but some — the diagnostics segment, for one — have surged. Moreover, this global crisis can help illuminate the way to a better future for the industry, by demonstrating the need to future-proof business models, strengthen supply chains and ecosystem relationships, and accelerate the progress of digital technology and data, the report says.

“While the financial performance was way down in the first half of 2020, the impact of the medtech industry during this global health crisis has never been greater, from mass producing ventilators, sterilizing equipment, and personal protective equipment to inventing and distributing the rapidly expanding range of diagnostic tests, the industry, collectively, met the challenge of the global pandemic,” says Jim Welch, EY Global Medtech Leader. “Medtech’s work has saved lives, allowed medical facilities to keep running, enabled patients to be treated in hospitals or at home, and overall made it possible for normal operations to be maintained, while simultaneously also helping health systems, governments, and the general public wage a global health battle on a scale not previously seen this century.”

The report also highlights the pandemic’s impact on the financial health of the industry. According to the report, due to the high growth of R&D investments and continued investor confidence, the medtech industry is likely to see a quick rebound even as some figures declined.

“COVID-19 had an acute impact on the medtech industry during the second quarter of 2020, delaying or postponing elective surgeries and leading to deferral of revenue,” says Arda Ural, PhD, EY Americas Industry Markets Leader, Health Sciences and Wellness. “However, the underlying health of the medtech sector remains robust thanks to its operational performance, continued investor confidence, and resuming M&A activity. The shift toward digitalization, telehealth and remote-operated business models is accelerating as a silver lining to the tragic impact of COVID-19, but executives will have to adapt to operating in a highly uncertain environment in the foreseeable future.”

The U.S. medtech industry is resilient. In the coming months, the industry may need to determine how to use this technology and data to streamline the supply chain and aid suppliers in achieving greater production. The industry may also need to accommodate the ongoing reality of travel restrictions between countries and even within the United States and may also need to bring some manufacturing capacity back to the United States or Europe to safeguard the supply base.

Sherrie Trigg

Editor and Director of Medical Content

To download a copy of EY’s report, visit here .