2021 MedTech Trends – and Hazards – That You Need to Know (MedTech Download)

Kelly Springs-Kelley
February 05, 2021

Key Takeaways

  • There is no doubt that 2020 is shaping how we approach digital health in 2021. Predictions for the new year include an increase in the need for cybersecurity, proactive health solutions, and more.
  • The J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference featured insights from several industry leaders, many of them signaling 4 key MedTech trends in 2021.
  • In the spirit of looking forward to 2021, patient safety organization ECRI has offered 10 MedTech hazards that are top of mind as we move into the new year.

3 Big Predictions for Digital Health in 2021

In 2020, the pandemic ushered dramatic changes in healthcare. Some of these changes, like telehealth, were nothing new, but they had struggled with widespread adoption. Often, there was no significant impetus to change provider or patient behavior. In fact, simply getting patients to adopt medical scheduling software had been a challenge, with many reporting that they preferred a more human experience – actually speaking to someone. But thanks to the pandemic, preferences have given way to necessity.

As we look toward 2021, the echoes of 2020 reverberate. MedTech Dive listed 3 big predictions for the healthcare industry as we move into the new year. On the top of the list is predictive medicine, due to the increase of point-of-care technologies and artificial intelligence. They also discuss the increased need for cybersecurity and the demand for telehealth solutions.

4 Key MedTech Trends in 2021

The J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference was unique this year, and those novelties were, in most respects, a reaction to the pandemic. For what is usually a massive in-person gathering of healthcare companies, professionals, and leaders, this year’s virtual conference operated differently. Unique too were the conversations taking place, as companies discussed the challenges that COVID-19 has wrought, while others spoke of innovations and opportunities related to the crisis.

Over the course of the event, those discussions revealed key patterns and future MedTech trends in 2021 that give us a glimpse into what this next has in store for the industry. When it comes to elective procedures, the future is still murky, obscured beneath the specter of new virus strains and increasing caseloads. On the flip side, 2021, as expected, will be a banner year for companies involved in COVID-19 testing, as the presence of vaccines does not eliminate the need to diagnose infection.

10 MedTech Hazards You Need to Watch Out for in 2021

For much of 2020, we were in crisis mode. Dealing with the unknowns and unpredictability of a novel virus in an increasingly globalized world meant that we, for lack of a better term, took it as it came. Companies were forced to rethink how they do business; the FDA had to grapple with emergency approvals and business far from normal to combat the crisis. But as the year progressed, we adapted. And while everyone is eager to reclaim life as we knew it, we learned how to live with the virus.

In that spirit, this year patient safety organization ECRI is focusing its annual list of health technology hazards “on the need to move from trying to cope during an emergency to building stronger and more resilient processes, using the innovations developed during the pandemic and the lessons learned along the way.” The list includes concerns about the remote operation of bedside medical devices, third-party software vulnerabilities, and much more.

Blank Check Companies’ Hunt For Innovative Medtech Start-Ups To Heat Up Further, Experts Predict

For the majority of emerging MedTech companies, funding is at the top of their priority list. Often, looking to investors or venture capitalists is the norm. But, over the past year, Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) – also known as blank check companies – have become the talk of Wall Street. In fact, in 2020, SPACs set records, both for the number of deals and amount raised. These companies form without an established product; often they are rooted in the expertise and resumes of the people behind them. Once they are established, they land on an area to invest in. And for some, that area is MedTech.

As MedTech Insights reported, the SPAC frenzy is carrying into 2021. The article went on to say that, “according to Chardan’s statistics, as of January 27, 40 healthcare-focused SPACs with $7.2bn to deploy were actively looking for a company to merge with. About half are focused on biotech with the other half looking at other areas including Medtech, digital health, and general health care.” This stat comes as great news for companies with a clear product story and path to ROI.

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