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How is the Medical Device Field Faring Through the Pandemic?

By Abby January 26, 2021

It’s hard to believe we’re already ten months into the COVID-19 pandemic. For many of us, 2020 felt like both the longest year ever and the one that flew by in a lockdown-induced blur. A COVID vaccine has been developed and is currently being administered to medical professionals and more densely-affected geographic locations.

 

Clearly, a lot happened in the medical device industry to get us from where we were back in 2020 to where we are now. Today we’ll examine the latest medical device manufacturing news, as well as the landscape and outlook for 2021. (Spoiler alert: we’re optimistic about what’s to come.)

Delayed Elective Surgery Procedures

Elective surgery procedures are ones that are scheduled in advance but need to be performed immediately. We’re talking cosmetic surgeries, hernia repair, tonsillectomies, and so on.

 

While these procedures are undoubtedly important, they’ve taken a backseat to the life-threatening COVID-19 cases. On March 17th, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recommended the postponement of adult elective surgery procedures to save equipment for those with COVID.

 

Fast forward to 2021. COVID cases continue to surge in cities like Boston, Las Vegas, and Santa Cruz; elective surgery procedures remain on hold. And in terms of conserving resources and getting life-saving medical devices to those who genuinely need them, it’s certainly for the best.

Dwindling PPE

Personal protective equipment can only be manufactured so quickly. Despite medical device engineers’ best efforts, we continue to face shortages in medical masks, gloves, aprons, etc., to this day. Hoarding, panic buying, and misuse of PPE certainly haven’t helped matters. The World Health Organization (WHO) stressed that we can’t stop COVID without first protecting health workers and securing supply chains.

 

But don’t hospitals have enough of a budget for PPE, you may ask? Not necessarily. For example, N95 masks surged in price this year from approximately $0.38 to $5.75—in other words, a 1,513% increase. Isolation gowns faced a 2,000% cost increase, from $0.25 to $5.00. It’s a cut-and-dry case of supply and demand, and clearly, demand is through the roof. Even the most well-funded hospitals have found this a difficult adjustment.

 

The United States outsources much of its PPE manufacturing, especially to China, where the first COVID outbreak was reported. In other words, outsourcing to COVID hotspots is often risky unless security measures are implemented at manufacturing sites. Thankfully, the WHO partnered with the Pandemic Supply Chain Network to do just that, as well as further increase PPE production. Silver linings, anyone?

Going Digital

From Zoom conferences to telehealth therapy sessions, we all got pretty familiar with digital communication this past year. It may come as a surprise that the medical device field has gone even more in that direction, too.

 

Think about it: with all the day-to-day (heck, minute-to-minute) changes that come along with COVID, medical device companies need to become their most successful, efficient selves. And the way to do that is through digital technology.

 

What do we mean specifically by “successful” and “efficient” digital technology? We’re talking speedier, more accurate robotic process automation to meet erratic supply and demand changes. We’re talking updated inventory systems to ensure order accuracy. We’re talking faster communication technology so that the manufacturing floor and the rest of the business can communicate quickly and effectively. A more efficient manufacturing cycle means overcoming setbacks, meeting quality standards, and, perhaps surprisingly, saving money in the long run. No, seriously, AI alone is predicted to save us a staggering $150 million by 2026.

How Can I Use This Information for Marketing My Business?

Everything we’ve discussed is undoubtedly important, but what does it have to do with digital marketing for 2021? Quite a lot, as it turns out. We’ve compiled some of our top reasons below.

 

  • With all the twists and turns the medical industry has taken lately, marketing in such a field requires attention to detail, sensitivity, and nuance. Experienced strategists and content writers know how to keep up with trends and craft riveting narratives around them.
  • Who doesn’t want a more efficient digital workplace, not just on the manufacturing floor, but in getting the word out about your product? We’re well-versed in B2B and B2C content marketing, so you can do just that.
  • With COVID-19 reduced budgets and supplies, it may seem excessive to, say, revamp your website now. But much like with AI, working with a digital agency can save you a significant amount of money. For digital marketing strategies that showcase the life-saving equipment you make, look no further.

 

Medical Manufacturers, Greet 2021 With Confidence

We mentioned that we were optimistic earlier, and we weren’t lying. A global pandemic is awful, full stop, but if it had to happen, we’re glad it was during such a boom in digital communication. You’re already saving lives as it is, and you’ll continue to do so by expanding your customer base. We’d be honored to help you do just that.

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