Not Your Mama’s Healthcare Market: MassMEDIC Women in MedTech Forum
On Thursday, April 2, 2015, MassMEDIC held its first Women in MedTech Forum, where over100 attendees convened to explore the topic of disruptive technologies in medicine. The event featured special guest Robin Strongin, founder of Disruptive Women in Healthcare and an expert in consumerism and blogging. Maria Shepherd, president and founder of Data Decision Group, moderated an interview with Strongin and facilitated an audience Q&A, while Randel E. Richner, BSN, MPH, president of Richner Consultants offered opening remarks to kick off the event.
Strongin pointed out how there is currently a major shift in healthcare industry players, with companies such as Google entering the space and patients assuming more control over their healthcare. She described the current environment as “not your mama’s healthcare market.”
She encouraged attendees to reevaluate the traditional definition of “medical device” within the context of this healthcare reality where they are faced with new competitors and a different selling environment where “patients are a force to be reckoned with.”
Strongin explained how companies such as Google are leveraging the power of social media to reach target audiences and “make a lot of noise.” As most in the audience agreed, “blog” is a four-letter word in the MedTech industry with its “confining infrastructure” of regulations.
She encouraged MedTech companies to get beyond this and “take what they are doing in technology and marry it with healthcare,” stating that there is an opportunity for those in the medical device industry to “think about the words we use differently and how we package innovations.”
According to Strongin, integrating the mental/emotional health of patients with the physical is a growing trend and one MedTech manufacturers must take to heart when developing and marketing devices. She pointed out how the integration of consumer health apps with devices is catching on and a way that MedTech can sell “not just the device but the solution.”
Strongin presented attendees with this “throwdown” – think beyond the current healthcare system to redefine your devices and shake things up.
Strongin explained how her organization’s website, www.disruptivewomen.net, provides a forum where women in healthcare can exchange ideas on innovation. Started eight years ago, the site features over 100 bloggers from all over the globe who write on topics ranging from end of life issues to comparative effectiveness research.
The event closed with audience members offering up their suggestions on future MassMEDIC Women in MedTech Forum programs. Stay tuned for more information on the Women in MedTech Forum.