Medical Devices and the Healthcare Ecosystem

The average lifespan of an S&P 500 company dropped from 61 years in 1958 to 12 years in 2012. If you translate that to today, it means that 75% of today’s leading companies will be gone in 25 years.

With this in mind, companies in life sciences are increasingly exploring and entering the ecosystems as direct enablers, or coming together in collaborations in order to build new products, services, and new customer experiences. Platforms are completely reshaping the healthcare industry into interconnected ecosystems that challenge the traditional rules of competition.

However, rather than treat these collaborations like partnerships, advanced organizations are leveraging these relationships to build their role in new digital ecosystems, which is critical to unlock value in the next wave of strategic growth. As these partnerships and ecosystems grow, the future value chains will begin to transform your business, products, and the market.

To remain competitive in the long run, every healthcare company must begin moving its thinking beyond short-term gains and think about investing in ecosystems that will secure long-term viability and growth.

Consider the growth of companies such as Uber, Facebook, and Airbnb, whose businesses are based on a platform. In most cases, these companies carved their space from highly fragmented or saturated markets by aggregating services into a single, convenient point of access.

The life sciences industry has united medical devices, health tracking, electronics and high-tech into a general “health” market. The new mandate is to capitalize on new relationships and build a network and constellation of digital partners that not only enhance the business in the short term but also carve out space into emerging ecosystems. Every company in healthcare needs an ecosystem strategy, but how your company selects and develops the ecosystem will define success in the future.

Join the Game!

Every company will be touched by this rapid disruption in the future. The prepared will survive. Here are a few suggestions for getting into the game:

Understand Your Customer Needs: I have discussed in the past the need to understand your customer, their customer journey, and unmet needs.

Create Value: Think about how you become an indispensable part of their lives.

Understand Your Value Proposition: How can you differentiate? Do you want to own the platform or develop on others platforms?

Market Your Ecosystem: You must position yourself and market to win as an ecosystem provider. It takes long-term commitment and development to be successful.

All industries are exposed to disruption, and building out an ecosystem and owning large parts of the value-chain are critical to future success.

  • Jim Lefevere

    Jim Lefevere is International Business Leader, Digital Partnering Solutions at Roche Diabetes Care. Jim is an award-winning commercial executive with over 20 years of expertise in the consumer-packaged goods, startups, medical device, and healthcare industries. He has expertise in leading marketing, customer experience, and new product development while expanding global markets through profitable growth.


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