Trilogy Tidings
February 2015
in this issue

     Everyone is consumed with thoughts of the future, especially in January. After all, the future is where we will all be living. How will I and my family be affected? What will be happening in our market? Will my product line, or maybe my entire business, be rendered obsolete? What the heck will happen to my investments in the stock and bond markets?


     Well, I surely wouldn't presume to offer answers to those questions. But I do monitor trends in the life science arena, especially medtech, quite closely; it's part of my job as an industry consultant. So I have some thoughts to share along those lines. You can decide if my thoughts have merit, but they are based upon lots of relevant experience. 

10 Likely Medtech Futures        

     Most musings on market trends and predictions tend to focus on specific new products or new product concepts. You know, things like "digital health", Google Glass, fitness wearables, the 100th continuous glucose monitor, and the like. There's no question that new stuff like that can be disruptive to markets. But that's far from the whole story.

Medtech Futures

     I think what matters even more are changes in your customers' preferences and behaviors, and the nature of your relationships with those customers. I guess the simplest way to think about the dichotomy is: new stuff versus new business models. In imagining the future of medtech, I tend to focus more on the latter than the former. (For one thing, new stuff is unpredictable unless you're the one inventing it!)


     With that as context, here's my take on 10 Likely Medtech Futures. They are all likely to be important to your business future in medtech. They're all based upon our specific client engagements, identified needs and a bit of crystal-balling along the way.


     Let me know what you think.
The 'Value' Segment in Medical Devices         

     The trend toward lower costs of medtech product use and ownership (my #1 Medtech Future above) is undeniable. A lower-margin product line to address the so-called value segment in medtech is the obvious approach to this expanding market segment. But that obvious approach is fraught with danger, not the least of which is cannibalization of the corresponding higher-priced line.

Value Segment

     Some McKinsey authors address this market segment in an article entitled "Capturing the 'Value' Segment in Medical Devices". They cite several credible trends that combine to create demand for products that are "good enough" and competitively priced. They estimate that this new 'value' segment is growing twice as fast as the industry as a whole in some categories. The article goes on to recommend some prescriptions for addressing this segment.

     My recommendation is to proceed with caution. Targeting of certain segments in developing economies is an obvious approach already taken by many medtech suppliers. But even that approach has limits in an increasingly global market, and it takes plenty of capital and organizational acumen to exploit. Pulling it off in one's home country is complex, difficult and risky. McKinsey lays out some steps.


     Playing the 'value' game is not for the faint of heart. But at some point it will become impossible to avoid in just about every medtech segment. It's important to be prepared.


What does Trilogy do? 
     Trilogy Associates facilitates business growth and renewal through commercialization of new products, providing the following services:
  • Opportunity assessment
  • Business planning and enterprise growth strategies
  • New-product conceptualization, commercialization and marketing
  • Market research and competitive assessment
  • Business development and partnering
  • Market and technological due diligence
  • Assessment of the therapeutic and diagnostic potential of novel technologies
  • Design of efficient and effective development strategies for early-stage biomedical products
  • Business and technical writing/publishing

     Inquiries to establish whether and how we might support your business initiatives are always welcome.  Contact us.

Resources from our Archives 
     Check out our Reading Room to view my published articles, presentations and white papers on a variety of topics.
     And, you can examine an archive of my prior newsletters (since February 2007).
Contact Information
Joseph J. Kalinowski, Principal