As BusinessCloud reveals its MedTech 50 and HealthTech 50 innovation rankings for 2021, we ask ourselves if or when we’ll see the complete merger and end of this market division.
The MedTech 50 celebrates businesses helping to directly diagnose and treat conditions, mainly in a clinical setting such as a hospital, and other biotechnology companies.
The HealthTech 50 focusses on companies creating tech for personal and preventative healthcare, as well as GP practice management and messaging platforms.
We’ve often thought of healthtech as being the back-office function, whilst medtech directly impacts a clinical outcome. As an agency, we still draw a clear line between ‘medtech’ and ‘healthtech’. But, for how long?
In our experience, the medtech sector was dominated by non-connected, non-digital clinical device manufacturers — a surgical robot, for example. But, in ‘heathtech’, the advance to digital always seemed leagues ahead — after all, most GP or hospital settings have been using systems like CRMs, EPRs or comms platforms for decades. In fact, can you believe 2022 will be the 20-year anniversary of the launch of the then Government’s National Programme for IT (NPfIT)?
Today, we’re seeing tech and digitisation revolutionise both the clinical and non-clinical areas. There is a drive to digitise and connect everything, perhaps in part because of the pandemic, which has led us to question whether the dividing line between the two tech fields should or will remain.
We actually discuss this topic in episode 9 of our podcast series, with Med-Tech Innovation’s editor Ian Bolland, and is episode 7 with Joe Stringer, a partner at healthtech investors, Octopus Ventures.
Personally, I’m not sure that in 10 or even five years, we’ll still be calling out medtech and healthtech. I’d like to think the dividing line will move away from back-office healthtech vs clinical medtech and towards a more exciting connected or unconnected health. Or perhaps technology will become so entwined with our everyday life (even more so than it is today) that we won’t view technology is separate to the more traditional ways of working. That’s what we are all hoping to achieve with connected tech, interoperable systems, or integrated solutions, after all — that they become so seamless, so essentials, so user friendly, we forgot there was ever a dividing line in the first place.