Clarivate released a report analyzing seven factors that its analysts believe will be key for medtech markets in 2022. The report—Outlook on the Medtech Industry: Seven Areas to Watch—provides an in-depth retrospective on key medtech trends in 2021 and insights on the current state of COVID-19 vaccination worldwide.

The healthcare industry has experienced great upheaval over the course of the past two years. The prioritization of COVID-19 patients—coupled with rigorous safety protocols and resource allocation measures to ensure supply of necessary products—led to substantial delays in elective and non-urgent procedures, impacting demand for many medical devices and diagnostics. Clinical trials, mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and non-critical product launches were also largely paused or delayed.

Some of the key factors highlighted by Clarivate includes:

  • Ongoing recovery: Providers continue to balance recovery of procedures with local transmission and public health measures. Expansion of COVID-19 vaccines to children, coupled with increased availability of effective therapeutics, are poised to drive continued recovery.
  • Innovation: Increasingly data-driven, remote-capable, intelligent devices and services are set to be introduced to the market in 2022 and beyond as manufacturers become increasingly familiar with challenges facing various healthcare settings. Unique and novel compensation and distribution models are also likely to be utilized as stakeholders manage ongoing financial challenges.
  • Healthcare decentralization: Healthcare will increasingly be provided outside of inpatient settings, spurred by improving reimbursement, innovations that enable efficient procedures (such as robotics and digital platforms), and COVID-19 pressures at inpatient facilities.
  • M&As: Substantial M&A activity is likely in 2022, following one of the strongest years on record for such deals in 2021.
  • Regulatory evolution: In 2022, regulatory bodies will begin to implement plans to resume halted and delayed activities based on local public health conditions; this will be accompanied by a renewed emphasis on digital and remote tools, as well as increased flexibility for low-risk activities.

As public health measures continue and caseloads and hospital pressures ebb and flow, deferred procedures have resumed, and procedure volumes rebounded. However, the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in many countries has led to some renewed pressures on procedure volumes and less-urgent interventions.

“The medtech industry has been faced with some tremendous challenges over the past two years,” says Zaid Al-Nassir, principal analyst, medtech insights, Clarivate. “As markets and stakeholders continue to adapt and recover, both new and traditional market forces are shaping the landscape for medtech payers at large in 2022 and the foreseeable future. More than ever before—and whether in R&D, M&As, engagement strategies, regulatory developments, or keeping up with the pace and nature of medtech innovation—medtech stakeholders have to be keenly well informed of market and product developments and must increasingly rely on both traditional and nontraditional sources of data and insights to succeed in this highly dynamic space.”