October 29, 2021
Medical technology and pharmaceutical companies are transitioning beyond biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, and equipment to provide...

Medical technology and pharmaceutical companies are transitioning beyond biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, and equipment to provide comprehensive patient care. The key is to support proactive, predictive, and personalized care delivery and management that is sustainable. This involves enabling better outcomes, improving patient and clinician experience in care pathways, reducing health-care costs, removing inefficiencies in workflows, and maximizing the convergence of capabilities.

In a bid for relevance and differentiation, many medical technology and pharma companies have embraced digitization. Digitization is now seen as an enabler of this transition as health-care companies strive to enhance value for their customers and partners.

With the availability of digital tools and technologies, the industry aims to accelerate the use of health-care data for process improvement, product development, and value proposition enhancement while looking at new monetization models.

Succeeding with digital transformation

Medical technology companies have always had to choose where to invest their research-and-development resources: on prioritizing developing their core competencies and solutions or on digital infrastructure and analytical capabilities. Although both are essential, not all firms have the funds to do both or the skill sets to develop capabilities in data management or analysis algorithms, or the partner ecosystem to leverage, collaborate, co-create, and share risk. Furthermore, these firms may not have experience in setting up governance and compliance structures to use clinical data in compliance with regulations.

Specific internal capabilities, as well as planning and resources are required to develop and maintain a digital ecosystem to realize the multiple benefits of data, analytics, and collaboration with appropriate partners. Platforms offer a cloud-based ecosystem for secure access and data sharing among multiple stakeholders, enabled by digital tools and applications while providing an avenue for like-minded firms to collaborate.

In this way, platform as a service (PaaS) allows users to leverage a subscription-based data and cloud computing service without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure. It allows users to access, develop, and run applications, and unify digital transformation using a single platform, reducing the use of resources needed to drive transformation.

“Data is in silos, and to optimize clinical pathways, all stakeholders need to work together by co-creating and co-opeting,” says Max Milz, senior partner and senior vice president at Siemens Advanta Consulting. “In other words, data needs to be accessed, processed, stored, analyzed, and shared in a secure and compliant manner for it to be useful to different stakeholders. PaaS is one of the enablers for driving this integration. Medical technology companies can accelerate their digital transformation efforts by leveraging first-mile connectivity to a hospital ecosystem and last-mile access to data offered by the teamplay digital health platform.”

Medical technology needs a specific platform

Most health-care data management use cases are industry-specific with requirements to access imaging, pathology, and clinical data. Stakeholders considering a platform would benefit from collaborating with one that has domain specificity and is incubated and managed by another experienced medical technology organization.

A platform specific to medical technology offers vertical domain expertise from a market access and connectivity perspective, access to relevant data, specific applications for that sector, and experience of the security and regulatory compliance requirements, allowing partners to focus on the development of their core solutions and value propositions. Using a medical technology PaaS offers medical equipment and device companies the flexibility to adapt continuously to evolving market needs, optimizing investment in time and resources while being guided by a valued partner with experience of developing a platform fit for purpose.

In a competitive market, medical technology companies must focus on accelerated product development while partnering with the best PaaS provider to help realize their overall digital transformation goals.

“The majority of medical technology companies have a strong product presence,” explains Thomas Friese, senior vice president for digital platforms at Siemens Healthineers. “However, what they also need is to transform to a sustainable service model.”

And there’s no need to go it alone. “Co-opetition is gathering prominence in medical technology and pharma, and all stakeholders stand to only benefit from integration. PaaS will become very relevant in this context, thus positioning teamplay digital health platform uniquely, with its domain-specific expertise and digital transformation capabilities,” Friese says.

A proven and compliant PaaS platform: teamplay

A company with extensive experience in imaging and diagnostics can build a platform that brings together a strong diagnostic and therapeutic core and specialized digital offerings, and systematically expand it across multiple functionalities.

Several use cases can be used as templates for technology advancement, enabling partners to achieve their objectives. teamplay acts as a technology accelerator for medical technology companies, providing first-mile connectivity and last-mile access.

As a medical technology-specific platform provider, Siemens Healthineers offers vertical domain expertise and industry expertise, differentiating it from horizontal platform capabilities offered by leading IT companies. The subscription model also allows users to spread the investment over time and generate higher returns by giving partners a head start. Overall, Siemens Healthineers has a clear vision of where it fits with partners by increasing fidelity and ease of use while decreasing time and effort for its partners.

Partnering offers advantages for digital transformation

The advantages of partnering in creating a PaaS are evident: it is a more strategic and long-term option with the opportunity to collaborate, co-create, and share risk. Compared with building a platform, partnering provides scalability by optimizing time, resources, and investment. While building a platform with a public cloud services provider, medical technology companies are still required to network with hospitals for data access and arrange integration with devices and the health-care IT ecosystem.

Partnering with a medical technology PaaS, however, offers scalability in terms of access and connectivity and the ability for the platform to evolve by onboarding new products, applications, and vendors.

Medical technology companies must choose a partner whose vision, breadth, and service align with overall digital transformation efforts. Partnering with Siemens Healthineers enables access to a tried and tested platform that is compliant, secure, and acts as a technology accelerator. It further offers the potential to focus on core competencies while collaborating to explore new and adjacent opportunities.

The teamplay digital health platform connects and integrates data from various sources across departments and institutions on a vendor-, system- and device-neutral platform. It offers scalable deployment models with hybrid computing, combining cloud and on-edge deployment to serve specific use cases. Access is also open to innovations and solutions in AI and digital health from Siemens Healthineers and its curated partner network with opportunities for collaboration with peers and partners that enables risk-sharing models. It allows the deployment and operation of applications and algorithms globally by leveraging the secure platform infrastructure.

Most important, with Siemens Healthineers, medical technology companies have the opportunity to partner with a platform that is continuously being developed and delivers clinical credibility and business relevance.

Learn more about PaaS technology in health care.

This content was produced by Insights, the custom content arm of MIT Technology Review. It was not written by MIT Technology Review’s editorial staff.

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