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LEAD Innovation Blog

Read our latest articles on innovation management and innovation in a wide range of industries.

Date: 27-Sep-2019
Posted by: Julian Eberling

Medical technology as a driver for innovative business models


Medical care is provided primarily by private and public institutions such as doctors, therapy centres, outpatient clinics and hospitals. The way is very traditional and has hardly changed in the last decades. The question is, is there room for innovation?


Does medical care have to be innovative?

Innovation plays an extremely important role in medicine, especially in the fight against diseases and in global health care.

If companies generally pursue predominantly economic motives in innovation management, i.e. the increase in sales, earnings and growth, this purpose is of little relevance from a public perspective.

However, private medical institutions must be very competitive in order to survive and to pay their employees' salaries. Bankruptcy of a doctor is not uncommon.

Innovation in medical care, in the prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries, would be of immense value to society.

  • Greater customer benefit and thus better care and services for patients.
  • Process innovations bring savings - a not insignificant issue in public health systems, higher quality and the avoidance of errors.

Trend Collection Medical


Limits of innovation in medical care

Medicine itself and medical technology are constantly evolving through extensive research and innovation. If medical technology is one of the most innovative sectors despite overregulation, the type of medical care has been the same in our latitudes for decades. The supply by hospitals, doctors and the like has always been as we know it.

Of course, there are limits, since this "market" functions completely differently. For example:

  • Much is regulated by legislation and therefore not vulnerable.
  • Regulation (e.g. reimbursement by health insurance companies) can also act as an innovation inhibitor.
  • Health must not be endangered by experimentation, trial and error.
  • Access to medical care should be the same for all people.


Business model innovations for medical care through medical technology

Although the pattern of medical care has been the same for a perceived eternity, this is exactly where innovations emerge. In concrete terms, the business model offers a lot of scope for innovations, for example

  • Additional and better benefits for customers and patients.
  • New channels for the provision of medical services.
  • Partnerships to provide medical care

Geschäftsmodell nach Canvas


Example: "Integration of upstream and downstream areas

Dentists can provide services in related areas such as dental technology. Ivoclar, for example, has created a system where dentists have all the equipment they need to manufacture dental prostheses in the office. This increases the added value for dentists and enables them to generate additional sales.


Example: "Medical technology manufacturers operate clinics

One direction goes into "one-stop-shop", the other into specialization and thus brings new possibilities. For example, the manufacturer of medical technology can run its own clinics, for example if Fresenius hires medical personnel and operates a dialysis clinic.


Example: "New Channels and Partnerships

In May this year, an Austrian physician will start the "dr.ive in" practice at a gas station. Under the slogan "A visit to the doctor - as quick and easy as filling up", the doctor ordained in Vienna daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., a flat rate of 50 euros was paid for a 15-minute treatment in the eight-square-meter clinic, which, however, fulfilled all regulations such as hygiene. The target group were people who needed help quickly when their own family doctor was not available.

After months, however, unfortunately, the end came. The concept did not work out for the doctor himself, working 16 hours a day is impossible. Furthermore, there were also problems with the medical association with regard to the type of advertising. Prospectuses were advertised intensively, which is not allowed according to the medical association.

However, this idea would be well expandable. A possible innovation could happen in cooperation with medical technology, for example where the ordinations are run jointly.


Medical technology as a driver of business model innovation

The examples demonstrate that medical technology manufacturers play an important role or can play an even greater role in innovation in medical care. On the one hand as a driver of business model innovation in medical care and on the other they can revolutionize their own business model as an active player in medical care. Examples include the following:

  • Medical technology can integrate itself more strongly into the application, i.e. medical care, in order to develop new channels for patient care.
  • Medical technology is a cost factor due to the investment, new business models can generate benefits for both sides.

With classical tools of business model innovation, such as the business model Canvas, many new opportunities can be uncovered.


Conclusion - Medical technology as a driver for innovative business models in the healthcare sector

Medical technology is one of the most innovative industries. However, medical care and its pattern have been the same for decades. And this is precisely where there is potential for innovations, specifically for business model innovations, where medical technology can play an important role as an innovation driver.

Trend Collection for the Medical industry

Julian Eberling

Born in Vienna. Since 2018 "Certified Service Design Thinker" he has been pursuing his passion as Innovation Manager at LEAD Innovation.

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