Medical Device And Pharma Companies Integrated With Technology Giants And Drove The Global IoT Enabled Healthcare Equipment Market
The global IoT enabled healthcare equipment market saw tremendous growth in the historic period between 2014-2018, from $8.3 billion in 2014 to $18.8 billion in 2018 at an annual growth rate of more than 22%. A major driver of the market in this period was the increase in collaborations of medical device and pharmaceutical companies with technology companies and healthcare providers, to offer enhanced and advanced solutions. Pharmaceutical companies provide expertise on the effectiveness of various drugs on physiological parameters, medical device companies provide equipment and devices, and technology companies offer software platforms. For instance, in 2018, Novo Nordisk, a Danish multinational pharmaceutical company, partnered with Flex Ltd. to develop digital diabetes management tools using Flex’s BrightInsight IoT platform. Again, HealthSuite’s open platform, Philips collaborated with research institutions to develop new solutions for patients living with chronic long-term illnesses. Collaboration strategies such as partnerships and joint ventures helped in effective transmission, aggregation, analysis and management of data from connected devices, and so enabled medical devices companies to offer cost effective solutions to diagnosis and monitoring of patients.
Diagnostic and medical devices companies are collaborating and partnering with technology giants to gain access to technology which can be integrated with medical devices. This allows healthcare equipment providers to offer devices integrated with IoT technology that can be used to diagnose and monitor patient medical conditions. For example, in September 2017, medical device company, Dexcom collaborated with Fitbit for continuous glucose monitoring (CGM). By combining CGM data with Fitbit’s Ionic watch, blood glucose levels can be tracked and displayed on the watch. The software update in 2018 will allow Fitbit Ionic to show data from the G5 mobile sensor which has core Bluetooth features. In June 2017, Apple partnered with Dexcom to integrate its glucose monitoring device with the Apple Watch OS4. Updation of Bluetooth API for the watch allows the G5 sensor to connect directly to the device. Dexcom experienced an increase in its stock of more than 6% after the announcement of the partnership.
Diagnostic and medical devices companies have also been participating in mergers and acquisitions to increase their share in the market, enhance product portfolio, and gain access to medical technology. For instance, in 2017, BigFoot Biomedical acquired London-based biotech company Patients Pending, manufacturer of Timesulin, and their Bluetooth-enabled insulin pen dose capture technology. This enabled BigFoot to develop insulin delivery through insulin pump technology and insulin pen technology. In 2014, Roche acquired mySugr, an Austrian digital health business to form a leading open platform for digital diabetes management. This enabled integration of the Bluetooth enabled Accu-Chek Connect meter with mySugr Logbook, which is a diabetes app.