One of the many changes COVID-19 will have on the industry is the increased difficulty of introducing new products to HCP and consumer audiences. It will be particularly difficult for the medical device market.
Let’s look at some of the changes that have occurred during this pandemic.
A decline in face-to-face device sales visits.
It is estimated that in-person sales visits could decrease by up to 70 percent. Contract Sales Organizations will be deeply affected by this decline. The unplanned cancellation of thousands of Sales and Nurse Educator visits is extremely problematic, and may result in the further consolidation of CSO providers.
The rise of telehealth.
Telehealth companies are seeing an unprecedented rise in activity. A significant number of patients have tried telehealth for the first time, and many will continue to utilize it. As doctors increasingly provide telehealth services from a non-office environment, their availability for in-person visits will decrease. Virtual visits for detailing and education will rise.
With the overwhelming national cost of COVID-19, payors will find it increasingly challenging to add medical devices (e.g. syringes, pens, pumps, patches, meters) to formularies. Consequently, there will be a greater need for HUB services and patient assistance programs. In order to be of the most value to their patients, physicians will require education and information about these services and programs.
New devices will have difficulty gaining traction.
A recent Med Device Online article offers the following analysis: “…. adopting a new medical device requires considerable time and effort on the part of physicians. It usually means learning a new technique, gaining experience through repetition, investing in new equipment, studying which patients comprise the best candidates, and changing internal practices — among a variety of other factors. So, even if clinicians see an ad or field inquiries from multiple patients about a new therapy option, most of them will not be swayed until they’re confident it is worth the clinical and economic investments.”
Knowledgeable and highly-trained people are needed to explain the benefits of a new device and answer HCP questions. These interactions can be effectively conducted in a virtual setting.
Training is essential.
Medical devices used by patients require training for both the patient and their health care team. Medical device manufacturers will need to provide self-study videos and live training modules that can be provided either in person or remotely. The training itself will likely be a scheduled event, but the subsequent inquiries will need to be handled as they arise, likely extending beyond the “normal” workday.
Diligent Health Solutions has an experienced staff of Virtual Sales Representatives, Medical Information Specialists, and HUB Representatives that provide sales, reimbursement and ongoing support to physicians, their staff, and their patients. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Susan Beach @ (267) 252 7619.