Med technology needs long-lasting modifications at its manufacturing and supply chains processes after COVID-19, as it is one of the sectors most upset.
How will manufacturing and supply chains look like in the future?
- Med-tech firms think there should be more advancement in digital technologies.
- The focus is currently on Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), the supplies required for testing, and the manufacturing of ventilators for the caring of patients.
- Companies are changing over their production process to support the front line through a significant diversification to either, produce PPE or manufacturing ventilators.
- Corporations should consider changing practices on how people assemble; while working virtually and commuting could save valuable time for people.
- People are coping with the lack of space to store up the PPE, leaving the management of supply chains on much stress.
- Managers recognised the difficulties governments have doing the job due to trade protocols.
- There is a crucial need for governments and health institutions to learn from industry some engineering capabilities concerning the supply chain, given the difficulty in getting PPE to the front lines in a timely-well-organised way.
- Consider well-known companies are entering the medical-space after the official petition from governments to collaborate, switching their production to increase ventilator capacity; developing them in such short-time talks about efficiency.
- There is a fear that more prominent manufacturers not belonging to the medical-tech area might trespass copyright and intellectual property.
- This situation requires of urgent regulations, documentation or validation to license their rights, or to patent the products they designed to support their company and those who cross around their processes to dedicate to a beneficial cause. Authenticate change of operations to validate them as your intellectual property.
Integration of all stakeholders
A sense of collaboration prevailed on global healthcare services, the supply chain, suppliers, and patients to cope the pandemic; and yet, pilot programs, specialisation, and digital adoption is the standard in such an uncertain environment.
COVID-19 changes every Procurement model, because any intention on planning healthcare services was worthless or most of the times cancelled. The crisis demands all actors to integrate care systems, encompassing keen-top personnel, the community, specialist, ambulance, social care, as well as local housing, transport, education, and police, working together to make decisions on resources and capacity.
Health authorities would be the standard-operating unit managing the pandemic, deciding which hospitals do which procedures and what methods med-services will manage.
· All units in hospitals are dedicating financial, expertise, time and all kind of resources to critical care, re-purposing hospital facilities accordingly.
· Hospital departmental-configurations have been unsettled up significantly, with physicians far-over-working their daily required shifts. In several countries, re-engineering is on the go among hospitals dealing with COVID-19 patients and the ones specialised in other areas.
· Hospitals are developing a ‘hub’ model for heart disease, cancer, and emergency elective treatment. Whilst, national health services ordered the whole private sector to enlarge its critical care capacity.
· There is also a developing-bottle neck on long-term treatment, outpatients and elective care, due to the uncertainty on when med-products will be used to take care of patients. Acute care is complicating customer’ environment, making it necessary for the industry to re-design its line of attack – for example, it could be via digital-remote means.
· The emergency of COVID-19 limits other vulnerable patients, as per autoimmune conditions, cancer, respiratory, diabetes, heart, and long-term conditions. Cancer surgery is risk-classified: patients who will not receive treatment -depending on characteristics, whether the patient is likely to gain a significant extra life-span, and whether surgery will expose the patient to higher COVID-19 risk, than not.
The pandemic marked dramatic-financial changes in health service plans for 2020: governments were compelled to settle on extra funding for resources and practices to struggle the crisis, responding to the emergency with billions.
The aim is to afford local government supports to those organisations efforts which are sustainable-medical suppliers through the Financial Recovery Fund (FRF) long-term plan, so, that no trust is in deficit status.
Conclusions: Industries and health services are operating under unparalleled contexts, making it difficult to forecast what will change. It is essential to monitor these changes, planning for longer-term, put forward answers that deliver value, and concentrate on reliable-consistent supply chain and distribution.
Above all, be an active partner to support local and national health services to overcome the crisis, by dealing and resource-sharing to foster closer collaboration in the health supply chain of the future.
Is your understanding of the post COVID-19 response, clear enough to manage your SC direction?