Medical Technology Innovation

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Is your company planting seeds in countries that have the most fertile ground for innovation? That’s an important question for CIOs who are thinking strategically about technology’s impact on the business. In a global business ecosystem, a nimble competitor can leapfrog you with an unanticipated technology advance. Or you can tap into these ideas first. But if your innovation portfolio doesn’t extend outside the U.S., you’re probably missing something.

I’ve written before about the possibility of a North American or global company tapping into the innovation energy emanating from Europe. Now, a new “Medical Technology Innovation Scorecard” report by PwC provides some objective insight on how well nine countries compare on the factors that advance innovation.

The analysis looked at 86 different metrics in each country, including:

  • market incentives such as GDP growth,
  • trade barriers,
  • tariffs and tax rates,
  • innovation resources, including the number of top universities and researchers, and the prevalence of broadband and mobile technology subscribers, and
  • the investment environment, including private direct foreign investment, venture capital investment, and university-industry R&D collaboration.

The United States continues to lead the world in its capacity to produce the latest in medical technology innovation, but emerging markets led by China, India and Brazil are catching up, and their market power is shifting resources and activity overseas.

There’s a useful tool to compare scores of the various countries. Not every factor is relevant to information technology, but I think that many of the metrics used in evaluating a nation’s medical technology innovation ecosystem are relevant to our industry.

If you haven’t broadened your perspective on sources of innovation, the report makes clear that it is time to do so, since it is clear that the balance of leadership is shifting.

Where could you establish a lower-cost innovation incubator? What innovations from developing markets could be applied to the U.S. domestic market?

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