Healthcare Leaders from India congregate at APACMed, first ever hybrid global conference

Over 130 leaders from 30 countries convene to shape and redefine healthcare industry transformation. APACMed - McKinsey ‘Business Sentiment Survey’ released during the event highlighting trends post Covid-19

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New Delhi: The Asia Pacific Medical Technology Association (APACMed) brought to fruition the first-ever hybrid virtual forum – Redefining Healthcare Agility, which welcomed more than 130 world-class leaders from over 30 countries to share insights on how they are transforming the healthcare industry. The forum involved a plethora of interactive engagements, including live discussions, interviews, and demonstrations.
The APACMed Annual MedTech Forum brings more than 1,000 delegates together every year, making it one of the largest yearly forums in Asia Pacific. Owing to the pandemic, the 6th edition of the conference included on-site attendance of up to 50 people, along with virtual attendance of over 1000 delegates, thus becoming the first-ever hybrid conference with a global reach to be hosted in the medical technology arena. The conference witnessed the participation of global and regional leaders, serving as the perfect setting for discussing collaboration and innovation opportunities in Asia.
The Regional Insights Session kicked off with the release of the much-awaited APACMed- McKinsey Business Sentiment Survey, which gives insights from senior MedTech leaders surveyed from a range of different product sectors, business scales and geographies on the current market trends and overall business sentiment.
Few of the key trends which emerged from the survey included:
  • Continued momentum exists for local manufacturing in Asia including India, with 60% of the leaders believing the trend of localization of manufacturing capability will increase going forward
  • Leaders indicate digitalization, local product innovation, and market access as the most important growth drivers with key capability gaps in digitalization and locally relevant product innovation. Digital transformation has been a favourite topic, but without much improvement over the years.
  • Revenue growth expectation was high at the beginning of the year, with an expected CAGR of 12%, which after COVID-19 has dramatically reduced to about 7%.
  • In India 60% companies surveyed found product innovation or cutting-edge premium products to be their real strength. Nearly 100% found serving premium markets to be their real strengths, and 60% realized providing HCP training to expand market as their real strength
Within the regional insights track as part of focus country this year, India have been featured through an exclusive Healthcare Leaders session under the title “Leapfrogging Towards Healthcare 4.0” , where the panel comprised of leaders from entire healthcare value chain including Hospitals, MedTech & Diagnostics, and discussions revolved around how digital transformation is driving access and affordability in healthcare, especially from a post COVID scenario.
The panelists included –
  • Manoj Madhavan, Managing Director, Boston Scientific India
  • Badhri Iyengar, Cluster Managing Director – (SAARC & ASEAN); Smith & Nephew
  • Anish Bafna, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Healthium
  • Pavan Choudary, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Vygon India
  • Himanshu Baid, Managing Director, Poly Medicure
  • K. Hari Prasad M.D, Group President – Hospitals, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise
  • Dr Om Manchanda, Managing Director, Dr Lal PathLabs
  • Dr Chirag Adatia, Partner, McKinsey & Company (Moderator)
Anish Bafna said, “Some recent trends in healthcare that we are seeing over the past few years and which has been further accelerated by the current crisis is the adoption of interventions such as Telemedicine, Artificial Intelligence and Home Healthcare, all of which are helping to drive access and bridge the urban rural infrastructure gap”.
Badhri Iyengar in his comments mentioned how “Healthcare is at crossroads and organizations need to be more to cognizant and adoptive to changes that are imminent in the near future and is actually knocking on our doors. The four big changes that I foresee that companies need to be ready with are : (1)Demand Creation and Awareness from UHC, (2) Infrastructure Overhaul- (physical) ,(3)Digitization of Physical Infrastructure (Digital surgery platforms, minimal touch robotics surgery, Ambulatory service centers) and (4) Demand Aggregation with government”.
As per Himanshu Baid “A lot of disruptions are happening especially in healthcare technology and it is imperative that organizations keep on innovating to survive in the market. The government of India has been proactive on policies related to digital health which has resulted in an upsurge in digital innovation in recent times, and which will help India to shift from an import driven country to a more export oriented one”.
Dr Hari Prasad said, “The impact of Covid has been felt much more by the healthcare players in the organized sector during first quarter while the unorganized sector has almost shut down. With Covid now here to stay, it will be very much a part of the regular disease profile, triggering newer models of care to come up with digital becoming an integral part of care delivery”
Dr Om Manchanda in his comments mentioned “Healthcare players will have to reinvent new business models, as we are a seeing a rapid change in consumer behavior as well as in doctors, both of whom are now more comfortable with digital interventions. Adoption of new age technology and innovation need to be accelerated, especially in diagnostics to ensure testing becomes affordable. There is also a need for a coherent and collaborative effort from both public and private sectors to fight against diseases that have public health importance like dengue, chikungunya, swine flu and now Covid”.
Manoj Madhavan said ““We have all have realized that we are part of very fragile ecosystem, and during the beginning of the pandemic it was all about survival and how do we could bring in more value added services beyond the traditional offerings. Also, we need to realise that most elective procedures can be postponed only for a finite period of time and not indefinitely. It is important that we work with hospitals and providers to create awareness on this so that patients get care in time, not doing which increases the mortality risk much higher than that of Covid”.
Pavan Choudary said “In today’s times, the legacy way of working or legacy mindsets will not be able to carry the burden alone, as it is increasingly becoming vital for organizations to adapt to the changing market reality, which can be accomplished by getting the right balance of old and new thinking in order to energize creative faculties to pragmatically innovate for the future and fulfill the emerging demands of the customer”
The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has intensified conversations around universal healthcare as well as cooperation between public and private sectors. For this reason, this year’s forum aimed to unite healthcare stakeholders to collectively improve the quality of healthcare across the region, with the assistance of emerging platforms that demonstrate the value of innovative medical technology. Highlighting the importance of such collaborations, the healthcare systems were also represented by the participation of Preetha Reddy, Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise, and Dr. Kelvin Loh, Managing Director & CEO, IHH Healthcare.
Further delivering the Keynote Address at the Virtual Forum, Dr. Preetha Reddy, Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals Group & President NATHEALTH said, “The pandemic catalyzed an imperative and urgency to weave in, an all-new agility into healthcare, which must redefine accessibility, affordability and accountability of care delivery.  Hardwiring a culture of collaboration and commitment to harnessing emerging technologies can enable healthcare to bridge gaps in infrastructure and resources. Also, beyond COVID-19, innovations to manage the growing prevalence of NCDs must be an equal priority. A healthy population is the smartest way to beat the disease and it is here that MedTech will play an important role, be it medical devices, in vitro diagnostics or digital health solutions, creative models across the value chain must evolve to meet the needs of discerning populations.”
The pandemic has sparked an emergence of opportunities and identified areas of immense need in the medical technology sector for Asia. It is estimated that, nearly 60% of world’s population will be residing in Asia by 2030, with around 24% of them above the age of 60. The growth of medical technology too is predicted to be reaching a CAGR of 8.8 % to 157 billion USD by 2022. Ms. Harjit Gill, CEO APACMed said, “In the face of COVID-19, the healthcare industry has hit an inflection point, as organisations in the region grapple with profound changes and impacts to their businesses. However, the pandemic has also sparked unprecedented levels of digital transformation, collaboration and innovation, and we must grasp this opportunity to reshape the medical technology industry as we enter a new era in healthcare.”
MedTech global thought leaders like Jose Almeida (Chairman, President and CEO of Baxter International), John Groetelaars (President & CEO of Hillrom), Ashley McEvoy (Executive Vice President, Worldwide Chairman, Medical Devices, Johnson & Johnson) Kevin Lobo (Chairman & CEO, Stryker) and Dr Bernd Montag (CEO of Siemens Healthineers) were few of the prominent speakers in the conference who shared their perspective on the future of healthcare and the opportunity Asia holds. The forum also featured insights from other technology leaders in the space, such as Corey McCann (President & CEO, Pear Therapeutics), Joe DeVivo (President, Hospitals & Health Systems, Teladoc Health), Dr. Shez Partovi (Worldwide Lead for Healthcare, Life Sciences & Genomics, AWS) and Sanjay Popat (CEO, Trabeya).
“The Medical Technology industry is at the cusp of a profound transformation and how the industry shapes in the near future will greatly influence the lives of patients, healthcare professionals, and heath organisations and bodies.” Ms. Harjit Gill expressed, “Against this backdrop, APACMed plays a crucial role in unifying organizations and voices in the medical technology industry – a catalyst in accelerating collaboration and innovation to tackle healthcare challenges and advance healthcare access for patients.”
This virtual event leveraged emerging and established digital technologies to engage participants in real-time, testament to the role digital transformation plays in the Medtech industry. This also served as a valuable opportunity for delegates and global leaders from across the healthcare ecosystem to engage and interact through a unique, immersive experience.  The platform is also offering an on-demand video of the event for up to a month, ensuring the lessons learned from the forum will not be lost.
The APACMed Virtual Forum was supported by the Economic Development Board, and sponsored by Zuellig Pharma, Abbott, Align, B. Braun, Baxter, BD, Boston Scientific, Hillrom, Hologic, Johnson & Johnson, LivaNova, Medtronic, MeritMedical, Siemens Healthineers, Stryker and Terumo.