Acing Master Data Management in Medical Device Industry: Triggers, Use Cases, and Benefits

Oct 27, 2021
Life Sciences | 9 min READ
What Is Master Data Management and Why Is It Important?
According to EY, the medical device industry has access to vast volumes of data but doesn’t manage to leverage its value. One reason is that all of their data assets are trapped in siloes. Access to high-quality, relevant, and credible data at all times can help the industry spot and fix inefficiencies in their global product registration processes, improve eCommerce customer engagement, cut expenses, and improve productivity with data-driven decision-making. That’s where master data management (MDM) can help.
John Danese
John Danese

Industry Director

Life Sciences


MDM creates a master record, a single source of truth, by integrating assets from all data sources and applications within an organization. This centralized repository contains accurate, reliable, and trustworthy data that’s easy to understand and can facilitate strategic decision-making throughout the enterprise.
Top Triggers Behind the Rise of MDM in the Medical Device Industry
Before the pandemic, people were more invested in fitness and “anytime, anywhere” healthcare managing their health, partly due to easier access to affordable wearable devices and digital health monitoring solutions.
When the pandemic hit, it gave the trend of consumer-driven healthcare, wellbeing, and telehealth solutions an adrenaline boost, skyrocketing the demand for smart medical devices and wearables. According to Fortune Business Insights, the global medical devices market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.4%, from $455.34 billion in 2021 to $657.98 billion in 2028.
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Simultaneously, it accelerated digital transformation initiatives and mergers and acquisitions while tightening regulatory compliance. These led to an acute need for robust master data management in healthcare. Let’s look at each of the underlying triggers.
Acing Master Data Management in Medical Device Industry: Triggers, Use Cases, and Benefits
M&A in Medical Device
The pandemic was devastating, but it also brought opportunities. The firms that spotted them amassed massive profits, while others got decimated. Medical device manufacturers witnessed soaring sales and used their profits to boost their core capabilities and market position by scooping up smaller, indirect competitors. At the same time, some of the weakened firms joined hands to have a shot at challenging their newly strengthened competition.
One of the largest healthcare deals of 2021 was the purchase of radiation therapy device and software manufacturers Varian Medical Systems by MedTech giant Siemens Healthineers. The MedTech firm spent a whopping $16.4 billion to clinch the deal and expand its oncology portfolio.
Customer Data Insights
30% of the world’s data comes from the healthcare industry. An IDC study reported that health care data will grow at a CAGR of 36% by 2025, faster than other industries such as manufacturing or financial services. An increase in M&A deals coupled with the increasing adoption of smart healthcare devices is driving the trend. This treasure trove of customer data is everything manufacturers need to extract granular insights into customer needs and behavior that fuel medical device innovation and boost their competitive edge—tapping into the vast potential of such data warrants a solid master data management strategy and framework.
Medical Device Regulatory Compliance
The explosion in medical device customer data provides the industry an edge but also comes with a catch. Leveraging patient data shouldn’t lead to security and privacy risks that expose sensitive information. In addition to hefty fines for data breaches, medical device firms will also incur irreparable damages to their reputation.
Moreover, rising trade disputes and geopolitical risks make the regulatory landscape more challenging, and navigating it skilfully requires medical device firms to have comprehensive data governance and security policies in place. That’s why the need for MDM in the medical device industry is on the rise.
Use Cases of MDM in Medical Device Industry
Now that we’ve established why effective medical device data management is the need of the hour for medical device firms let’s look at five of its most prominent use cases.
Acing Master Data Management in Medical Device Industry: Triggers, Use Cases, and Benefits
#1 Accelerated Product Launches
The competitive edge for medical device firms lies in shorter product development cycles and quicker turnaround times. However, faster time-to-market relies on the quality, integrity of the entire product dossier, which must meet increasingly complex and changing global regulatory compliance mandates, like UDI in the US and EU MDR/IVDR. Failure to do so can lead to a significant waste of time, resources, funding, and lost revenue opportunity.
MDM can automate data aggregation from diverse sources, run quality and integrity checks, manage complex phase-gates approval workflows and then submit the required data following the regulations for speedier approvals, decreasing time-to-market, reduced risk of non-compliance and accelerating product launches.
#2 Market Feedback-Driven Product Improvements
MDM technologies support real-time ingestion of large volumes of data from various sources on a single, unified platform. As a result, medical device firms can leverage these technologies to capture market feedback at every step in real-time.
Using this information, firms can eliminate inconsistencies or defects within their products as and when they occur, thereby delivering product improvements faster. Medical device firms can boost sales, grow market share, and elevate the overall customer experience by tailoring products per market demands and delivering exceptional eCommerce experiences.
#3 Medical Device Registration Tracking
UDI (Unique Device Identifier) helps ensure the legitimacy of medical devices by registering their codes within the databases of regulatory bodies. As a result, any device with an authentic UDI can be traced right back to its point of origin if there’s an issue with the device. For example, if a particular batch of oximeters is faulty, tracing the UDI helps recall just the faulty devices, which is cheaper and more efficient than recalling every oximeter sold.
MDM maintains comprehensive records of all medical device registrations in a single repository, streamlining the entire tracking process.
#4 Medical Device Traceability
Medical device traceability is the ability to track devices throughout the supply chain to ensure that they aren’t damaged or compromised. That means having end-to-end visibility of everything from product development and testing to delivery to the end-user. In addition, new medical device regulations such as the EU’s MDR require medical device manufacturers to establish traceability between all stages of the device development and post-market activities.
Achieving complete traceability means being able to understand, monitor, and manage all device data. With MDM, firms can maintain all documentation, track every change, and monitor quality at all times via a single platform.
Acing Master Data Management in Medical Device Industry: Triggers, Use Cases, and Benefits
#5 Improved Customer Buying and Service Experience
The medical device industry has had a product-centric mindset. However, the pandemic has changed customer perceptions, emphasizing monitoring health at home using smart medical devices and telehealth consultations to skip hospital visits. In a post-pandemic world, medical device firms must adopt a customer-centric culture that simplifies the buying experience, skips medical jargon in favor of user-friendly language, and makes patient care as seamless as possible.
It starts by understanding customers better, mapping their buyer journeys, reducing the number of touchpoints, and delivering a buying experience akin to eCommerce giants like Amazon. That requires integrating all data sources on a single MDM platform and unearthing insights to transform the overall customer experience.
Measures of Success – Applying MDM to Medical Device Industry
Having explored the importance of MDM and its use cases in the medical device industry, let’s look at the benefits of revenue, productivity, cost savings, and business expansion.
Acing Master Data Management in Medical Device Industry: Triggers, Use Cases, and Benefits
Improvement In Cross-Sell Ratios For Sales
Mapping and monitoring the entire customer journey can help device manufacturers get adequate context on the medical needs of each buyer and spot patterns that can boost cross-sell ratios. For instance, if a user bought a nebulizer and a thermometer, it’s prudent to recommend buying a pulse oximeter. Similarly, a patient who’s purchasing a blood glucose meter can also benefit from test strips.
Since MDM provides a unified view of all customer data and buying patterns, device firms can run AI-powered algorithms to cross-sell.
Productivity Gain in Supplier Management
Effective management of supplier relationships is key to reducing procurement costs, capitalizing on market opportunities in a timely fashion, and mitigating operational risks. Maintaining a 360-degree view of all suppliers using an MDM platform helps streamline supplier management by providing complete visibility of the total spend per supplier and monitoring their performance.
Moreover, automated workflows can speed up the onboarding of new suppliers, ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations, and boost operational efficiency.
Cost Avoidance From Inventory Duplication
MDM platforms can be programmed to check for duplicate entries, outliers, and other discrepancies affecting data quality. As a result, medical device manufacturers can consistently track and ensure that the right parts are ordered in the right quantities whenever stocks are low. Deduplication of records also guarantees that manufacturers don’t duplicate their inventories and overstock. As a result, they avoid maintaining dead stock and reduce wastage of resources.
Reduction In Operational Costs
Medical device manufacturers still use manual processes, such as printing the labels on the factory floor or including leaflets with instructions for use in the packaging. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, manual processes are notorious for being error-prone, and digital technologies can help eliminate them, leading to savings worth $1.5-3 trillion a year in costs by 2030.
However, for processes such as labeling to digitize completely, firms need anytime, anywhere access to a single source of truth that documents all product-related information throughout its lifecycle. That’s where MDM can help. With such a system in place, they can also automate several processes, such as anomaly detection or data quality checks, centralizing all data, and streamlining all development and manufacturing processes.
Accurate and Faster NPIs
MDMs simplify and automate several data collection, aggregation, and validation processes to ensure accuracy, credibility, and traceability. They also help firms monitor device development and testing to ensure that they meet the global compliance standards. As a result, it’s easier and faster to track and eliminate bottlenecks in the product development lifecycle and reduce the time-to-market, making NPIs (new product introductions) faster and more accurate.
Faster M&A Consolidation
M&A activity in healthcare is at an all-time high because of the impact of the pandemic on consumer perception of healthcare and market conditions. 2020 witnessed one of the largest M&A investments in digital health when Teledoc Health bought Livongo, a cloud-based diabetes management platform, for $18.5 billion.
While M&A deals provide medical device firms with greater opportunities to capture market share and differentiate themselves from the competition, they also add to the data management woes because of data siloes and consolidation challenges. Since MDMs maintain a golden record (single source of truth) at the highest levels of accuracy and trustworthiness, they speed up the data consolidation processes and enable firms to update their data dynamically as each data point gets modified.
The digital health industry is expected to be worth $30-90 billion by 2025. With rapid changes in market conditions, consumer behavior, and technologies, the medical device industry needs access to the right data at the right time to successfully launch new products, deliver differentiated pre and post-sale customer experiences and grow their margins. That’s why they should adopt a comprehensive medical device data management solution that supports faster data-driven decision-making.
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