Session Preview: Identifying Promising Business Development Opportunities: Focus On Home Care DevicesAn Interview With Omar Halaby
Omar Halaby is Head of Strategic Market Insights, USA at Siemens Healthineers, and is presenting at the upcoming 5th Annual Medical Device Corporate Strategy & Business Development Conference on January 29-30. Check out a preview of his session below!
Can you give a brief overview of what your role at Siemens Healthineers entails?
My role is Head of Strategic Market Insights, USA at Siemens Healthineers. Here, I lead a team across our portfolio by looking at customer activity and market activity in and around our industry. For example, we look at new products and partnerships, as well as early disruptors. We give a holistic view of what our commercial organization in the USA needs to know in order to be smart, strategic and forward looking.
We have a broad portfolio, and although home-care diagnostics wasn’t originally a perfect match, we have seen that the diagnostic element of home and home healthcare services are growing, and will continue to grow. That’s where we get the first views of disruptors who are taking traditional diagnostics and they’re taking them first to the patient or doctor-side and then also one step further, taking them to the home.
An example is, in the past, if you have a heart monitor for a cardiac situation or an irregular heartbeat, you used to have to go to a doctor and get an exam. We’ve already seen Apple introducing software for EKG testing. They’re taking something that used to be done in a hospital and putting it into a home for self-diagnostics that can be performed by people.
Another example is for blood tests. We already see that shift from being done in labs, to point-of-care, and we see the next step is going to the patient themselves, so that the patients themselves are able to perform those tests. So whether it is a finger stick test, molecular tests, or other types of diagnostics (facial recognition, eye recognition), there’s a major trend emerging within the diagnostic segment.
How has the home-care device focus evolved over the past few years? How do you see it continuing to evolve over the next 5-10 years?
Looking ahead 5-10 years, we will see many diagnostic tests that people can use at home. Currently, diagnostics is a small segment of the home-care market, but I believe it’s going to be a huge segment in the next 5-10 years.
I believe the reason for this evolution is because of the ease of use. For example, the iPhone has made interpretation of at-home diagnostic tests easily accessible. Rather than using a standard device that you must purchase, you are able to use a Bluetooth function that interprets results on your phone.
Smartphones, in particular, have created an easy way for people to understand how to use at-home diagnostic tests. Take, for example, a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGMs)—companies such as Abbott and Medtronic have CGMs, so one of the things they’ve done is push those to a Bluetooth function so that the monitoring itself can be done via an iPhone instead of a separate device. The iPhone improves interpretation and communication—rather than purchasing new equipment, people can simply download an app on a device they already own and operate. The app has the capabilities to suggest how to take the test, what to conclude from the test, as well as videos that can educate consumers and allow for more intuitive learning. There’s much more functionality on iPhones that can open up possibilities for people.
Why are home-care devices valuable in terms of reimbursement?
In general, in-home tests are much cheaper without the overhead of the physician and healthcare system. In theory, markets should favor home-care devices because it is a cheaper alternative. It’s an area that needs further exploring though.
What is something you believe is most important for attendees to walk away from your presentation knowing?
The diagnostic segment within home healthcare is going to continue to grow and will be amongst the most innovative areas of both diagnostic and home-care, overall.