1 year after COVID-19 hit: What’s next for FDA, electives, testing and robotics
The medtech industry has ridden a roller coaster of steep demand for novel diagnostics and a plunge in once-stable business lines like hip and knee replacement surgeries.
Initial signs of the tumultuous year ahead began to take hold a year ago this month, with the World Health Organization’s pandemic declaration and a wave of regional lockdowns.
Like much of the business world, the medtech industry has ridden a roller coaster of steep demand for novel diagnostics and a plunge in once-stable business lines like hip and knee replacement surgeries.
With accurate testing among the most immediate public health and market needs, giants like Abbott and Becton Dickinson jumped into new markets of PCR, antigen and antibody tests.
After CMS advised hospitals to halt elective procedures on March 18, Boston Scientific and Stryker were among those reliant on products used in procedures deemed non-emergencies, and took big financial hits. The end of the year was bumpy as the virus surged again in hot spots around the country.
Now with vaccines denting the need for testing and potentially spurring a restart of non-emergent surgeries, much of the sector will need to pivot again.
FDA’s device chief Jeff Shuren has called the year ahead one of a reset, after the agency scrambled to clear tests, vaccines and drugs to fight the virus. Priorities put on the back burner are getting greater attention as a new administration marks a direction shift.
We’ll explore these and other big themes one year into the pandemic in this special series. We’ll update the page with fresh content daily.