PHOTO © OLIVIER LE MOAL | ADOBE STOCK

As we prepare for 2021, do we dare reflect on 2020? Given COVID-19 and political drama, we prefer NOT! There will be books and movies to tell the 2020 story, so we’ll let Hollywood take care of that.

Instead, let’s look ahead to 2021 and our future together in medtech, in the U.S., and across the world.

Some expectations in 2021:

A COVID-19 vaccine – As of the writing of this article, Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca were reporting positive results from clinical trials of their vaccines. Let’s hope the final results continue with a very positive outcome – and that other vaccines are also released with similar results.

A Medical Device Tax? – We hope not but now that we have your attention, let’s see what the Biden administration has in mind for a revamped Obamacare and whom they choose to make pay for it.

Reshoring – The COVID-19 experience, combined with the revamped NAFTA – now called USMCA – should have a positive outcome on reshoring/near-shoring manufacturing activities in North America. COVID-19 taught us that certain medical supplies should be considered critical to the U.S. Therefore, there should be a percentage of these critical supplies manufactured in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico. This should be an important initiative, and the USMCA should make this objective easier to accomplish.

China supply chain – The China supply chain will likely become more stable and competitive for two reasons: (1) China seems to have recovered from COVID-19; and (2) the new U.S. administration is likely to abandon the trade wars of the previous administration. While there will be some reshoring/near-shoring initiatives, China will remain a strong and reliable piece of the global supply chain. (Note: we do recognize that some China’s manufacturing is moving to Vietnam, Thailand, etc., however, it won’t happen as quickly as some might think. For example, if a company wants to sell its products in China, it will still need to manufacture in China or risk losing market-share.)

Telemedicine – Let’s hope it’s here to stay. This topic is more difficult to predict as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and insurers finally became logical about modern healthcare during COVID-19. Let’s hope they now understand that telemedicine is safer (in most cases) and extremely more efficient.

Live trade shows/conferences? We can’t guarantee this, but let’s hope. While we enjoy seeing you online, we love meeting you in person.

Here’s to wishing us all a safe, prosperous, and uneventful 2021! In the meantime, happy holidays and stay safe!

MedWorld Advisors

About the authors: CEO Florence Joffroy-Black is a long-time MedTech M&A and marketing expert. She can be reached at florencejblack@medworldadvisors.com. Managing Director Dave Sheppard is a former medical OEM Fortune 500 executive and an experienced MedTech M&A professional. He can be reached at davesheppard@medworldadvisors.com.