Want to talk to us about medical devices?
With just a few days remaining before Christmas, the initial results of TTP’s DDL2018 industry trends survey are in.
Our results highlight an increased focus on tackling adherence challenges, with most participants responding that it was more important than drug discovery in treating COPD. This coincides both with increased pressure from payors to understand the real-world effect of treatments, as well as pressure from lower cost generics. As generics begin to enter the market, will innovator companies seek to differentiate themselves more by demonstrating the real-world benefits of their drug-device combinations?
In light of these trends, it is interesting that many participants were still sceptical that digital is worth the money – many of the commercial arguments for digital technologies centre around increasing revenues by increasing adherence and justifying existing/expanded coverage by payors by assuring outcomes. Does this indicate that there is scepticism that digital technologies can meaningfully impact adherence and outcomes? There have been several recent large-scale trials of digital technologies that have failed to demonstrate improvements in real world outcomes, though others, using principles derived from behavioural change theory, have been more successful. Like with many new technology opportunities, it is likely that implementation will be key to success.
TTP has worked with clients to design and develop medical devices for over 30 years. Our multi-disciplinary team has completed over 30 inhaler developments for pharma companies. Projects routinely cover front-end innovation and product definition through to industrialisation support.
Increased emphasis on real-world evidence and the advent of new technologies mean that products are expanding beyond the drug to include devices and digital services that improve outcomes. As more companies generate real-world evidence on COPD and asthma treatments, will such evidence become a necessity for reimbursement?
TTP is working with clients to deliver meaningful and value-generating solutions for monitoring, improving and ultimately engineering outcomes. These range from adding sensing or connectivity to existing devices, developing new and better sensors for tracking physiologic biomarkers of disease progression in clinical trials, to inventing new means of targeted drug delivery. From navigating healthcare economics and physiology to addressing data security and developing ultra-low power devices, TTP is at the forefront of medical device development.
Poor medication adherence can have a serious impact on both patient outcomes and the bottom line for the pharmaceuticals industry. One difficulty in improving adherence is that it can take twelve months of clinical testing to get adherence data on a novel device design.
TTP has come up with a way to predict adherence. Our deterministic model of adherence behaviours helps to: identify reasons for poor adherence; rank device design features in relation to adherence; consider cost-benefit decisions; and structure discussions and brainstorms. Further, TTP has developed a design toolkit to guide discussions on improvement options based on adherence scores generated by the model.
The entry of generics and continued pressure from payers means reducing costs is as important as it has ever been. There is a drive to achieve equivalent outcomes with a lower cost device and a race to reach the market.
At the core of our technical and design work, we avoid complexity with simple and elegant concepts that have lower part counts and hence reduced CoGs and CapEx. We support decision making by means of scientific models, and we anticipate manufacturability and reliability performance through probabilistic design.
The approach has not only proven successful in turn-key developments but has also enabled TTP to step in and support clients with late-stage scale-up problems.