Market Insight

Are hospitals in danger of killing MedTech innovation?

By Matthew Henshaw

Dec 02, 2022 · 2 min read

Following my #spineroadtripUSA, I shared some thoughts about NASS. Following Eurospine and DKOU last week, I wanted to elaborate on some of the points over the next couple of weeks.

hospitals kill innovation

Nearly every manufacturer faces the same problem. Yes, your surgeon wants to use the product and you have a strong distributor contact. But hospital procurement consistently blocks your access to sell in the hospital.

This raises a couple of questions

  1. Are hospitals killing innovation?
  2. Is there a way for Companies to lobby together to change the current status quo?

Answer 1. 

Effectively yes. We can all understand the perspective that hospitals need to at least break even and having competitive pricing can make it difficult for hospitals to control their spending.

But by reducing your vendor list, in some cases from 30 to 5, a lot of smaller companies will cease to exist. Inevitably this asks further questions, will the cream always rise to the top? The best devices will get sold regardless. Right? Who knows. But it does seem the big strategics are the big winners


Answer 2.

Not sure. Clearly, this is something that could work. But walking around the floor it amazed me that so few companies can find anything good to say about their competitors. People would often ask me which technologies or companies I admire. Whenever I gave them a couple of names, the immediate reaction from everybody is to disprove my theory. “Their instruments don’t work”, “They treat their employees poorly”, “the management operates in a shady way”, and “is their implant, procedure or solution, actually fixing a need?” 


The market is big enough for all these companies to have a slice of the pie, surely by working together and seeing the positives in the industry, of which there are many, the manufacturers could work together to find solutions to common problems.



Matthew Henshaw is the Founder and CEO of Talanoa, he acts as a recruitment strategist and startup mentor in the medical device industry.

Connect with Matthew on LinkedIn and feel free to talk about your business and talent plans. Let’s see if I can help with my expertise or my own network.


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