By Vic Nunes | 5/17/2021 | Medical Technology
More than 7 million people require orthopedic surgery annually and the implant market is projected to grow from $46.5 billion to $64 billion by 2026, according to Fortune Business Insights. Manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson build implants and replacement parts for human limbs that are used in orthopedic surgeries worldwide. What happened after that was never a sure thing. Over $1 billion worth of orthopedic kits get lost, stolen or stuck in some administrative abyss during distribution to healthcare providers. Fortunately, that all changed in the last year with an innovation that is transforming the orthopedics supply chain through the Internet of Things (IoT).
QMed Innovations’ mission is to provide powerful data analytics and insights for medical device manufacturers, distributors and providers. Its patented Quest IoT solution tracks medical device kits and provides the most meaningful information, such as real-time visibility and asset performance, improved reallocation of inventory and reduced capital expenses, eliminating waste and loss in the supply chain process.
Literally, a hole. I call it, “the Inventory Black Hole.” If something gets sucked in, it’s never seen again just like the cosmic black holes in outer space. Many healthcare manufacturers feel as if they are deploying their devices into an inventory black hole. They hire distribution services to deliver their products to hospitals and surgery centers only to hear that they never arrived and quickly need to resend their orders. This has been a recurring problem for years which carries a number of negative ramifications, not the least of which is healthcare risk to both the patient and the healthcare institution. And not so incidentally, orthopedics that go into the black hole cost anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 per medical kit lost. So this problem has a high cost in both financial and human terms.
Once we identified how serious it was back in 2017, we began analyzing this issue in search of the right technology. We determined that the industry needed a solution that did not yet exist – one with infallible tracking technology that would provide complete visibility and detailed insights to benefit manufacturers, distributors, healthcare providers and ultimately, the end-user patient. We began working on prototypes that combine hardware and software elements that provide key data points and most importantly total visibility of the medical equipment through a user-friendly and reliable dashboard interface.
After some early iterations, we realized the most critical element was connectivity. This solution had to be always on with a strong connection regardless of whether a hospital is in an urban or rural area of the country. That’s where MetTel came in.