Mastering Tomorrow: Embracing a Comprehensive Systems Thinking Approach to MedTech Innovation

While innovation is a driving force behind transformative product breakthroughs, the way we innovate is also transforming due to the shifting demands of the market. To stay ahead of these rapid changes, successful companies and organizations are taking a systems thinking approach to guide their investment and development decisions.

From our experience helping medical technologies (medtech) companies design and execute—and sometimes pivot—their development strategies, our RTI Innovation Advisors team has collected the following recommendations for leveraging systems thinking while innovating.

  1. Innovate for the future, not just the present. 

Innovation thrives by addressing present needs; however, transformative innovation beckons us to gaze into the future. The COVID-19 pandemic, for example, changed the way end users interact with care providers, altering the patient and provider experience. We’ve helped medtech organizations change their services and offerings to adapt to the “new normal.” This systems thinking approach requires innovators to be proactive—not just reactive—in developing their portfolio and pipeline. 

One way that organizations have pursued a futures thinking approach is through foresighting, an intentional, disciplined approach that helps companies identify opportunities for growth and increase organizational resilience. Exploring alternate futures during the design phase enables medtech companies to proactively position themselves to adapt and maintain their relevance in the dynamic medical technology landscape. To learn more about foresighting, check out our blog post here.

  1. Don’t fall behind by ignoring trends in sustainability. 

As the medtech industry continues to innovate in an increasingly conscientious and global world, U.S. states, and countries around the world, are adopting environmental policies and regulations to combat the growing climate crisis. Medtech companies are navigating these changes, as hospital systems are looking across their value chain to ensure that all members are being held accountable for sustainability goals. 

Investors are taking notice too. There is a business case for companies to adopt and meet their sustainability goals. To read more about how industry experts are navigating sustainability, read our summary on Medtech’s Role in Advancing Environmental Sustainability here.

  1. Embrace a “coopetition” mindset. 

Innovators know that partnerships are critical to ensuring that new technologies are effectively developed and adopted. Some organizations, however, make the mistake of disregarding potential partners as competitors. Instead, we recommend embracing a “coopetition” mindset; consider collaborating with potential competitors as a partner to enhance and improve innovation. 

Our team has supported organizations looking to embrace the “coopetition” mindset, helping them rethink their partner ecosystem and approach. We’ve found that reshaping strategies on how to turn existing players into partners—not just competitors—further enables and supports commercialization and market launch goals. 

Want to learn more about how we can help your company embrace a comprehensive systems thinking approach to innovation? Do you need help considering or integrating futures thinking, sustainability, or partnerships? Contact our RTI Innovation Advisors by:

  • emailing the authors and/or
  • visiting us at the upcoming MedTech Conference in October 2023 at Booth 300.

Share Post:

Stay Connected

More to Explore

RTI Innovation Advisors is your partner on your innovation journey.