The healthcare technology environment is always changing due to a confluence of factors including provider and patient demands, technology breakthroughs and market trends. The market for ventilators and remote patient monitoring (RPM) devices is one sector that is going through major changes. Although the ventilators market is moving toward lower acuity models, a closer look at the data from a design standpoint indicates that the use of RPM devices with integrated system designs is growing rapidly.

The Covid-19 pandemic was a trigger point that brought attention to the ventilator market. As emergency ventilators became necessary, there was a critical need for ventilator designs that were accessible and able to support a wide variety of patients, paving the way for new players to enter the ventilator market.

Medtronic‘s existing ventilator portfolio includes products such as the Puritan Bennett 980 and Puritan Bennett 840 – both high-performance ventilators primarily designed for critically ill patients in high-acuity settings. Known for their complex patient monitoring features, the devices incorporate innovative technologies such as FlexCycle, which autonomously controls the timing of breathing cycles. Moreover, the products seamlessly integrate invasive and noninvasive breathing modes, as well as comprehensive monitoring capabilities, into compact designs.

Dynamics within the ventilator market are evolving

The decision to discontinue its ventilator business originates from a combination of factors. The company considers the segment to have declining profitability, exacerbated by a recent slowdown in growth and some recalls related to manufacturing. The dynamics within the ventilator market are also evolving, with a shift towards lower acuity ventilators.

Considering these challenges, Medtronic recognised that its competitive advantage lies in higher acuity, hospital-based products, where the company can leverage its expertise and resources more effectively.

A transformative shift in healthcare delivery

By exiting the ventilator market, Medtronic can re-allocate resources towards areas with greater growth potential, particularly in RPM. This strategic realignment emphasises Medtronic’s commitment to innovation and addressing emerging healthcare needs. The decision also reflects broader industry trends, as healthcare organisations are increasingly prioritising RPM and digital health solutions.

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By investing in RPM, Medtronic aims to position itself at the forefront of this transformative shift in healthcare delivery. While the ventilators market is shifting to lower acuity ventilators, Medtronic’s products include a lot of RPM features, and the market trends indicate that the use of RPM products with integrated system designs will grow in the near future.