Baxter has taken part in its largest deal to date with the acquisition of Hill-Rom. The deal will make Baxter one of the leaders in the connected devices market as the company expands its digital health offerings. With medical devices becoming increasingly connected, it is no surprise that Baxter is investing in this space. The company has not been traditionally digitally driven; therefore, this acquisition is a great investment as connected care becomes one of the more lucrative sectors in the medical device industry.
M&A activity in the medical device industry has been rife in 2021, as companies recover from the pandemic and capitalise on opportunities to strengthen and widen their product portfolios. Q1 saw the highest number of deals compared to the same period in previous years, with figures reaching $58.1bn, according to the GlobalData Deals database. The number of deals slowed down in the second quarter of the year, but there was a 47% increase in deal value in comparison to Q1.
In general, there has been an increasingly wide adoption of connected devices in the healthcare industry. In the past few years, medical device companies have either been developing products with connectivity capabilities or taking part in strategic partnerships and acquisitions to enter the connected care market. Hill-Rom strengthened its position as one of the leaders in connected care by taking part in several acquisitions. The company acquired Excel Medical Electronics in January 2020 and EarlySense’s continuous monitoring technology in February 2020.
The COVD-19 pandemic spurred the shift towards connected care both in and out of hospitals. Connected care has the potential to transform the healthcare sector by increasing safety, quality and overall efficacy. With consumers more willing to use these devices, the future of health will be digital. Therefore, increasing activity in terms of product development, regulations and acquisitions is expected.