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The Digital Revolution: Hiring Challenges in the World of MedTech

In today’s world of Medical Devices, it is clear that the impact of the digital health revolution is changing the way that manufacturers engage with their patients. The emergence of platform-based business models and the challenge of monetizing data has affected all areas of business, but none more than Leadership and Talent. Finding Leader’s that understand this new technology and approach to business is arguably one of the toughest challenges facing MedTech company’s especially those who are established and who already struggle to deal with change.

The challenge with the trends that we are looking at today, is that nothing like this has ever happened in MedTech, or healthcare across the board really. So, whilst most leaders will be able to recognise what is happening and most probably why it is happening, they may tend to struggle to tackle how their business is going to overcome it.

Applying this to MedTech, the main issue from a leadership perspective is recruiting leaders that can develop solutions and products that can overcome the challenge of increased patient engagement and awareness and the growing focus on how to monetize data and develop platform-based business models or products.

So, what we are faced with, is a talent gap. The increased levels of patient engagement and the shift to data and digital driven business models and products is a concept that is completely alien to the world of medtech and so you can’t point to one demographic, market or even company and say that that is a good place to target if you’re looking to hire these sorts of leaders.

To solve this, you have to look elsewhere. And to find out where, you have to ask which industries have dealt with end-user engagement and business model innovation the best? The one that really springs to mind – Consumer Goods and Retail.

And this is definitely something that the wider Life Sciences industry has looked at with 3 big names hiring Consumer/Retail leaders for Chief Digital Roles:

  • Bertrand Bodson – Novartis – ex-Sainsbury’s/Argos

  • Jim Scholefield – Merck – ex-Nike

  • Karenann Terrell – GSK – ex-Walmart (interestingly also spent some time at Baxter)

These companies are better at ‘Doing Digital’ so why not look to bring in their expertise? There would obviously be some teething problems given the shift to a regulated market and the other intricacies that come with the industry, but it certainly looks like these are easy to overcome and aid with the transition. So, why not think about bringing these guys in?


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