By Assaf Melochna
The medical equipment maintenance and services sector experienced growth over the past year, despite inflation and economic downturn negatively affecting other sectors.
However, the industry isn’t exempt from serious challenges such as the skills and knowledge gap, which continues to drive up costs significantly.
Most industries saw service demand drop for a year or more during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Aquant’s findings from its 2023 Medical Device Benchmark report saw that service organizations that maintain or repair medical devices did not see a slowdown. They, more than any other industry, either maintained pre-pandemic service levels — or saw an increasing demand of service requests for everything from scheduled maintenance to repair. To uncover these findings, Aquant gathered and analyzed anonymized data from leading medical device service companies. The data in the 2023 Medical Device Benchmark report was gleaned from 44 organizations with more than 4.6 million work orders resulting in a total of over $3.4 billion total in service costs.
The current state of medical device service organizations
It’s clear the pandemic put the medical device industry at the forefront. The demand for essential products like diagnostic tests, ventilators, and respiratory assistant devices was at an all-time high so it’s no surprise that business boomed for service organizations responsible for repairing and maintaining medical equipment. On top of that, the medical equipment maintenance market is projected to reach $74.2 billion by 2026 from $45.2 billion in 2021, according to a new market research report. Market growth can largely be attributed to the growing trend and pressures to implement preventative maintenance strategies, as healthcare institutions seek to enhance patient safety and care quality.
The data shows that the medical device service industry had a 2.5% increase in field events and average service costs decreased by nearly 4%, meaning organizations were getting more business and experiencing cost savings. A massive win for the industry, however, many of those successes can be attributed to organizations strategically leveraging technology.
Despite positive growth, the medical device service industry struggled with significant challenges, such as bridging the workforce skills gap and improving key workforce metrics. However, top-performing companies got ahead — and stayed ahead — by investing in critical technology initiatives like AI. An AI-powered platform called service intelligence gained popularity in the industry for its predictive analytics and diagnostic capabilities. Leading companies leveraged service intelligence to enhance knowledge and accuracy among their workforce — and make more strategic, data-backed decisions.