site logo

How medtechs are navigating the sales environment after the pandemic

Adeline Kon/MedTech Dive

Note from the editor

Like nearly every industry across the globe, the medtech sector is still recovering from the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on 2020 sales. The impact was far from even, given the diversity of companies in the space — from those that make heart valves to artificial hips and knees to robotics to point of care testing.

When CMS in mid-March 2020 advised hospitals to all but halt non-emergency procedures, those firms especially reliant on elective surgeries like Boston Scientific and Stryker saw steep declines in demand. After some stabilization, the holidays, new virus variants and regional resurgence brought ups and downs throughout last year.

The story was different for testing companies that pivoted to either making or processing COVID-19 diagnostics. Once-struggling Quidel saw its fortunes buoyed by demand for its antigen tests, as did Abbott, Roche, Becton Dickinson and other bigger medtechs that jumped into the COVID-19 testing space.  Quest Diagnostics and Labcorp also saw a deluge in demand.

With the new year, these trends are moving in different directions.

Quidel was among the first to warn the rollout of vaccines and other factors would lead demand to plunge in February and March. Similarly, Abbott saw demand fall for its coronavirus diagnostics in the first quarter on 2021, after riding a wave of COVID-19 testing throughout the year.

For device makers waiting in the wings for elective procedures to return, the situation is improving. Johnson & Johnson, Edwards Lifesciences and Intuitive Surgical in April all reported a rebound in elective care, spurring hope that the brunt of the pandemic is in the rear view mirror.

Executives, though, know they can’t count on certainty when it comes to the coronavirus, given the regional surges and variants that have thrown a wrench into prior forecasts. Companies are still expressing caution and limiting predictions heading into the summer.

Kim Dixon Lead Editor

J&J returns to growth in Q1 as elective care rebounds in US, Asia-Pacific

Intuitive sees Q1 robot rebound in turnabout from start of year

ASCs gave medtechs alternate care sites amid pandemic hospital elective shutdown

After surgeries moved from hospitals to ambulatory surgery centers during the pandemic's upending of elective care, experts and industry believe some procedures may never go back.

All eyes on elective care after a rollercoaster year for medtech

After the shutdown of elective care slammed procedure-dependent medtechs in 2020, industry and Wall Street are waiting to see when exactly surgeries return and what a comeback might look like.

Robotics demand held firm as pandemic pummeled electives

Intuitive Surgical, Stryker and Zimmer Biomet all saw procedure volumes drop in 2020 as electives shut down. However, system demand remained strong despite the financial hit to hospitals.

Quest Q1 revenue jumps 49% even as COVID-19 test demand wanes

Edwards withstands winter lows, grows Q1 sales on electives recovery

Abbott misses Wall Street as COVID-19 test sales softer than expected

How medtechs will navigate the sales environment post-pandemic

Like nearly every industry across the globe, the medtech sector is still recovering from the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on 2020 sales. The impact was far from even, given the diversity of companies in the space — from those that make heart valves to artificial hips and knees to robotics to point of care testing.

included in this trendline
  • J&J returns to growth in Q1 as elective care rebounds in US, Asia-Pacific
  • Intuitive sees Q1 robot rebound in turnabout from start of year
  • Quest Q1 revenue jumps 49% even as COVID-19 test demand wanes
Our Trendlines go deep on the biggest trends. These special reports, produced by our team of award-winning journalists, help business leaders understand how their industries are changing.
Davide Savenije Editor-in-Chief at Industry Dive.