Since launching in October 2018, healthcare investment firm Mend Medical has sharpened its focus on companies that will improve value and disrupt the delivery model in orthopedics. The firm has its eyes set on post-revenue, pre-profit businesses that take on industry-wide issues in healthcare, such as supply chain logistics and inventory management.
“Given that musculoskeletal health is a major area of spend in our healthcare system, evolution must happen,” said Ben Joseph, President and General Manager of Mend Medical. “Many current delivery models are antiquated, inefficient and riddled with unnecessary waste. These factors play a significant role in the extraordinary cost associated with delivering quality care to patients.”
THE NEED FOR CHANGE
Literally hundreds of millions of dollars of inventory and instruments sit unused throughout the U.S. In order for hospitals and ambulatory service centers to thrive, they require better operational efficiency.
At the same time, the expense of maintaining the status quo is becoming more difficult for the medical device industry.
“From a holistic approach of delivering care, products need to evolve to solutions that deliver real, tangible value and help physicians focus on what they do best – taking care of patients,” Joseph said. “Orthopedic service lines are often identified as some of the most troubling and frustrating for those exact reasons.”
FUTURE DELIVERY MODELS
The device companies that can deliver true solutions will create value that benefits everyone.
“We know that healthcare economics are changing as evidenced by continued reimbursement pressure, ever-increasing distribution costs and expanding regulatory burdens all around the world,” Joseph said. “To deliver significant, lasting impact, companies must be able to produce the right products, at the right time, at the right price with efficiency across each part of the value chain. Technology-enabled solutions are going to be a key driver of this change.”
Mend Medical sees a future healthcare environment in which data will be captured in more meaningful ways and true, actionable insights will emerge, including in the key area of inventory management.
“We need to evolve to a healthcare environment where less inventory is sitting on hospital shelves and in distributor warehouses, and where data is guiding a more tailored approach for each individual patient,” Joseph said. “Products can then move with efficiency directly from the manufacturer to the patient care environment, providing physicians and hospitals with increased confidence in quality and efficacy.”
INVESTMENTS IN INNOVATION
As the company has evolved over the past year, Mend Mutual is sharpening its focus to look at earlier stage companies that recognize the urgent need for a new delivery model in orthopedics and are actively working toward reducing the operational expenses and roadblocks that plague the industry. With this more precise vision, they see increased opportunity to make a significant, more immediate impact on evolving healthcare, Joseph said.
Recently they invested in a company called Pristine Surgical, which is developing a cost-effective, single-use digital arthroscopy device. Pristine seeks to change a static industry by bringing a solutions model to the market that delivers improved image quality while dramatically simplifying logistics and service.
They are also continuing to look for majority investment opportunities that align with their commitment to healing healthcare.
Heather Tunstall is an ORTHOWORLD Contributor.