Most Popular Healthcare Supply Chain Trends for Next 05 Years

Kutubkhan Bohari | August 29, 2022 | 267 views | Read Time : 09:00 min

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Introduction

With the ever-evolving and changing nature of the healthcare industry, organizations are discovering new methods to eliminate waste, reduce costs, and prioritize patient concerns.

Despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the vulnerabilities of healthcare supply chains and caused shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other essential medical supplies, it has served as a catalyst for innovation and digital transformation in healthcare supply chain management solutions. 

Healthcare and medical organizations have learned the hard way to let go of the traditional ways of thinking, such as a mindset that prioritizes just-in-time supply chains and logistics optimization over everything else.

Tight, fragile supply networks and lousy inventory management have caused severe shortages of pharmaceutical and medical supplies in the past. However, with the emergence of innovative technologies and trends, now is the time to adopt a new mindset that emphasizes supply chain resilience, flexibility, and agility, making supply chains stronger and adaptable. This will enable healthcare spaces to handle unexpected spikes in demand and survive unpredictable disruptions brought on by pandemics, natural disasters, or cyberattacks in the future. 

 

Top Upcoming Healthcare Supply Chain Trends to Know About in 2022

In recent years, healthcare providers have been concentrating on supply chain management solutions not only to increase the effectiveness of supply chain networks but also to gain more visibility into the entire supply chain.

With the goal of streamlining the ordering process, enhancing demand planning & inventory management, and informing purchasing contract decisions, healthcare providers have started to understand the potential of advanced healthcare supply chain solutions. Since then, these organizations have recognized the value of an efficient and dependable supply chain as a critical competitive differentiator.

A substantial rise in medical and healthcare spending is being witnessed across the globe due to the rapidly increasing number of various diseases and conditions, such as chronic ailments, infectious diseases, and genetic disorders. According to a study, the national health expenditure in the U.S. reached US$ 4.1 trillion in 2020, including the spending of US$ 829 billion on Medicare and US$ 671 billion on medical aid. 

Hence, healthcare organizations, manufacturers of medical devices, and other entities participating in the medical supply chain are investing in innovative supply chain and logistic solutions to provide optimal and timely treatments to patients. 

Innovation is not only crucial for lowering operating expenses and simplifying business processes, but it is also necessary for providing superior care to patients and enhancing clinical outcomes. Let's see some of the top healthcare supply chain trends that are revolutionizing the healthcare sector. 

 

Immediate Access to Medical Supplies 

Medical equipment and component shortages are not new challenges for the healthcare industry. Hospitals and other medical establishments have faced continual disruptions in the supply chain over the last decade, starting from personal protective equipment and medical device shortages to improper management of medical inventory. This was especially witnessed in the past two years, during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Healthcare producers previously adopted a strategy to either pay higher premiums for medical equipment or stockpile them on their balance sheets. However, the issue with this strategy was that during the acute and unprecedented shortage, fewer devices and parts were left to acquire and keep in inventory, which has compelled hospitals to adopt a more cautious supply chain strategy. 

Medical establishments need a more diverse pool of suppliers and cannot only rely on just-in-time inventory ordering. Hence, a swift rise in inclination toward adopting sophisticated supply chain solutions is being witnessed across the industry to monitor certain suppliers' run rates. This enables modern healthcare organizations to create more resilient and robust hospital supply chains and provide immediate access to medical inventory.

 

Emphasis on Visibility and Tracking 

One of the most prevalent healthcare supply chain trends witnessed across the industry is the growing focus on visibility and tracking. Obtaining medical supplies, equipment, drugs and others safely, timely, and accurately from the factory floor to patients is the responsibility of the healthcare supply chain. As the industry shifts to value-based care models, the healthcare supply chain is experiencing enormous pressure to increase visibility, decline costs, and improve outcomes.

With the advent of online shopping and the introduction of novel medical e-commerce platforms, manufacturers and suppliers of healthcare products are focusing on real-time tracking during transit and logistics operations. As a result, they are increasingly adopting advanced healthcare supply chain management software to enhance visibility, stream operations, and decrease delivery time.

 

Investment in Technologies

The efficient management of the healthcare supply chain is paramount for proper patient care and inventory control. The implementation of digital healthcare technology is an essential step toward the achievement of a higher level of efficiency in supply chain management.

Digital healthcare logistics and supply chain solutions have the potential to generate long-term value for healthcare providers, which is one of the main aspects driving the transformation away from the conventional healthcare supply chain. It is improving patients' access to care while making it more efficient, cost-effective, and secure. In addition to this, the integration of advanced technologies is assisting hospitals and healthcare providers in reducing operational costs and identifying appropriate growth opportunities. The following are the technologies healthcare organizations are investing in to strengthen their supply chain management

  • Artificial Intelligence

The healthcare supply chain trend that is paving the way in the industry is artificial intelligence (AI). It is the future of the healthcare supply chain. The integration of the technology assists in improving logistics efficiencies via quicker data processing, continuous process improvement, and accurate demand-supply forecasting. 

By connecting historical data with external patterns that affect production, AI presents a chance to greatly increase the speed and precision of healthcare logistics and supply chain activities. In addition, it enables medical equipment manufacturers and suppliers to constantly record crucial operational data and preserve institutional expertise for future use.

  • Cloud Computing

Cloud computing technologies have played a significant role in transforming the healthcare supply chain management that is used today. It reduces expenses, shortens logistics operations, and increases data security by centralizing data and providing access to that data to numerous associated entities. 

With technological advancements, cloud computing is anticipated to gain huge popularity in creating a resilient supply chain with a well-knitted network of healthcare providers, manufacturers, and suppliers. And also provides next-generation features, such as transport route optimization and automatic inventory management.

  • Data Analytics

Data analytics provides a broader range of in-depth information that can be used to make operational processes more effective, inventory management more strategic, and decisions more accurate. It also assists in transforming the healthcare supply chain by providing access to cutting-edge methods like data mining, predictive forecasting, and predictive analytics to foresee future events with precision, assisting healthcare providers in forecasting further demand and supply interruptions. 

In addition to the increasing need for declining costs and transit time, drug manufacturers and healthcare aid suppliers are investing in advanced data analytics to assist them in visualizing the whole supply chain, including its pain points, inefficiencies, and strengths.

 

Healthcare Supply Chain Management Solutions: Features & Significance 

The healthcare industry as a whole is thriving, and this growth is reflected in the more sophisticated and digital nature of healthcare supply chain management software. The solution helps medical facilities see the big picture by coordinating and integrating procedures that manage and control the flow of money, data, and items as a product or service, all the way from the point of production to healthcare spaces, allowing for more efficient care.

The primary goals of these supply chain solutions, such as healthcare logistics software, are to improve visibility and efficiency throughout the distribution network. In recent years, these goals have expanded to include the strategic objective of improving supply chain agility and resilience— to cope with times of uncertainty, shortages, and volatility in demand and supply conditions.

Getting supply chain management right in healthcare means that participating players will be able to effectively identify and resolve bottlenecks, possible interruptions, and other issues that arise anywhere along the end-to-end supply chain. As one of the features, these supply chain solutions have the potential to improve patient care and safety while reducing waste and wasteful expenses. Let's see a few more features of healthcare supply chain management software

  • Procurement Management 
  • Logistics Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Order Management
  • Warehouse Management
  • Supplier Relationship Management
     

Why Is Supply Chain Management Software Gaining Prominence in Healthcare?

Due to increasing instances of medication and healthcare aid shortages, a strong need for modernizing the healthcare supply chain is being experienced by numerous hospitals, drug manufacturers, and suppliers. In addition, the growing use of medical e-commerce is further increasing the complexities in the inventory and logistics operations, making it difficult for the players mentioned above to provide timely delivery, reduce wastage, and ultimately save patients. 

To counter these challenges, medical establishments are emphasizing adopting more advanced and resilient supply chain management solutions, which assist them in streamlining and automating routine manual processes such as logistics operations, planning, forecasting, and others. The following are more reasons to encourage healthcare establishments to adopt resilient supply chain management software

  • Logistics and Shipping Optimization
  • Reduce Cost Effects
  • Enhance Quality Control
  • Increase Flexibility
  • Better Collaboration with Suppliers
  • Reduce Inventory and Overhead Costs
  • Increase Output
  • Enhance Transparency 
  • Decrease Delivery Time
     

Closing Thoughts 

In today’s constantly evolving healthcare sector, medication manufacturers and hospitals are looking to adopt innovative solutions, such as healthcare logistics software, to eliminate waste, reduce costs, and improve patient care.

The growing integration of AI, predictive analysis, blockchain, and other technologies is playing a major role in modernizing the healthcare supply chain and streamlining operations by automating and improving decision-making abilities. As the healthcare supply chain trends discussed above keep on creating new roads in the industry, supply chain management solutions, such as healthcare logistics software, are anticipated to become a necessity in the future. 

Thus, ahead-of-the-curve healthcare providers are seizing this instance as an opportunity to invest in cutting-edge technologies and shift towards using digital solutions to make their supply chains more robust and improve the flexibility of their logistics operations.


FAQ

What is Healthcare Supply Chain Management Software?

Ans: A healthcare supply chain management software assists medication manufacturers and hospitals in sourcing, tracking, quality control, and logistics by automating operations, enabling them to manage costs, time, and inventory by planning and forecasting trends.
 

What Are the Types of Supply Chain Management Software Used in Healthcare?

Ans: The most common types of supply chain management software used across the healthcare sector are

  • Logistics 
  • Sourcing and Procurement 
  • Inventory Management 
  • Warehouse 
  • Order Processing
  • Shipping
     

What Are the Key Performance Indicators of Supply Chain Management Software in the Healthcare Industry?

Ans: Key performance indicators of supply chain management software in healthcare are

  • Reduction in Cost
  • Enhancement in Customer Service
  • Time to Customer
  • Forecasting Accuracy
  • Flow of Logistics Process

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We are humbled by the opportunity to partner with BlackRock LTPC, and excited to work with Colm Lanigan and his team as we continue to advance Paradigm as the global leader in oral surgery.” Elliot Cooperstone, Managing Partner of InTandem Capital Partners, Paradigm’s financial sponsor since 2019, commented, “InTandem Capital invests in healthcare companies that are local leaders with the ambition and potential to become a national powerhouse. Dr. David Rallis and the leadership team at Paradigm embraced our playbook for accelerated growth with amazing skill and dedication. Our deep trust in each other has allowed our partnership to flourish. My colleagues and I wish David and the Paradigm team the very best as they build on their well-deserved position as the country’s leading oral health company.” Paradigm is BlackRock LTPC’s sixth investment to date and its fourth investment in North America. Houlihan Lokey acted as financial advisor and Goodwin Procter acted as legal advisor to Paradigm. Simpson Thacher acted as legal advisor to Blackrock LTPC. About Paradigm Oral Health Paradigm Oral Health is the preeminent provider of oral surgery. Paradigm’s uniqueness comes from their ability to hire the most elite oral surgeons in the country and train them on their proprietary platform of excellence. Paradigm Oral Health continues to revolutionize and reinvent implant surgery through their ongoing technology and digital work-flow advancements. With a passion for excellence, Paradigm embraces every opportunity to meet the needs of their patients and referring dentists. About BlackRock LTPC BlackRock LTPC is an innovative private equity strategy focused on investing in high-quality businesses and value creation through active collaboration with management teams. The strategy's flexible duration and prudent approach to leverage preserve optionality for growth and help enable compounded capital appreciation. LTPC's team of 23 professionals are based in New York and London and invest across North America and Western Europe. LTPC is backed by BlackRock, Inc., which manages $320 billion in alternative investments and commitments on behalf of clients worldwide as of June 30, 2022. About InTandem Capital Partners InTandem Capital Partners is a private equity firm that invests in and helps accelerate the growth of select healthcare services companies. Its goal is to build excellent businesses of significant value working collaboratively with its management team partners. InTandem is comprised of former business executives and experienced investors, and is uniquely qualified to provide strategic, acquisition and operating expertise to help companies significantly increase their value over time. InTandem provides active support to the management of its portfolio companies directly and leverages its network of industry executives to augment its capabilities.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

nference Launches AI-Driven Platform and Expands Partnership with Mayo Clinic, Offering Access to One of the Deepest Real-World

nference | September 22, 2022

nference, a science-first software company transforming healthcare by making biomedical data computable announced the launch of its AI-driven nSights platform, which will allow biopharma, medical device companies, and diagnostic firms to access and directly engage with curated, de-identified healthcare data to advance research and discovery. The company also expanded its exclusive 12-year strategic relationship with Mayo Clinic, providing nference partners and customers with access to Mayo Clinic Platform’s extensive de-identified electronic health data across a range of disease and therapeutic areas. This expanded collaboration will increase access to data-derived insights and knowledge by establishing a Mayo Clinic-branded version of nSights, called Mayo Clinic Platform_Discover, built and supported by nference to help its partners solve some of the most complex clinical challenges. nSights is a software platform that makes real-world data available across multiple data modalities (clinical, molecular, and imaging). The platform enables data exploration, hypothesis generation, analytics, and data science capabilities, including algorithm development, for users of all backgrounds. nSights provides a longitudinal, 360-degree view of each patient by leveraging an ensemble of biomedical information, such as electronic health records, electrocardiograms, radiology images and more. Future iterations will also include digital pathology and genomics. The platform is supported by a flexible data dictionary, allowing for the generation of new patient-level features for analysis. “The potential of electronic health data remains locked at medical centers and is frequently under-leveraged due to data complexity, privacy, and security concerns. Our expanded collaboration with Mayo Clinic Platform provides the framework for nference’s deployment of nSights and enables our customers to access de-identified ‘patient-level’ data to drive research and development of new therapeutics. I look forward to continuing to build and fortify our partnership with the Mayo Clinic team as we work together to improve healthcare through data-derived insights and knowledge.” Mike Koenig, chief commercial officer at nference As a result of the company’s partnerships with major academic medical centers like Mayo Clinic, nSights provides access to the deepest curated patient-level dataset available across all therapeutic areas, including cardiology, oncology, metabolic diseases, immunology, and infectious diseases. The platform offers insights from both structured and unstructured records, representing more than 20 years of longitudinality, including data from over 520 million clinical notes, 1.3 billion lab test results, 10.2 billion flowsheets, and more. “Over the past year, our collaboration with nference, leveraging nSights, has accelerated clinical decision support and care in significant ways," said Maneesh Goyal, chief operating officer, Mayo Clinic Platform. "Data-derived insights and knowledge help us accelerate and enhance innovation and meet the unmet needs of patients everywhere.” About nference Through its powerful technology platform and software, nference is transforming health care by making biomedical knowledge computable. Its partnership with Mayo Clinic has given nference an opportunity to synthesize decades of institutional knowledge, producing real-world evidence in real-time by converting large amounts of de-identified data into deep insights to advance discovery and development of diagnostics and therapeutics. Its proprietary AI-enabled software platform, nSights, has been used to accelerate life sciences research, development, and clinical care in significant ways, including biomarker discovery and validation, real-world evidence generation leveraging real-world data, early disease detection, public health policy generation and validation, and more. nference is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Verizon Business and Visionable expand connected healthcare partnership

Visionable and Verizon | September 22, 2022

Verizon Business and Visionable, a leading health technology company based in the U.K., announced that they are expanding their partnership which will enable both companies to work on a range of connected healthcare solutions, via Visionable’s patented technology powered by Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband and 5G Edge network, in the U.S. Verizon and Visionable are working together on a secure next-generation digital healthcare collaboration platform that enables healthcare professionals to access data, collaborate and share resources within the APAC and EMEA regions. The partnership seeks to address some of healthcare’s biggest challenges including connecting frontline responders to specialist doctors during emergencies and enabling access to community-led care for patients needing long-term support. “The healthcare industry generates a massive amount of data, but its ability to make good use of that data has long been hampered by network architectures that cannot handle it efficiently, securely, or cost-effectively. Through the combination of 5G and Edge computing, healthcare facilities and professionals will have access to secure near-real-time connectivity creating a new link between doctor and patient. As a result, illnesses could someday be diagnosed and treated more quickly, and medical costs could potentially decrease,” Scott Lawrence, Senior Vice President for Verizon Global Solutions Today’s announcement follows the launch of Visionable’s private-5G enabled Connected Healthcare Center in the U.K. in May. The center showcases the benefits of next-generation connectivity and collaboration across a patient’s care journey from urgent and emergency care to virtual wards to in-person care and rehabilitation, supported by Verizon private 5G. “Our partnership provides real-time connectivity and productivity, when and where it counts and costs. Together with Verizon, we endeavor to support our healthcare teams by enabling them to bring healthcare to the patient wherever they are,“ said Alan Lowe, CEO and Co-Founder of Visionable. This engagement is part of Verizon’s continued strategy to partner with customers, startups, universities, and large enterprises to explore how 5G can disrupt and transform nearly every industry. This includes Verizon’s strategic partnership with Emory Healthcare in Atlanta where Verizon is collaborating with Emory Healthcare to help spur the development of healthcare solutions powered by 5G Ultra Wideband. Today’s announcement builds on the company’s network-as-a-service foundation and supports its growing private networks, mobile edge compute and business solutions. About Visionable Visionable is a UK company that is helping make connected healthcare a reality in the UK and around the world. Driven by the belief that affordable, high-quality, timely healthcare is a basic human right that should be accessible to all, Visionable’s patented, real-time & multi-streaming technology enables critical remote decision-making by clinicians wherever they are located have created their own proprietary clinical collaboration platform. This enables the hospital to come to the patient and for healthcare teams to collaborate freely across multiple locations. Visionable is trusted by 25% of the top 100 UK hospitals, 100 more than 90 NHS organisations, 46 and 34 NHS Trusts., over 16,000 NHS staff. Visionable’ s specialist advisory board includes Lord Victor Adebowale, previous NHS board member, Mike Farrar, ex-NHS Chief Executive and leader of the North West England Strategic Authority and Dr Junaid Bajwa, practising physician and MSD’s Digital Accelerator’s Global Lead for Strategic Alliances. About Verizon Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was formed on June 30, 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $133.6 billion in 2021. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.

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