“The winners in additive design & manufacturing will NOT be the companies with the best technology.”
Today there are a few additive manufacturers who have the best technology and “know how”. For example, read my interview with Amplify here.
Within a decade, there will be hundreds of capable additive manufactures in orthopedics. Additive technology will become a commodity over the next few years. Then… by 2030, the technology WILL NOT MATTER.
In the next few years, the big winners in additive manufacturing will be the companies that create the best business models.
In a nutshell, the companies that create frictionless processes for healthcare providers will be the ultimate winners. These winners will convert patient-specific images into products with the least amount of time and cost for the healthcare system. They will find ways to streamline systems that integrate all of the processes (surgeon consultation, hospital workflow, logistics, HIPAA, packaging, sterility, billing, sales support, etc.). Today, additive technology companies do not have these business system skills. In order to delight the customer, the winning additive technology companies will likely have to partner with other systems experts.
Can you make a better hamburger in your backyard than McDonalds can? Yes, easily.
Can you make a better business process than McDonalds? No way.
Can you build a pet store with great dog products? Sure.
Can you deliver dog food to my front door just when my dog needs it better than Amazon? No way.
So, Ortho folks… Are you focused on the additive technology or the additive business process?
Extra reading – The List of 3D Printers in Orthopedics (so far) – https://orthostreams.com/3d/