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What is the Affordable Care Act and its Impact on Americans

In the year 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was brought into effect by the president Obama administration,Get more info re-vamping the operations of health care in the US. The ACA or Obamacare, as it is popularly known, hopes to improve health care in the US by providing affordable healthcare industry insurance coverage to all. The ACA has had a far reaching impact on the Americans choice of healthcare industry insurance and has garnered attention from across the world with the launch of the healthcare industry insurance marketplace. The United States is one of the few among the developed nations to offer universal health care through the Affordable Care Act to its citizens.

What is the Affordable Care Act ?

This act puts in place a comprehensive set of reforms that aim to improve and expand the Americans’ access to affordable health coverage. The market for health care in the US provides consumer protection, through the Affordable Care Act, to prevent restrictive and abusive trade practices by healthcare industry insurance companies. The Affordable Care Act aims to achieve the following objectives and goals in the US affordable health care market

  • Improve the quality of health care services and ensure patient safety
  • Ensure coverage protection to insured individuals and extends affordable coverage towards the uninsured
  • Reduce the health care costs and promote high quality, effective, and value added care
  • Encourages the adoption of health information technology in the health care industry

Affordable Care Act and Its Impact on health care in the US

The Affordable Care Act is one of the most controversial legislation pieces from the Obama administration that aims to improve health care in the US. Although there are a few valid criticism points around the Affordable Care Act, it has the following impact on Americans and health care in the US, in general.

  • The Affordable Care Act provides extended coverage for individuals under their parent’s insurance until the age of 26; thereby, ensuring time and resources to young Americans to be financially secure and build a healthy lifestyle
  • It offers more benefits for women under the new coverage options they cannot be refused coverage based on a pre-existing medical condition such as pregnancy or cancer
  • With the aim to provide affordable health care to all American citizens depending on their interest, medical needs, and financial ability, the Affordable Care Act offers four tiers of coverage for healthcare industry insurance plans namely bronze, silver, gold, and platinum
  • The Affordable Care Act guarantees a range of health benefits and services right from emergency services, prescription and drugs, maternity and newborn care, laboratory services, and hospitalization among several others
  • The healthcare industry insurance companies will be held responsible and accountable across their range of service offerings under the Affordable Care Act; thereby, ensuring reliable and helpful service to the insured

To know more about health care market in the US

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Healthcare’s Digital Future – The Third Wave of Digitization

Healthcare organizations are planning future strategies towards adopting full digitization of their enterprise. Digitization across the healthcare industry has helped health service providers to create a robust and critical infrastructure by focusing on the patient’s needs. Healthcare’s digital future looks promising as the patients are more comfortable in using digital services for complex and sensitive issues such as health care and medicine. It is a clear indication for providers and payers to embrace healthcare’s digital future by adopting the third wave of digitization.Get more info

Non-healthcare organizations have successfully adopted digitization in its entirety by offering digital products and processes through contemporary channels and increasing its efficiency and effectiveness by leveraging advanced analytics. Digitization in the healthcare industry has transformed the way the providers and patients function and interact; thereby, making medical care services accessible to everyone by ensuring wide availability.

Digitization in Healthcare – How and What?

Digitization enabled by Health Information Technology (HIT) has revolutionized the individual’s perception of health care, changed the way end-users approach and interact with the subject of health and medical services. Adoption of IT and technology in the healthcare industry has transformed the relationship between a patient and a provider, empowering people to participate in personal and family health management actively. From the perspective of the healthcare service providers, to create value, it is crucial to understand the patient needs and the myths surrounding them, and comprehending the market landscape. Healthcare organizations can leverage market intelligence solutions such as customer analytics and big data analytics to identify patient needs.  Furthermore, healthcare organizations must identify their customer segments and position the services strategically to meet the estimated patient need and demands. The key to successfully adopting digitization in healthcare is to gain actionable insights and thereby, adding new services to retain patient attention and drive value.

Adopting Digitization in Healthcare – Going Slow

Healthcare organizations are slowly adopting digitization as the healthcare executives often cite the sensitive nature of medical care as an excuse for the relatively low consumption of digital healthcare services. While in reality, the patients are willing to avail digital service if it matches their needs and ensures high quality. The other reason cited for the slow rate of adoption is the fact that most health system providers often feel the need to be innovative regarding design and features. However, patients don’t expect innovative features. Instead, they seek efficient processes, improved accessibility, and human interaction. Additionally, when adopting digitization in their systems, healthcare organizations can start small, be responsive, offer assistance with routine medical tasks and provide easy navigation instead of building a comprehensive and complicated platform.

To know more about healthcare’s digital future and related market intelligence solutions
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Top 5 Challenges for Medical Device Manufacturers in Emerging Markets

medical devicesAs we look to the future, medical device manufacturers face a new world that’s full of opportunities. However, uncertainty lies ahead as well. New standards and regulations are emerging, reimbursement rules are becoming more complex, healthcare dynamics are evolving, and companies are facing an increasingly competitive scenario. This challenging environment requires that medical devices companies reduce costs, streamline their operations, and innovate more quickly. Additionally, medical device manufacturers are set to witness growth opportunities in emerging markets with the increasing importance of medical devices and surgical equipment in modern healthcare.

Medical devices industry overview

Globally, the medical device manufacturers are shifting from a transaction-based approach to an approach that involves focusing on creating value for providers, practitioners, payers, and patients by providing surgical instruments and medical tools that are highly cost-efficient, innovative, and speak volumes about the product quality. The medical device manufacturing industry is expected to grow by leaps and bounds owing to the rising aging population, increasing health concerns, and sky-rocketing health care costs. As a result, medical device manufacturers are undertaking new product development projects at breakneck speed, especially in the emerging markets such as China and India. However, a key point to remember here is that the medical equipment manufacturing companies would require a proper execution strategy to address the needs and concerns of the key stakeholders in the market.

In the emerging markets, medical devices and surgical equipment are often looked at as cost drivers for limited budget hospitals, although they offer long-term cost-saving opportunities, create effective healthcare practices and offer improved patient outcomes. Despite the trends and developments, medical device companies must take the necessary steps to overcome the challenges pertaining to product quality, regulatory compliance, and data security among several others. Let’s look at the top 5 challenges faced by medical device manufacturers in the emerging markets: 

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#1 Ensuring Product Quality

Medical device manufacturers must warrant top-notch product quality to avoid product recalls. For a medical equipment manufacturer, product recall negatively impacts its brand reputation and the company’s bottom line. Thus, ensuring adequate product safety, security and reliability are extremely crucial to survive the competition in the emerging markets.

#2 Regulatory Compliance and Government Support

Medical device manufacturers must ensure adherence to product safety standards and regulatory compliance. Medical devices include every equipment right from thermometers to magnetic resonance imaging machines. Medical equipment manufacturing companies must pay attention to compliance and regulatory standards that differ from country to country. Besides this, garnering government support in the form of subsidized research and development, expediting approvals, tax and financial support, and offering favorable tax reimbursements are some of the major challenges for medical device manufacturers.

 

#3 Localization of Medical Devices 

In the emerging markets, local medical device manufacturers are more successful as compared to their multinational counterparts. This is possible because the local players offer tailor-made products aimed at resolving local needs and constraints. The local medical equipment manufacturers often indulge in market research and leverage the benefits of local operations and a domestic sales force to bridge the gaps in the market.

#4 I-o-T Integration and Data Security

Internet-of-Things (IoT) enabled medical devices and surgical instruments that are high on innovation pose as a technical challenge for medical devices companies. The growing concern of medical equipment manufacturing companies is to collect, secure, and manage vast amounts of sensitive data that is stored in a cloud-based infrastructure to prevent data theft and breaches.

#5 Cost of Product Development

The major challenge for medical device manufacturers is to overcome the burgeoning cost of product development as a result of the challenges mentioned above. Besides technology and government regulations, medical service providers evaluate new products based on their price as against factors like patient experience.


To know more about the healthcare industry and the challenges faced by medical device manufacturers:

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Top 3 Technology Trends in the Healthcare Industry

The healthcare technology trends and growing government intervention has uplifted the medical care system, globally. The technologicalGet more info trends in the healthcare industry coupled with clinical professionals are driving an effective and efficient primary health care system for both patients and payers. By integrating health and information technology (HIT) to provide digital innovations, such as mobile access (mHealth), cloud based health records, and additive manufacturing and telemedicine, the availability of new diagnostic and treatment options in the healthcare industry has increased. Health information technology is the need of the hour and helps fulfill the growing demands of the healthcare industry.

The technology trends in the healthcare industry ensure that the patients receive the right care by the right person at the right cost and at the right place and time. Let’s have a look at the top 3 technology trends in the healthcare industry that has accelerated its growth.

#1 Wearable Tracking Devices

Wearable tracking devices help in monitoring the physical activity of an individual, sleeping patterns, calorie consumption, and much more. The wearable technology and tracking devices have the ability to improve operations in the healthcare industry and drive patient engagement. These wearable trackers serve multiple purposes, are highly convenient, and have a wide consumer appeal. Fitness trackers with heart rate monitors reduce the need for in-person visits and allow physicians to check on the patient’s progress remotely.

#2 Cloud Based Electronic Health Records (EHR)

Health information technology provides remote access and convenience to consumer’s health information. The healthcare industry is witnessing a large scale adoption of cloud based electronic health records as it is more agile, adaptable, and has higher flexibility options for the consumers and providers of healthcare services. These cloud-based health records solutions offer the option of wrapping ancillary business information, thereby enabling the healthcare professionals to focus on practicing medicine and improving the patient’s quality of life.

#3 Mobile Access and Telehealth

Mobile access and telehealth services have opened new avenues to address the issues of the healthcare industry by capitalizing on the network connectivity, thereby making medical services accessible in remote areas. In simple terms, telehealth is the adoption of technology or telecommunications to offer health services. In the healthcare sector, this technology can be used for diagnosing patients through a virtual network and providing general health education.

Technology has found wide application in the global healthcare industry, especially in the US. Healthcare professionals are meticulously working to meet the growing demands in terms of healthcare services, packaging, and changing the payment systems in the medical services market to create a positive and significant impact in the global market.

To know more about market intelligence solutions for the healthcare industry

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Procurement Intelligence in the Chemicals Industry

The chemicals industry often encounters trouble in procuring the right raw materials of the right quality at the right price. In case of specialty chemicals, the purchasing expenditure can go as high as 60 percent of what is gained as sales revenue. Pricing is a highly volatile aspect in the global chemicals industry, which makes it more important for stakeholders to adopt the right procurement intelligence solutions.

Procurement challenges for chemicals

There are both demand and supply side bottlenecks in the chemicals industry. Even though the market for chemicals raw materials has been developing since the year 2000, the transportation expenses backed with delay in lead times has emerged as a major impediment in this industry. Similarly, being a highly niche industry the demand side often faces challenges in the form of complex product requests and inflexible production systems.

The right procurement strategy is sure to bring a huge difference in the purchasing plan of the company. For instance, companies can bring down the overall spending by up to 10 percent and boost their earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) by around five percentage points annually.

Procurement intelligence to the rescue

Though many chemicals companies have hired procurement managers to build an agile purchasing strategy, procurement intelligence is sure to improve their overall sales plan. By segmenting the entire purchasing process based on value and strategic importance, players in the chemicals industry can capture a major share of the market and beat the competition. Also by employing purchasing optimization tools, procurement intelligence helps players in the chemicals industry to overcome traditional roadblocks in the industry.

Procurement intelligence also improves the savings in the indirect categories like IT and communications, facilities management, and office supplies, by as much as 25 percent through right distribution of resources. It even helps in containing the volatility in the market, especially in the chemicals market. By imbibing best procurement practices, procurement intelligence enables companies to overcome both demand and supply side challenges and emerge as major players in the global chemicals industry.

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Used Cars Market – An Important Segment of the Automotive Industry

An action-packed industry, the automotive sector is always on a look out for ways in which it can innovate and reach out to its customers. And the market for used cars is perhaps one of its most sought-after segments. Even though there are several challenges in the used cars market, a thorough understanding of the industry will go a long way in better procurement processes.

Useful details on used car market

Contrary to popular belief, the demand for used cars is rather huge. The reason for such a growing demand is rather simple. Cars are no longer seen just as a means of transport; rather they are now a status symbol. This explains how frequently the cars are being brought and sold. Five years back, the ownership cycle of a car was around 7 years. Today the ownership cycle has come down to 4 years, and market analysts believe that by 2021 the period might come down to 3 years. Decreasing ownership cycle also means that quality of used cars is rather good, and buying it is a total value for money.

The overall quality of the cars which are being produced, has also improved drastically. Customers find the used cars to be far more reliable, making it easier for them to invest on it. The third and perhaps the most vital factor behind the growing market for used cars is the emergence of an organized group of players who see a lot of potential in this area of the automotive industry. Major names like eBay Motors, TrueCar, and Alibaba Group have made it easier for customers to buy used cars and thereby contributed to the overall growth of this market.

Lastly, today, there is a growing acceptance for used cars that is driving this industry.

Important place for used cars in the automotive industry

Despite being dominated by small dealers, the used cars vertical has emerged as a very strong segment in the global automotive industry. Though the United States is the leading the market of pre-owned cars, the demand for used cars is gradually catching up in Europe and APAC regions as well.

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Why Actionable Insights are a Prerequisite in the Modern Agrochemicals Market?

Agriculture in contemporary times is a tough job indeed. As part of a multi-billion dollar industry, the chains of demand and supply must be strategically managed to turn in a profit. All the while, being keenly aware of the variables – unpredictable weather, availability of water, human resources and importantly, the quality of the final outcome. A good harvest is the culmination of an intricate and painstaking dance. And, a good harvest boils down to how well the standing crop has been insulated against pests, bugs, weeds and other such ailments.

The changing face of the global agrochemicals market

Until recently, a string of toxic chemicals was an effective counter against such nuisance as pests, insects, weed and fungal maladies. Insecticides, herbicides, pesticides and fungicides are easily available, cost effective and highly effective. However, their wide and indiscriminate usage has put forth some pressing concerns.

  1. Large scale damage to the local flora and fauna, prompting the governments to clamp up with a series of regulatory and limiting protocols.
  2. Long term usage of chemical deterrents has rendered them ineffective against a more resistant progeny of pests and insects. Naturally, agriculturists have gradually abandoned the usage of such agrochemicals.
  3. A popular wave of health consciousness that has consumers looking for healthier food options. In the wake of this, organic farming and the concept of ‘farm to fork’ have gained rapid popularity.
  4. The counterfeit market for the aforementioned agrochemicals is working overtime as there isn’t an authoritative monitoring of these criminal activities. This severely impacts profitability from the farm.

While the problems are clearly defined, an effective strategy to challenge these concerns could be highly individualized and demand an expert understanding of the local market, the competition and the local climatic and ground conditions. Information is the key here, alongside the need for a quick realignment of core business strategies in line with the emerging market conditions.

Agrochemicals manufacturing: Horses for courses? 

In light of the various acute challenges listed above, agrochemicals manufacturers must adapt or watch the competition overtake them. The solutions are mostly of a pacifist nature- bowing down to the massive demand and finding solutions that are in line with the popular expectations.

  1. Introducing bio-agrochemicals that are derived from plants, bacteria, fungi, and certain minerals and aren’t prodigiously toxic to the local flora and fauna.
  2. Educate and implement the tenets of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) wherein the agrochemical manufacturer and the agriculturist work together to enforce a comprehensive pest repellent system.
  3. Invest in R&D to find newer and safer chemical options that might see an immediate demand right out of the gate. Companies could also merge to offer the agriculture market a wider choice and variety of products.

Predicting future moves today, with spot-on market insights

With a competent understanding of current trends in the agrochemicals market and what that might entail in the near future, Infiniti Research can help your business understand the advantages of innovation and quick action. With actionable insights, your agrochemicals business will be primed for the future, and beyond.

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Unbreakable: Examination of the Pain Points in the Global Flexible Glass Industry

The worldwide market for flexible glass is still in its nascent stage. Challenges galore, and the inscribed technology demands a heavy impetus of research and development. Mostly, whilst trying to keep up with the fast-evolving platforms wherein flexible glass finds an application.

As a vendor, have you taken a step back recently and skimmed the market before you,

  1. Think glass, the first image that conjures up is that of smartphone displays. Each new year brings forth a number of contenders who are perfecting the quality of the display glass. The competition is intense here with Corning’s signature Gorilla glass 5 ruling the roost currently.
  2. Emergence of new technologies such as that concerning plastic substrates and metal substrates, for example Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), may emerge as cost-effective and popular replacement for flexible glass. This could morph into a case of the total abandonment of a technology in favor of a more durable and cheaper alternative.
  3. Consumer electronics, the medium that makes copious use of flexible glass, is getting smaller, faster and more integrated. Can the global flexible glass industry keep pace with the blistering speed set by the consumer electronics industry?

The aforementioned concerns need an immediate resolution from the industry’s perspective. How can flexible glass fight back? Are there other avenues, still unearthed, wherein glass of this specialty may find a specialist usage?

Smartphones equal limitless opportunities

The single biggest market for flexible glass is the smartphone industry. The demand for smartphones is on the rise and the same hasn’t slacked even when markets have been hit by recessions and economic uncertainties. Currently, smartphone manufacturers are concerned with the cutting-edge AMOLED technology and talks are rife about foldable smartphones available for retail as soon as 2018. Innovation, combined with an expert understanding of the competitive landscape will ensure that the vendor stays relevant and carves out a solid and reliable slice of the market.

Shifting gears: Low cost solutions reflect maximum potential

Until recently, flexible glass was the holy grail of the glass manufacturing industry, thanks to its sensitivity and mass producing the same was an enormous challenge. Currently, the reliable roll-to-roll process is utilized to manufacture the same, while additive and substrate process is employed to fabricate flexible glass in a continuous fashion. The latter is cited for its cost effectiveness and propensity for a higher output, thereby feeding the colossal demand for flexible glass. Low cost manufacturing aided by increased durability looks like the ideal equation to beat the competition.

One thing that is certain though is that the market is shifting gears constantly and the prudent move in such a fast-paced environment is to- a) Access loads of current and predictive industry information that will help the resourceful vendor predict the shifts and turns of the market and roll accordingly, and b) Realign, quickly, the company’s business objectives in line with the changing ground conditions.

Infiniti Research is an experienced campaigner when it comes to helping companies be competitive in a rapidly morphing market. Actionable insights ensure that your setup is properly acclimatized with the available competition and your business leaders are executing timely, informed and profitable decisions.

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Digital Marketing: The Latest Disruptor in the Chemicals Industry

The chemicals sector is one of the strongest performers in the global value chain. Yet, industry experts are quite cautious when it comes to predicting the future of this industry. Several surveys reveal that the names which figured as the ‘big players’ in chemicals industry a decade back no longer exist in the list. Following the traditional ways of reaching out to the client base is one major reason behind this development. Therefore, it becomes more important for chemicals companies to make drastic changes in their sales and marketing strategies, to remain relevant in the competition.

How can going digital improve the chemicals industry?

Going digital is not about just setting up an IT team and getting a couple of infrastructure requirements in place. Rather, digital transformation is a process which involves the adoption of mindsets, skills, and tools, which are driven by technology and touch every aspect of the business. By going digital, be it in terms of marketing or sales, chemicals companies gain:

  1. Better market access
  2. Improved growth prospects
  3. Ability to execute data-driven decisions
  4. Ability to offer better customer service

Though traditional marketing and sales strategy do help in capturing new markets, digital marketing has opened avenues of growth in markets which were inaccessible till date. By overcoming the geographical barriers, digital marketing enables manufacturers to connect with new prospects and turn them into long-term clients.

Along with providing market access, digitization also boosts the chances of organic growth throughout the chemical’s value chain. Right from raw materials to end-consumers, digitization makes cross-functional integration of the R&D, marketing, and the sales team quite easy. And, as most of the decisions can now be data driven rather than based on the rule of the thumb method, what the businesses achieve is a clear-cut vision and direction.

Infiniti examines the effect of digital disruption on the chemicals industry

Well, to begin with, it’s not that the entire chemicals industry will be revamped once companies go digital. Right from huge amounts of investment, and navigating barriers like government regulations, digital transformation will certainly not be a cake walk for manufacturers in this sector. At the same time, as governments are coming up with new policies, digitizing the commercial operations and backing them up with advanced analytics and machine learning tools, conversion to a digital platform is sure to enhance the overall performance of the global chemicals industry.

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Emerging Markets – The Next Pharma Challenge

There was a time when the EU5 nations (Spain, UK, Italy, France, and Germany) were regarded as the hot spots by pharma majors. But as the developing countries increased investments in the healthcare sector, pharma manufacturers see immense potential in these markets as well. The interest in the emerging markets was further grown by the fact that governments here have increased the investments in healthcare infrastructure and insurance. The BRIC nations along with Mexico and Turkey are the major markets which most pharma companies are focusing on.

Developing Economies – What makes them the hotbeds for pharma players?

The fact that over the past few years the developed countries have experienced a consistent decrease in the funding for healthcare, forced many manufacturers in the pharma industry to expand their market base. Developing economies already have a huge set of health-related maladies which are either underdiagnosed or undertreated. This situation gives a lot of scope for growth and expansion to the big names in the pharma industry.

Also with growth in purchasing power, the shift of population to the urban areas, and high prevalence of lifestyle-related diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer, the developing economies provide huge opportunities to global pharma companies. All these factors have worked together to convert the developing economies into the hotbed for pharma players.

From land of opportunities to a pharma challenge

As the hype surrounding the developing nations being the next ‘BIG’ thing in the pharma industry has subsided, industry experts realize that the developing nations have their own set of inherent challenges. Unlike the developed countries, where pricing and meeting the local demands were the major game changers – the emerging markets pose challenges at multiple levels.

Apart from market access and addressing the local diseases, pharma companies must also comply with the regional regulations, focus on pricing and reimbursements, and most importantly battle out the infrastructure issues. The situation becomes even more challenging for Western pharma companies as they lack the local client base and understanding of the drugs which suit the local demographic’s profile. The absence of local data is another significant barrier that the pharma industry is yet to overcome.

Infiniti’s take on turning challenge into opportunity

To make an impact in the emerging markets, it is crucial that local authorities, pharma companies, and other stakeholders in the industry be considered. Research has already shown that different population groups respond differently to the same drug. Therefore, good amount of research is required before launching a drug in these markets.

However, challenging the situation seems, local expertise backed with a global perspective is sure to give an edge to the players in the emerging markets.

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