Coronavirus: The Impact on Innovation

Coronavirus: The Impact on Innovation

If you are reading this, you probably have recently received several emails from organizations and consulting clients that reflect the impact COVID is having on (biomedical) innovation and entrepreneurship.

Virtually every aspect of life has been impacted, but the effects on biomedical and clinical innovation and entrepreneurship vary, depending on where you are in the drug, device, diagnostic, digital health, medical technology or value chain.

Examples include:

  1. A freeze on hiring and investing
  2. Closing facilities
  3. Downsizing or shelving R/D projects
  4. Creating and working with virtual teams
  5. Clinical trial interruption
  6. Leadership and employee quarantines
  7. Revising travel, entertainment and meeting policies
  8. Sick leave and health coverage changes
  9. Global supply chain interruption
  10. Skittish investors
  11. Failure to scale telemedicine, remote sensing and virtual care companies in the face of a surge in demand
  12. Rightsizing your workforce while trying to win the war for talent
  13. The shift to online education and training
  14. Macroeconomic headwinds and a possible global recession
  15. A credit and liquidity crunch
  16. Stock market volatility and uncertainty
  17. The health impact of social isolation

Here is the good news.

  1. There is a sense of urgency to fix long standing problems with sick care in the USA
  2. The fixes are likely to have long lasting impact
  3. Shifting sick care to healthcare will accelerate
  4. The best time to create a business is during a recession
  5. The political, regulatory, reimbursement and economic landscape will change
  6. New products, services and business models will rise from the ashes
  7. Patients and doctors will change behaviours they should have done long ago (washing your hands)
  8. We are applying lessons learned from previous medical and economic calamities
  9. Technology helping us create new weapons faster. PCR technology was used to create a test in a matter of weeks.
  10. While pandemics drive people apart, when this one is over, maybe people will start playing nice with each other again
  11. Investors are excited to write checks during the pandemic
  12. Stalled dissemination and implementation of digital health technologies will accelerate

This too shall pass. Once again, a crisis is a horrible thing to waste. Here are some tips on how to innovate during a crisis.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs on Twitter@ArlenMD and Facebook.

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  • Keith Micheals

    Startups can't afford to pay bills

  • Jake Winwood

    It's now or never !!!

  • Rob Barker

    Innovate or simply die.....

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Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA

Former Contributor

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at and and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.

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