While many medical device companies are seeing operating room doors shut in the face of their sales reps as hospitals strive to minimize contact during the pandemic, in this week’s DeviceTalks Weekly podcast, Spencer Stiles, group president of Stryker’s orthopaedic and spine groups, said surgeons are telling the ortho giant quite the opposite — that its medical device sales reps must be in the room.
The limited access has led to a rise of technologies companies to maintain that essential contact between surgeon and sale reps, who can provide essential insights on implants and procedures.
“Early in the pandemic, we experimented with some customers to do some remote proctoring, some remote case coverage,” Stiles said during the interview in which he discussed Stryker’s acquisition of Wright Medical. “We’ve actually done some total ankle replacements remotely.
“However, I would argue that the sales reps value actually increased in the pandemic in our belief, our customers who have shortage of staff, sometimes it’s newer staff doesn’t know where all the inventory is,” Stiles said. “There’s a demand then that they need our experts who know where products are, who could be there to cover, who could help make sure the right inventory is in the right place that can guide a new staff member through a procedure.”
Stiles said demand for in-person procedures is strong in extremities and large joint.
To hear the rest of these comments and insights on how Stryker is finding ways to place MAKO surgical units in revenue-strained hospitals, click here.