Legislation, Capital and Talent: Forging Industry 5.0
The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred impressive growth in Mexico's medical devices industry, as demand for innovative technologies skyrocketed in response to the public health crisis, says Pablo Fuentes, Partner, Breakthrough IP Intelligence. However, as the industry looks to the future, industry experts are emphasizing the importance of taking a human-centric approach to the development and implementation of these technologies.
The vision for Industry 5.0, they say, involves not only cutting-edge innovation, but also a focus on enhancing the ways in which technology interacts with and benefits people. Despite the industry's potential, achieving this vision will require significant support, including legislative measures, investment capital and a highly skilled workforce, according to industry experts.
“Mexico has great productive capacity, but its medical device exports are mainly maquila products. If Mexican medical device producers truly want to become global innovators of these technologies, they need to invest in process optimization, automation technologies, data security and training,” says Roberto Galan, President, National Chamber of the Transformation Industry (CANACITRA).
As Mexico's medical devices industry looks to the future, it is being swept up in the transition from Industry 4.0 to Industry 5.0. While Industry 4.0 was focused on leveraging advanced technologies to optimize manufacturing processes, Industry 5.0 takes a more holistic approach, prioritizing the well-being of workers, clients and the environment. As reported by Mexico Business News, this means creating a synergy between machines and human talent, with a focus on customizing products, improving quality and safety and reducing waste.
For medical device manufacturers in Mexico, the transition presents both an opportunity and a challenge. On the one hand, embracing the latest technologies and adopting a human-centric approach could strengthen the sector and boost Mexico's competitiveness, says Hector Barillas, COO, IGSA Medical. On the other hand, it will require significant investment and a willingness to adapt to new ways of working. However, the potential benefits, including improved patient outcomes and a more sustainable industry, make the transition to Industry 5.0 a compelling goal for Mexico's medical devices industry.
The shift to Industry 5.0 technologies presents a unique opportunity for Mexico's medical devices industry to increase its global competitiveness. As Industry 5.0 transforms the way medical devices are developed, manufactured and used, it promises to improve manufacturing processes, enable the creation of personalized medical devices, enhance connectivity and optimize supply chain management. However, for Mexico's medical device sector, transitioning to Industry 5.0 is not without challenges.
The industry has long struggled with issues related to regulation and lack of understanding and flexibility from authorities, which can hinder the adoption of new technologies, says Ingrid Ortiz, Lawyer, Olivares. Additionally, while the national priority is to support the industry, there is a need to ensure that clusters with manufacturing capabilities are generating added value to the economy. To move forward, Mexico needs investment capital and a global vision that recognizes the potential of Industry 5.0 to transform the medical devices sector and increase its competitiveness. However, there are also challenges related to incentives for companies to develop new technologies, particularly when public health clients continue to use older technology.
Despite these challenges, there is evidence that the development of new technologies has received a significant boost in Mexico, with greater availability and accessibility of technology leading to increased adoption across industries. Additionally, recent legislation, such as NOM 241, which addresses issues such as software and greater legislative language flexibility, is a step towards making it easier for companies to adopt new technologies. Companies in the northern part of the country that have been early adopters of advanced technologies, including collaborative robots, have been able to maintain productivity and even grow amid the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating the potential of Industry 5.0 to fortify Mexico's global economic competitiveness.
The development of Industry 5.0 and the adoption of advanced technologies in the medical devices sector require a workforce that is trained and skilled in digital and technological fields. As Mexico seeks to become a global competitor in the industry, it is essential to bridge the educational gap and provide opportunities to ensure the workforce is well-equipped to use the latest technologies and increase innovation in the sector, said Ortiz. This will not only benefit the industry but also provide more opportunities for employees to access better-paying digital jobs.
Mexico's medical device industry is poised to undergo a significant transformation as it shifts from Industry 4.0 to Industry 5.0, a revolution that prioritizes the well-being of people. While this transition presents unique challenges, including regulatory issues and a need for greater understanding and flexibility from authorities, it also provides a valuable opportunity for the country to bolster its competitiveness on the global stage. By providing the necessary legislative support, investment capital and skilled talent, Mexico can establish itself as a leading competitor in the development and innovation of medical devices.