New Opportunities, Changing Market Dynamics for Welch Allyn
“We’re very encouraged by the opportunity to continue to partner with academic institutions to help us with workforce development.”
Senior Vice President and General Manager, New Healthcare Delivery Solutions
Headquarters: Skaneateles Falls, NY
Description: Since 1915, Welch Allyn has brought a unique perspective to developing diagnostic solutions by combining pragmatic knowledge with a visionary spirit of innovation and ongoing improvement. As a leading global manufacturer of physical examination instruments and accessories, as well as EMR-connected vital signs and cardiac monitoring solutions, the company has a steadfast commitment to delivering superlative medical products, services and solutions that help healthcare professionals provide better care for their patients.
NYS Employees: 1,300 (2,600 Worldwide)
An international medical device maker and New York State bioscience and medical technology (Bio/Med) leader envisions solutions in an era of unprecedented industry change driven by healthcare reform, demographics and cost pressures.
The Bio/Med sector, as a player in the larger healthcare industry, is currently experiencing more flux than in any other time in recent decades. Significant changes in healthcare payment and delivery, due in part to the Affordable Care Act, as well as broader societal and technological changes, have already created significant challenges and opportunities for the Bio/Med industry.
In New York State, the Bio/Med industry is on the verge of being a cluster industry. Generating industry “clusters” is a key economic strategy toward growth. Once clusters are created, industries can benefit by enhanced employee recruitment and retention, and shared synergies and knowledge transfer. Upstate New York alone has the 18th largest bioscience employment base in the country and the state benefits from these well-paid, highly-skilled jobs that the industry generates, but can do more to continue to support the industry.
State support of an industry driving constant innovation can help to keep companies like Skaneateles-based Welch Allyn competitive, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Scott Gucciardi said.
“I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that it’s a vibrant, healthy industry that is a great source of high-paying jobs in our state. There are also opportunities to improve,” Gucciardi said. “The opportunities in New York State are many. They’re rooted in the potential to retain and grow jobs in the industry. And that can be done through a number of different programs.”
The state can continue to do more to better establish a cluster of industry excellence. Suggested initiatives in Albany like a refundable research and development tax credit and a proposed angel investor tax credit could help build a portfolio of attractive incentives for a Bio/Med industry cluster, and are, according to Gucciardi, a “step in the right direction.” He added that the proposed angel investor tax credit could help attract start-ups in need of specialized talent.
More companies and more jobs mean better positioning for recruitment and retention through the “cluster effect.” Welch Allyn also credits the strong post-secondary education sector within the state as being a key tool to its workforce development strategy. For example, Welch Allyn runs a successful co-op program with the Rochester Institute of Technology to help identify the talent necessary for continued innovation.
“We’ve got a very well-established relationship there and a steady stream of talented students who come through our headquarters and work in jobs that get them great experience and give us great insight into the talent that’s being developed in the universities,” Gucciardi said. “We’re very encouraged by the opportunity to continue to partner with academic institutions to help us with workforce development.”
Today, Welch Allyn products are ubiquitous residents of doctors’ offices and hospitals across the world: physical assessment, patient vital signs monitoring, blood pressure management, thermometry, and diagnostic cardiopulmonary, among others. In framing out the company’s growth strategy for tomorrow, Welch Allyn is keeping a close eye on the changing healthcare marketplace.
“When we think about our strategy for growth as a company, we’re thinking about the notion of the decentralized delivery of healthcare,” Gucciardi said. “Decentralization is about making healthcare more accessible and more affordable, and our current work is in the area of chronic disease management in support of this changing dynamic in care delivery.”
“We’re focused on diabetes and specifically diabetic retinopathy and also other chronic disease management such as hypertension and congestive heart failure,” he said.
Executing this strategy requires an economic and regulatory environment wherein companies like Welch Allyn can move swiftly to capitalize on innovation and respond to the ever-changing needs of the marketplace.