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No two days in the medical sales industry are the same. There are always new advancements and treatments changing the future of healthcare. As a medical sales professional, no matter where you work, you need to stay on top of these trends.

Knowing where the field is heading allows you to adapt your medical sales technique. This will keep you valuable and at the top of your game.

But with so many changes occurring in the industry, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Have no fear, these are the top trends changing the future of medical sales right now:

1. Direct-to-consumer genetic testing

Direct-to-consumer, or DTC, genetic testing gives the population access to information about their DNA without going through a physician. In the past, genetic testing was only done because a healthcare professional requested it. Today, there are dozens of companies that provide people with insights into their ancestry and predisposition to health problems.

And once consumers have more information about their health, they’re going to have more questions.

For most medical sales reps, the biggest part of the job is selling your product to the healthcare provider. Now that consumers can find out if they’re likely to develop breast cancer or Alzheimer’s, take the time to form relationships with them, as well.

Talking to and educating potential patients will give consumers peace of mind about their healthcare choices. Plus, if they do ever need your product in the future, they’ll be more inclined to get it from you.

2. Opioid abuse withdrawal and management systems

There’s an opioid crisis right now, and prescription drugs have played a part in it. As a result, medical sales professionals now have an important role in correcting the issue.

The first step is providing better education and support to doctors and patients about the dangers of abusing medications. By reminding doctors about the warning signs of addiction, you can increase the odds that patients won’t fall through the cracks.

The next step is knowing the latest treatments and technologies available to help patients who do suffer from opioid addiction. For example, the reSET app is an FDA-approved mobile app meant to be used alongside therapy to help patients overcome addiction. While it has not been tested with opioid users, it has been effective with other forms of addiction.

By knowing about these cutting-edge treatments, you can ensure patients have their best chance of recovery.

3. Virtual reality treatments

Believe it or not, we’ve gotten to the point where healthcare treatments don’t even have to be real. Doctors are now able to address many health issues with the help of virtual reality.

For example, VR devices are being used to engage and distract children while they undergo potentially frightening treatments for chronic illness. Virtual reality therapy is also being used to help patients with psychological disorders like PTSD.

This should act as a reminder that no innovation is impossible in the medical sales industry. While your product might be the best today, tomorrow there could be a virtual, noninvasive alternative. By being aware of your competition, you can continue to do your job and provide feedback to your company so it can stay relevant.

4. Micro-hospitals

Traditionally, hospitals are huge establishments designed to serve a large population of patients. But now there’s a new trend of micro-hospitals. Think of these healthcare services centers as small, local places that provide more in-depth treatment than an urgent care facility.

What does this mean for medical sales reps? Our 2018 Medical Sales Salary Report found that 33 percent of medical sales professionals regularly spend time in the hospital OR to build relationships. The growing popularity of micro-hospitals means having to cover a lot more ground.

With every new micro-hospital, there’s a new opportunity to grow your customer-base. But don’t forget about your established clientele. Find new ways to stay in contact if you don’t have the time to meet everyone face-to-face. Video calls and messaging apps are a great option. Just be sure that you respond to all messages quickly so customers don’t feel abandoned.

The medical sales industry is always changing. But, if you continue to educate yourself about what’s going on, you can stay relevant and effective no matter where you work.

What other medical sales trends are important right now? Share in the comments!

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