In the News: supply chain predictions, healthcare job recovery, and more

two doctors standing in hospital hallway discussing papers as medical staff passes

The past two years have been a tumultuous time for the global supply chain. Endless upheaval and uncertainty has had an impact on all of us. But now, the word “normal” is starting to creep back into the vocabulary of battered supply chain circles. In fact, the outlook for 2023 looks favorable, with the Logistics Managers' Index saying, “September's future predictions hint at normalization and a return to business as usual over the next year.”

In this month’s news roundup, we’ll take a closer look at the global supply chain — where it’s at and what’s expected to come. Plus, we’ll offer up a recent report that showed how healthcare jobs have finally returned to levels seen in February 2020. We’ll also take a look at the inherent security risks of connected devices, and give you the scoop on a new FDA program aimed at preventing medical devices from becoming lost in a “valley of death."

Supply chain pressure index continues to fall closer to historical levels

Plenty of economic indexes show improvement in global transportation networks, with more space available on container ships, port congestion easing and ocean freight rates plunging.

But that’s only part of the story. The degree of recovery varies widely by industry and region — and many companies are still reporting shortages.

Healthcare jobs recovered from early pandemic losses

Healthcare jobs have finally returned to levels seen in February 2020, right before the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. Stay-at-home orders and other restrictions in the early days of the pandemic led to widespread furloughs and layoffs across all industries, including healthcare.

And while there may be near-normal job levels, filling those positions remains a key challenge in the industry.

Sector’s Increasing Interconnectedness Poses Healthcare Cybersecurity Risks

Any device connected to the internet carries some level of security risk. However, internet-connected medical devices pose unique risks to the sector due to the fact that many remain in use for a decade or longer, as the Federal Bureau of Investigation pointed out in a recent notice. Additionally, some organizations may struggle to maintain a reliable device inventory and patch management program.

FDA starts advisory program pilot to reduce ‘valley of death’ risk for medical devices

Innovative medical devices often never make it from development and trial into the hands of practitioners and patients, instead becoming lost in a “valley of death."

To combat this, the FDA has started a plan to ensure more medical devices pass from testing to clinical application. This should help dozens of devices through the approval process each year.

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