Since its inception in 1997, Align Technology — a global medical device company known for its Invisalign System of clear aligners, iTero intraoral scanners, and exocad CAD/CAM software for digital orthodontics and restorative dentistry — has helped doctors transform the smiles of 16 million patients worldwide with the Invisalign System.
Seeing a huge market opportunity in the APAC region with 35,000 active Invisalign trained doctors, Align Technology is committed to continuous innovation in digital orthodontics to enhance the Invisalign treatment experience across the Align Digital Platform — a proprietary combination of software, systems, and services designed to provide a seamless experience and workflow that integrates and connects all users from doctors and labs, to patients and consumers.
“Align Technology has always been at the forefront of digital orthodontics and dentistry, setting the bar and leading industry change through constantly innovating and bringing new and better solutions to doctors and their patients,” said Raj Pudipeddi, chief product and marketing officer, EVP and managing director, Asia Pacific for Align Technology. “With 200 million consumers who can benefit from teeth straightening in APAC alone, there is indeed an incredible opportunity for us at Align Technology.”
Align in APAC
Trends like the rising standards of living, increasing brand and quality consciousness, and rapidly increasing digital adoption by consumers and doctors have all been factored into the company’s strategic approach and decisions made in the region.
New products like the ‘Invisalign Standard’ and ‘Invisalign Adult’ in China, and ‘Essentials by Invisalign’ in China, India, and Thailand, were launched to better serve the expanding market and broaden its appeal to more consumer segments.
Based on customer feedback gathered, Pudipeddi highlighted that patients’ expectations of treatments and services have also risen in accordance with increasing digital literacy. Patients want to be “guaranteed” of outcomes within a defined window before choosing to commit to a particular brand or treatment method. Moreover, patients want to be able to visualise the results of their treatment so that they know what to expect.
The Invisalign iTero Outcome Simulator Pro available on iTero Element Plus series scanners and imaging systems expands on this capability, by adding the company’s ClinCheck ‘In-Face’ Visualisation tool which combines a photo of a patient’s face with their 3D treatment simulation, creating a personalised view of how their new smile could look. “Having a 3D model view of the patient’s teeth encourages in-depth dialogue between doctors and patients,” said Pudipeddi.
Such digital tools form the Align Digital Platform and ultimately its digital workflow, which the company sees as the foundation which secures Align Technology’s strong presence in APAC.
One fully integrated platform
According to Pudipeddi, Align Technology has invested close to US$200m in technology just in the first half of 2023, and over US$2bn to date.
“Over the past few years, we have been building AI applications that underpin our products and technology innovations,” said Pudipeddi. “The Align Digital Platform revolutionises digital treatment planning for orthodontics and restorative dentistry by providing doctors with greater flexibility, real-time treatment plan modification capabilities, and digital solutions to help grow their practices and deliver exceptional patient outcomes and experiences.”
One such digital tool is Invisalign Virtual Care AI. The tool enables patients to stay connected with their doctors virtually, receive consultations, and have follow-up treatments in a timely fashion. The doctor-directed, AI-assisted remote patient monitoring solution connects doctors and their patients to facilitate even greater continuity of care and deliver a streamlined experience.
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