Medical devices/technology address many of the challenges that the healthcare industry is facing. They play a crucial role in aiding doctors to monitor and analyze patients and help patients by improving their standard of living. Some common medical devices include X-ray machines, MRI machines, infusion pumps, CT, and PET scanners. As the industry continues to expand past 2020, medical device industry trends reflect the implacable pace of innovation and growth impacting every aspect of the industry.
At Promenade Software, our team pays close attention to medical device industry news and we are eager to report on the most important medical device trends you need to know about right now. Here are four emerging Medical Device Industry trends we will be watching closely.
One of the most profound changes in healthcare today is the use of medical devices that incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). With the progression of artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML), the healthcare and medical device industries will diagnose disease better and earlier, treat illness more precisely, and engage patients more efficiently.
In 2019, the FDA introduced new guidance for this emerging sector of the healthcare industry, stressing the need to provide standards and regulations without impeding innovation. According to the FDA, “Artificial intelligence and machine learning have the potential to fundamentally transform the delivery of health care. As technology and science advance, we can expect to see earlier disease detection, more accurate diagnosis, more targeted therapies and significant improvements in personalized medicine. The ability of artificial intelligence and machine learning software to learn from real-world feedback and improve its performance is spurring innovation and leading to the development of novel medical devices".
Because AI/ML in devices is continually adapting, not every change will require FDA approval, former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement, “The goal of the framework is to assure that ongoing algorithm changes follow pre-specified performance objectives and change control plans, use a validation process that ensures improvements to the performance, safety and effectiveness of the artificial intelligence software, and includes real-world monitoring of performance once the device is on the market to ensure safety and effectiveness are maintained,” he said.
Although there are still limitations to the full use of AI/ML in the healthcare and medical device industries, devices are already using this technology to supplant clinician review requirements in diagnoses. Furthermore, the increasing volume, accessibility, and ability to analyze health and patient data allows for earlier diagnosis and more accurate monitoring of symptoms, precursors, and health statistics. The analytics abilities of AI/ML have the potential to improve R&D by increasing the pace of innovation/development and reducing the time to market.
The Internet of things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines provided with unique identifiers (UIDs), and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), is a connected infrastructure of medical devices, software applications, health systems, and services to a centralized healthcare IT system for more refined and in-depth data analysis. Fundamentally it is a way to communicate between computers.
At its current stage of implementation, the global IoT in healthcare market size is projected to reach USD 534.3 billion by 2025 expanding at a CAGR 19.9% over the forecast period, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. IoMT analyzes shared data facilitating healthcare providers to make effectual decisions. IoMT devices and applications help optimize patient outcomes, lower the cost of medical services, and enhance operational productivity.
And, according to Deliotte’s Reserach2Guidance, medical device companies are starting to utilize the IoMT connected infrastructure:
These days, medical device companies offer data to patients, payers, and healthcare providers. With 39% of medical device companies incorporating data as an added value to their services, these companies are no longer just suppliers of medical devices but also a value-based partner in the eyes of customers and investors.
Examples of robotics like the Da Vinci surgical robot that has been assisting surgeons in operating rooms and autonomous medical robots that disinfect hospital rooms with ultraviolet light have been in use by hospitals and their staff for a while. However, the field of robotics is drastically changing today’s healthcare industry way past the operating room as robots become more capable in performing procedures beyond baseline programming.
Because of the advancements in this area, the types and level of tasks performed is expected to increase. Medical robots are helping doctors treat patients, automate research labs, and address medical emergencies in cheaper, faster, and more accessible ways. So much so that experts at McKinsey & Company project growth in this sector to reach $20 billion by 2023.
Wearable technology, often referred to as “wearables,” started out as simple pedometers to track the number of steps taken by an individual. Now, this technology has evolved and offers the potential to collect much more advanced data. As wearables become commonplace, so will their medical applications. According to Gartner, “worldwide spending on wearable technology is to surge to USD 52 billion by 2020, an increase by close to a third compared to last year. HMDs (Head Mounted Displays) and smartwatches are going to be the most popular forms of wearable technology. Each of these is expected to grow by 48% and 34% in 2020, respectively.” Also, "a drop in prices of smartwatches by approximately 45% by 2020 and 2021 due to miniaturization of sensors and cheaper modules would likely bolster this spending pattern.”
Wearable technology can relay vital information to doctors, patients, and health-conscious masses. Vitals such as blood pressure, heart rate, steps count can be used to both optimize the quality of care provided to patients and promote overall health and wellness for the masses.
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2020 Medical Device Industry Trends encompass a wide variety of disruptions that will impact the industry far beyond 2020. Medical device businesses must implement new technologies in order to realize the benefits of growth and transformation afforded by these industry innovations. Check out Promenade Software to see how we keep up to date on V &V, cybersecurity, SaMD, and industry trends.