Medical devices are used for the purpose of providing medical services. In fact, they’re used for a wide variety of services throughout =many areas of healthcare to help address many of the challenges that the healthcare industry is facing. Some of the most common medical devices include MRI machines, CT scanners, X-ray machines, LASIK surgical machines, infusion pumps, and PET scanners. The medical devices in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities are constantly evolving. The goal is often to find better ways to identify, diagnose, and treat diseases in more efficient and effective ways. Check out the information below regarding trends that will transform the medical device industry outlook in 2021.
Trends That Will Transform The Medical Device Industry Outlook
1. Enhanced Cybersecurity
As technology has advanced, so have the tactics of hackers. There is a new breed of cyberterrorism that’s daunting. It’s the reason why enhanced cybersecurity must be a priority in all areas of healthcare, including medical devices. There is an exchange of medical information between multiple stakeholders, such as manufacturers, healthcare providers, and suppliers. Robust security measures are required whenever data is exchanged through medical devices to mitigate breaches in security. In fact, the FDA is actively holding manufacturers of medical devices accountable for problems that arise related to security, which is why risk management must remain a priority.
2. Wearable Fitness Technology
Wearable technology often referred to as “wearables,” started out simply by tracking the number of steps a person took each day. Now, this technology offers much more advanced data. There are many people who wear fitness technology and an even greater number that wants to wear it. The technology is used to help medical professionals optimize the quality of care provided to patients, and this trend will continue in 2021. For instance, doctors can monitor a patient’s blood pressure and heart rate. Even if a person doesn’t have a medical condition, wearables can be used to promote overall health and wellness.
3. Internet of Medical Things
Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is a variety of applications and medical devices used for the purpose of connecting IT systems in healthcare. It’s essentially a way of communicating between computers, and it often utilizes WiFi. IoMT also analyzes data that’s shared, which enables healthcare providers to make sound decisions. IoMT apps and devices help to lower the cost of medical services, optimize patient outcomes and improve operational efficiency. These are some of the most significant challenges that exist in the healthcare industry. This is why companies that make medical devices are constantly seeking ways to expand the capabilities of IoMT technologies provided. Many have developed strong partnerships with healthcare organizations that go beyond that of a supplier or manufacturer.
4. Medical Robots
A current trend that’s accelerating is the use of robots in medicine. For instance, there is a surgical robot called the “da Vinci Surgical System” that’s currently used to assist in the operating room. It makes sense that this type of technology serves a collaborative support role given the life or death situation that patients face. Because of the advancements in this area, medical robots are becoming more capable and able to perform procedures beyond the standard programming. The types and levels of tasks performed are expected to increase. In fact, the industry will reach $20 billion in the next few years. One remarkable way in which medical robots are anticipated to help in the future is by conducting exams in rural towns using telepresence. Future medical robots will be able to provide targeted radiation therapy.
5. 3D Printed Objects
The use of 3d print technology is expanding. When used in the medical industry, there are remarkable possibilities that have the potential to prolong and save lives. For instance, it’s possible to reproduce customized organs, some of the tools used for surgical procedures, and prosthetics that are customized to patients. These printed objects can be used for the purpose of research and the development of prototypes. There are also 3d printer capabilities in orthodontics and dentistry. All of these trends are expected to grow in 2021 and beyond.
6. Genomic Medicine
Genomic medicine is when genomic data is used to make decisions about a patient’s medical care. It involves the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence for the purpose of devising a plan of care that’s tailored to the specific needs of a patient. Genomic medicine has and will continue to be used in the areas of infectious disease, oncology, and pharmacology. The devices used in genomics enable medical professionals to better understand different medical conditions, which can lead to faster and more effective treatment options. This type of personalized medicine has been used for cancer and cystic fibrosis, among other conditions.
7. Computer Vision
The capabilities of machines will continue to expand, which includes their ability to see and interpret images to provide critical information. This includes being able to assess medical images and different types of scans. While this technology has existed for a good period of time, there have been advancements in recent years that are expected to continue in 2021. Computer vision is essentially used for the purpose of providing intelligence in healthcare that can improve results. For instance, they can detect whether or not a patient is hemorrhaging or if there is a tumor on a scan. It’s a way of helping to ensure diagnoses are accurate.
8. Device Connectivity
Software as a medical device (SaMD) is software that’s being used to improve medical device connectivity. For instance, it can help patients feel more empowered by providing them with information about their medical history that can be used to better manage their health. If a patient has a chronic medical condition, they can use the data from medical devices to share information with healthcare professionals or to make better decisions about their own health. It’s about providing the information needed to make more informed decisions for improved overall health and wellness. One of the trends that are expected to advance in 2021 is tighter governmental regulations geared towards protecting the privacy of patients when new devices hit the market.
9. 5G Technology
As is the case for other industries, the use of medical devices in healthcare often requires high-speed networks for optimal speed. Subsequently, 5G (fifth-generation wireless) technology is beneficial because it can provide the level of speed needed. From a practical point of view, 5G enables healthcare providers to use various devices for the purpose of sending large files during collaborative care with other medical professionals. This is most commonly needed when sending scan and x-ray images to specialists for diagnosis. It’s also beneficial because geographically dispersed and remote healthcare facilities are more prevalent today than ever before.
10. Virtual Reality
Virtual reality in healthcare often involves software that’s beneficial in many ways, such as training surgeons and medical students. The medical devices used in virtual reality also benefit patients with depression, autism, vision problems, and many other conditions. Medical virtual reality has the ability to address issues of brain discordance and prevent a person’s brain from feeling pain during a procedure. This technology has revolutionized healthcare, and it’s a trend that will continue to accelerate.
What’s on the horizon in the area of medical devices for 2021 is the advancement of technologies that have already begin to transform healthcare, as detailed above. Companies that make medical devices are continuing to invest in advanced technologies to meet the needs of healthcare organizations around the world. The information below provides statistics that are related to these trends.
Medical Device Stats and Growth Projections in 2021
- In 2021, the amount of medical data obtained will begin to increase by 100 percent about every 73 days.
- When collecting data for the purpose of medical research, studies show that 40 percent of patients are willing to share their personal information.
- By 2025, the use of extended reality devices is expected to reach $5.1 billion.
- It’s anticipated that growth in the IoMT market will continue by 30.8 percent annually, reaching $159.1 billion by 2022.
- Until 2024, it’s anticipated that growth in the medical device industry will average 5.6 percent. This is based on a compound annual growth rate.