2021 has been the year of innovation and discoveries especially in the healthcare and medical industry. Despite rapid technological advancements, there is still a long way to go in order to make some core changes.

In this article we analyze and explore the advancements in leading medical device trends and technologies that are turning heads of medical professionals across the globe. The main focus of these advancements is to improve the quality of healthcare services while making them more affordable. New developments are also aimed at predicting diseases at early stages and preventing loss of human lives.

U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has reported that U.S. healthcare industry is growing exponentially and is forecast to reach US$ 6 trillion by the end of 2026. Increasing global spending on strengthening the healthcare infrastructure and adoption of latest medical devices post pandemic is expected to create lucrative opportunities for market growth.

Digitization in medical devices was underway before the pandemic, however, COVID-19 boosted the process as the demand for remote patient monitoring and care skyrocketed during the crisis. Owing to this factor, growth opportunities are abundant in medical device industry and here are the top 5innovativemedical device technologies that are here to stay in 2021 and beyond.

Artificial Intelligence equipped Devices

Artificial intelligence (AI) is finding its place in healthcare and medical systems. AI powered surgical robots are gaining traction in robotic surgery, as they are capable of performing delicate and complex surgeries in difficult to reach locations.

One such example of AI based healthcare device is IBM’s Watson AI, which is being used by Pfizer for its ongoing immune-oncology research to study the human body’s immune response towards fighting cancer.

Similarly, L’Oréal S.A. introduced AI-integrated at-home personal healthcare device “Perso” at the Consumer Technology Association (CES) trade show organized in Los Angeles.

Machine Learning Technology for Medical Devices

As per MarketNgage, North America robotic surgery systems market valuation will surpass US$ 4000 Mn by 2026, with a 12.9% CAGR. Medical healthcare professionals are switching to robotic surgical devices as they offer faster and accurate diagnostics and through machine learning (ML) can identify what kind of treatment will be beneficial for the patient.

Leading medical device manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Company obtained the FDA clearance for “VELYS” in January 2021. VELYS is a robotic-assisted medical device designed especially for the company’s Attune total knee system, in an attempt to develop an interconnected digital surgery platform.

The ML powered devices proved to be a game changer during COVID-19 pandemic as they were assisting healthcare workers with disinfecting activities in times where world was facing the shortage of healthcare workers.

For instance, Diligent Robotics launched its first AI powered hospital assistant named “Moxi” in 2019, delivered personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, COVID-19 test and other lab samples in the hospitals where it is stationed, thus reducing the infection rate and saving human lives.

Tech Trends in Healthcare

Advancement of Wearables in Healthcare for real-time clinical data

Sales of self-monitoring healthcare devices like Fitbit is forecast to grow significantly as people are becoming more health conscious and are using smart wearables to track and monitor their daily activity.

Increasing cases of chronic and lifestyle diseases like diabetes has fueled the development of wearable devices integrated with biosensors indicating the blood glucose level.

For example, EOFlow launched a new smartphone application for connecting personal devices with wearable insulin delivery devices in March 2021. It has already received medical device approval for sales in South Korea.

These wearable devices collect data and assist the healthcare professional in managing health remotely and real time, thus creating lucrative opportunity to collect life saving data for clinical trials. More medical device technologies like these are under pipeline in 2021 and beyond.

3D Printing Medical Devices for Manufacturing Prosthetics

3D printing is an emerging business especially in medical device industry. National Center for Biotechnology Information reported that on an average, trauma causes 80% of total upper limb amputation, fueling the demand for prosthetics and implants. To cater the growing demand for healthcare devices for surgical implants, introduction of fast and reliable 3D bio-printing systems is the key.

As a result, surgeons and patients are adopting 3D printing technologies to effectively plan and perform reconstruction surgeries and avoid complications. 3D bioprinting market is forecast to expand at an astronomical 12.9% CAGR through 2030, says MarketNgage.

For instance, in March 2021, CELLINK launched its next gen bioprinter BIO MDX™ series, developed specifically for high precision biofabrication and 3D bioprinting of medical devices, to cater to the ever growing demand of cell based technologies.

Similarly, Advanced Solutions launched its new BioAssemblyBot® 200 bio 3D bioprinter in February 2021. It is cGMP and UL certified and uses a four-axis robotic arm to bioprint and automate the science workflow.

3D printing medical devices market will exhibit tremendous growth owing to growing need of customization in implant manufacturing and dentistry along with rise in surgical procedures like joint replacement, cranial implants, spinal surgeries, and cardiac surgeries in upcoming years, predicts MarketNgage.

New virtual reality technologies to shake up the medical field

Healthcare community is adopting virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality devices for medical and surgical staff training and patient care. Computer simulated environment creates real life medical conditions which allow doctors, nurses and medical students to practice their skills and simulate medical procedures and is believed to assist in retaining knowledge.

For instance, GlaxoSmithKline developed VR technology and introduced it into its “The Migraine Experience” campaign. In this, migraine patients select the symptoms of migraine and then hand over the VR headset to non-migraine-suffering partner to experience migraine without the pain. The technology is very effective in replicating the effects of migraine to a certain extent which includes blind spots, sensitivity to light, and disorientation.

These new technologies are finding its use in designing therapy for psychological disorders and conditions like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety. Psychologists are using VR devices to identify the response triggers as patients explore through simulated environment.

It also assists them in finding ways to work through patient’s emotions and responses to those triggers. MarketNgage estimates that VR solutions market will grow at 42.2% CAGR in next five years.

Key Takeaways

Top medical device manufacturers are determining which innovation will make an impact in their core business. They are focusing on building ecosystem that will allow the entry of new start-ups and outsource their deep industrial knowledge to emerging companies. Most innovations are in pilot mode and are soon expected to start a full scale production. Organizations must continue to evaluate new revenue sources and adjust their development and marketing strategy as market continues to evolve.

After competitive analysis of various medical device manufacturers, MarketNgage has recommended top suppliers/organizations operating in this field that you should look out for, as they continue to bring disruptive technologies to the market.

  1. Artificial Intelligence: Alphabet Inc., Apple Inc., Baidu, IBM Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, and NVIDIA
  2. Machine Learning Powered Medical Robots: Smith & Nephew Plc.,Auris Surgical Robotics, Inc., Intuitive Surgical, Inc., Stryker Corporation, Mazor Robotics, Renishaw plc, and Medtronic Plc.
  3. Wearable Medical Devices: Siemens AG, Medtronic plc, Bayer AG, Fitbit Inc., Animas Corporation, Panasonic Corporation, Johnson and Johnson, and Koninklijke Philips N.V.
  4. 3D Bio-Printers: 3D SystemsInc, GE Healthcare, Electro Optical Systems, Stratasys Ltd, and Renishaw plc.
  5. Virtual Reality Based Devices:Vuzix Corporation, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, Microsoft Corporation, Google Inc., EON. Reality Inc., Oculus VR, LLC, Magic Leap, Inc., DAQRI LLC, Blippar.Com Limited and Osterhout Design Group Inc.

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