Most of us are familiar with all manners of medical devices used by healthcare professionals across various environments: when it comes to our and our loved one’s health, we expect the latest and greatest devices for screenings, testing, and diagnoses. At the same time, continued innovations in the marketplace are pushing more and more medical devices out of professionals’ hands and into our own for everyday usage and monitoring. For many reasons, the medical device industry forecast looks especially firm and should sustain several years of robust growth, making it a high-likelihood profitability target for designers and manufacturers.
The Growing Need for Medical Devices
Medical care costs are rising, but for a good reason: emphasizing preventive medicine and practices that can combat disease progressions or manage lifetime diagnoses is attempting to divert the extreme cost burden of future symptom management. Medical devices allow patients to continuously monitor health information to look at long-term trends, sometimes without collecting this information in a healthcare setting. The maturation of AI-based learning systems is also helping to power through the large datasets collected by medical devices, further driving industry expectations. Further concerns about security risks gleaned from identifiable medical data have also pushed countermeasures to the forefront for consumer devices.
Healthcare innovation product demand is highest in the United States, where devices run a broad spectrum between end-use applications. For treatment options – say, for diabetes – more intuitive, automated dosing for disease management simplifies testing and injection of medicine. Integrated sensor systems can detect biological markers, indicating an elevated or depressed threshold to trigger automated medication. Another benefit to these models is reducing the need for a skilled home care provider on-site, as the automated medication delivery system does not require active human supervision. Additionally, because medical devices run the gamut of cost and functionality, they can help bridge coverage for uninsured or underinsured under the current marketplace. Medical devices can also address inequity in the rural-urban divide between medical resource availability by giving customers care options that might otherwise be unavailable; though an incomplete solution to the disparity in healthcare accessibility, it does provide some solutions while being readily scalable.
Medical Device Monitoring
|Automatically tests blood sugar levels to determine the ideal timing of insulin medication.
|Broadly tracks heart rate performance or, more specifically, for cardiovascular events like heart attacks.
|A portable sphygmomanometer can replace the regular blood pressure used during check-ins.
|Detects kidney health or the state of infections in the case of ongoing catheterization.
|Measures blood oxygen saturation levels for patients on supplemental oxygen or general fitness tracking.
Ironically, medical devices were the prime beneficiaries of a global pandemic while incurring the same strains on component and material supplies. Medical devices can supplement a primary care physician by supporting virtual check-ups when time, availability, or medical risk factors (contagiousness, immunocompromised, etc.) Since the only “contact” in these cases is an exchange of digital information, patients eliminate the risk of exposure to hospital viral factors while providers can greatly decrease theirs. In this sense, healthcare agencies may view the rollout/adoption of medical devices for at-risk populations as preventative care worthy of investment.
The Global Medical Device Industry Forecast
American and European markets may also benefit from a large concentration of sexagenarians (and above) in the population whose healthcare demands are greater than the average-aged population representative and whose needs will grow faster. For younger generations, general fitness-monitoring devices can improve patient health outcomes by providing users a baseline to check against abnormal readings and gamification incentives (for example, a social media-adjacent app where users can track their calories burned, consecutive days of fitness activity, time spent sleeping, etc.) These implementations dovetail a general IoT approach to device connectivity, which allows easy data transfer and synchronization between devices, potentially up to users’ consensually sending medical data to healthcare professionals for regular monitoring.
While the American markets are the most established with a strong history of adoption, the Asian-Pacific markets are seeing the fastest growth. China, in particular, is well-positioned for continued market penetration of medical devices due to demographics that skew heavily toward the older end. More automated healthcare will be necessary to meet the demands of the aging population from a labor perspective. Globally, other “Western diet” factors associated with greater purchasing power concentrated within economic middle classes may also push government healthcare initiatives towards monitoring/preventing the increasing rates of cardiac distress events.
Your Contract Manufacturer Has Medical Compliance and Expertise
The medical device industry forecast has a healthy outlook in both near and further growth predictions, making it a surefire part of designer and manufacturer portfolios for years to come. It’s important to understand that despite clear paths for sustainable growth, the industry remains a dizzying maze of complex regulations to protect users’ health and safety. For this reason, designers will want to team with an experienced contract manufacturer (CM) to optimize production and performance while complying with industry requirements. At VSE, our engineers are committed to building electronics for our customers. Together with our manufacturing partners, we’ve delivered life-changing and life-saving medical devices to market, emphasizing reliability.