Analysts agree that opportunities abound in 2019 for growth and innovation within the medical device industry. Below are the top 5 medical device technology trends we expect to see in 2019. While this article focuses on the technology trends and not the regulatory environment, it should be noted that the pace of regulatory change is expected to increase in 2019 and beyond to keep up with the rapid technology advances.

Crescent Industries provides manufacturing services to the medical device industry and we are committed to utilizing the latest technologies. OEMs turn to us because we combine molding expertise with advanced manufacturing facilities and robotic integration. We are well positioned to partner with OEMs to take advantage of the growth potential within the medical device industry in 2019 and beyond.

 

1. Tapping into Wearable Devices for Clinical Trials

Examples of wearable devices are a Fitbit to count your steps or a similar device to track your heart rate. There are millions of people worldwide with wearable, connected devices and this figure is growing as the demand increases for wearable tech devices, such as smart watches. These wearable devices present a huge opportunity to collect data for clinical trials. This type of data is easier and faster to collect, allowing researchers to make real-time assessments on the patient’s well-being – rather than wait for data collection via surveys and focus groups. There are already many clinical trials taking advantage of wearable devices and we expect this number to grow significantly in 2019 and beyond.

 

2. Sensors, Sensors, and More Sensors

One of the biggest booms in medical device technology is sensors. These come in various shapes and sizes and include chemical, optical and pressure sensors that are used in wearable and even ingestible devices. Medical device sensors have the ability to link data collection to real-time decision making, which will allow the healthcare industry to shift more towards individualized patient care. For example, we are seeing the development of an ingestible device with sensors that remain in the stomach for over a month, collecting measurements and administering medicine based on the data-collected. More medical device technologies like this are expected to be underway in 2019.

 

3. 5G and the Cloud are Upon Us!

5G mobile technology will continue to improve in 2019 and is anticipated to make healthcare technologies run faster and more reliably. The many healthcare IT systems including electronic medical records will benefit from the improved connectivity.

Additionally, cloud technology is here and it is not going anywhere! Cloud solutions offer several advantages such as lower costs compared with on-site IT solutions, easier ability to network with other locations, and minimal in-house IT expertise required. Healthcare providers are under constant pressure to do more with less - and these pressures are being passed on to medical device companies. Adoption of cloud-based solutions is an opportunity for healthcare providers and medical device manufacturers to lower cost while maintaining quality and customer service. The transition from 4G to 5G wireless technology opens up even more opportunities for cloud-based solutions.

 

4. IoMT and Big Players

The Internet of Things (IoT) is simply the use of the internet in everyday objects. The IoT is playing a bigger and bigger role in medical devices. Smart medical devices provide a wide range of data such as blood pressure, body temperature, blood sugar for healthcare providers. This data can be used for various applications ranging from prevention, diagnosis, monitoring, and therapy. In 2019, we will see the IoT evolve into the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), which will utilize IoT devices, telemedicine, and telehealth technologies – allowing care to be given to patients remotely. Examples of the IoMT applications being developed include an electrocardiogram monitor that will detect irregular heartbeats or rates that are too low.

Additionally, the medical technology industry is a huge market so in 2019 we expect to see some of the world’s biggest players, such as Google, Apple, and Samsung, get further into medical technology with major investments.

 

5. Devices for Specific Health Conditions

Some of the medial device technology trends for 2019 are targeted at specific health issues. Here are a few of those focus areas and what we may see in 2019:

  • Opioid addition: this epidemic is responsible for the deaths of more Americans than car crashes or gun violence. Companies are focusing on the need for medical devices to help prevent and treat this addiction. Some devices that you may see in 2019 include rapid drug screening, a virtual reality system to treat pain, and a smart pill dispenser.
  • Less invasive heart surgery: there is a new method of performing heart surgery called mitral and tricuspid valve percutaneous replacement surgery. This technique is performed via a catheter in the skin and results in a much faster recovery. Manufacturers are working to bring the necessary medical devices to market quickly to enable this less invasive surgery to be performed in the near future!
  • Diabetes: the number of diabetes patients continues to grow and so does the demand for medical devices that facilitate diabetes management. In the past, many diabetes devices were not user-friendly but as medical device companies invest more in this area, expect to see more effective, user-focused devices that utilize artificial intelligence, the IoT, and other technologies.

 

Crescent Industries

Crescent Industries is an employee-owned custom injection molder providing an integrated single source solution for your custom plastic injection molded components utilizing our advanced engineering capabilities. Our capabilities allow us to mold a comprehensive range of engineered and commodity grade resins. Crescent currently serves the medical, pharmaceutical, dental, defense, safety, electrical/electronic, aerospace and OEM/Industrial markets.

Crescent Industries has an extremely knowledgeable team to assist with all of your design and production questions – contact us today to learn how we can assist with your injection molding project!

 

Sources include Forbes, Clarkston Consulting, Master Control, Carevoyance, and Bigfoot Medical.