Innovation & Entrepreneurship

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Trends in medical device manufacturing in 2018



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Thanks to the recent technological advancements, the medical device industry is growing by leaps and bounds. To keep an edge over the competitors,  healthcare manufacturers around the world need to fast-track their products to market, juggling the high-quality while minimizing the design and manufacturing costs. Medical Device, a technology writer based in India, surveys the medtech market for the trends in manufacturing that will make a difference

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1 Streamlining the process of manufacturing medical devices

The recent technology trends in healthcare emphasize on the convenience and efficiency of embedding sensors, controllers, wireless connectivity, firmware and remote monitoring in new devices. The demand for medical devices is not only about the delivery of care any longer. There are several health tech products available now which enable people to monitor their health, which can improve preventative medicine. By focusing on prevention, the costs can be considerably reduced, which offers even greater incentive to get the advanced medical devices to the market faster. To fully harness the power of newest technologies, manufacturers need strategies to access either in-house or contracted resources to produce advanced devices with speed, precision and regulatory compliance. The next generation of medical devices must incorporate innovations such as wireless network connectivity or additive manufacturing techniques 3D printing to be successful.

2 Medical device integration into IoT

Any type of sensor you can ever imagine will be used for diagnostic reasons, like biosensors, impact sensors, pressure sensors, wearable electrodes, optical sensors and chemical sensors. Wearables are also predicted to become complex and will combine multiple emerging technologies, like intricate moulding designs, 3D printing, textiles and materials, battery capacity, miniaturization, wireless connectivity and flexible circuits. The wearable devices may be connected to the internet so that they can transmit vital health data directly to your doctor. As patients are increasingly becoming tech-savvy, they also expect advanced technology incorporated into their health care as well. The care settings are also changing from clinical and hospital environment to the extended care facilities or homes. With the growing population, the demand for such devices in these environments will also continue to increase. More people would like to self-manage their care, so it is important to have wearables and remote diagnostic equipment which can transmit patient’s information on a daily basis to make sure they are following their care plans. This is especially important for people suffering from chronic illnesses like diabetes and hypertension. OEM’s in the healthcare sector are rushing to develop newer medical equipment taking the advantage of wireless networking capabilities. Infusion pumps, inhalers, glucometers, insulin pens are few examples of IOT-enabled devices.

3 Medical device prototyping via 3D printing

Additive manufacturing is beginning to impact medical instrument manufacturing significantly. The 3D printing is used to better customize the parts to build new devices or to improvise the existing devices. 3D printing provides flexibility to make changes quickly and easily during product development and refinements. The major benefits of 3D printing are faster prototyping, reduced costs and robust production cycles. 3D printing helps customize medical products, from individualized shoe insoles to prosthetic limbs. Until now, injection moulding was the preferred method due to speed.

Benefiting from these trends

Overall the medical equipment manufacturing industry is moving forward at a staggering pace. The health tech industry is driven by the patient demands that further drives innovative design and manufacturing. We expect wearable devices to play a larger role as people demand more care control. These demands will transform the diagnostic medicine and maintenance of patient health. The increased usage of wearables will transform patient care by reducing doctor visits and helping identify serious conditions before they become life-threatening. The life spans will be increased, quality of life would be improved and medical costs will be reduced to the level that the savings will be passed on to the patients.

About the author

Shuchi Sankhyayan is a Content Specialist at Technosoft Innovations, Inc who has spent 15+ years romping around various sectors. A Science graduate she enjoys sharing medical product development knowledge via her posts and articles.

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