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Medical Device Trends in 2021

Medical Device Trends in 2021

The marriage of medicine and technology has spurred humanity for centuries, giving humans better and longer lives. Inventions of new medical devices and modernization of traditional ones highlight the speed by which we innovate. Healthcare is in the spotlight, especially with the current world status, which has accelerated medical device development like never before. Based on The Business Research Company’s research report, global medical device industry statistics reveal that this growth was brought by a rise in the number of healthcare facilities, healthcare expenditure, technological advancements, and the elderly population’s growth. In 2020, the global medical device market was valued at $456.9 billion, a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.4% since 2015 and expected to reach $603.5 billion in 2023.

In this article, we will review medical device marketing trends that will dominate 2021.

Robotics

The Global Robotic Assisted Surgery System Market report gives an overview of the global Medical Device industry’s growth, covering forecast and analysis for the market on the global and regional level. Robotic surgery boosted demand for minimally invasive robotic surgery (MIRS) both from physicians and patients, translating to a double-digit growth rate in a mere five years. The surgical robot market is projected to grow from $5.5 billion to over $24 billion by 2025, doubling the current 1 million MIRS procedures worldwide.

Physicians are starting to prefer robotic surgeries due to their better quality, precision, ergonomics, and control. Patients are gradually showing a preference for minimally-invasive procedures through robotics, fueled by a desire for smaller incisions, less blood loss, minimal hospital stay, and faster recovery time. Limiting postoperative trauma and complications is a win-win for both sides.

Today, robots have cutting-edge capabilities like nanotechnology or microbots, which are being developed to repair damaged tissue or attach bacteria or diseases, such as cancer. Many new companies are working on technology to challenge the market leaders. The ultimate goal is to create microbots in pill form for on-the-go patient treatment. Other practical bot jobs include disinfection of hospitals and clinics, which has become vital due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wearable Medical Devices

Chances are, you are already wearing one in the form of a smartwatch. There is a palpable growth in people looking to monitor their health personally. It’s becoming common to see everyone wearing one, from patients and athletes to casual joggers and health-conscious individuals.

Experts predicted that by 2025, the wearable technology market would reach $74.03 billion, a significant increase from its valuation in 2019 of $27.91 billion. Advances in research pushed relentless innovation in recent years and have been a vital driving force for wearable devices in the market and introduced new products into everyday life.

Seen as a fringe technology just a few years ago, wearable medical devices are now a standard not only in the medical field but also in many other industries. Smart wearable body sensors for patient self-assessment and monitoring are expected to progress even faster in the coming years. Their use for remote patient monitoring (RPM) took off at the beginning of the pandemic in mid-2020.

Check out our article on Innovation Trends for Sensors and Wearable Devices and Voler System’s medical device services to learn more.

Telemedicine & Telehealth

Healthcare marketers have their work cut out for them in 2021. While agility and adaptability are common for healthcare marketers, it has never come to this. COVID-19 has created tremendous uncertainty, economic instability, and political volatility. Locally, nationally, and globally, healthcare is both top of mind and upturned.

Researchers also see the benefits of robotics in healthcare for both telehealth and telemedicine. Both may seem similar, but there are key differences to both:

Telehealth is the delivery and facilitation of health and health-related services. This includes health information services, medical care, patient education, and patient self-care via telecommunications. Live video conferencing, electronic transmission, mobile health apps, and remote patient monitoring are examples of telehealth technologies.

On the other hand, telemedicine refers to health professionals’ practice of caring for patients remotely when both cannot be physically present for each other. Modern technology has allowed doctors to consult with patients via Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) compliant video-conferencing tools.

As COVID-19 continues to ravage the world and people start getting used to virtual interaction, telemedicine and telehealth will continue to thrive and become common worldwide.

Artificial Intelligence (A.I.)

AI in healthcare certainly gained extensive traction during the pandemic. Even the White House partnered with AI research institutions to mine scientific literature to understand Covid-19 better. Both biotech companies and tech players leveraged AI to assess the structure of the novel coronavirus to accelerate drug discovery, which is undoubtedly a factor in vaccine development success. Lockdown measures and social distancing forced medical labs to fast-track their digital pathology capabilities.

AI and robots that diagnose, treat, and support people are already in our homes, workplaces, and healthcare facilities globally. The world embraces AI and Robotics to enhance and complement existing healthcare services over the next 10 years. This will further our ability to bring a more responsive health service with better health outcomes while also enabling people to better control their health needs.

Check out this review from one of Voler’s AI project customers.

Extended Reality: AR, VR, and MR

Extended Reality includes Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Mixed Reality. All three are starting to be utilized beyond the usual gaming and entertainment environments. Many industries, including healthcare, are already exploring how to use AR, VR, and MR for medical devices. For instance, AR can improve current surgical and invasive procedures, medical training, telemedicine, and education.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Adds digital elements in a live view through a smartphone’s camera and specially designed glasses. Recent applications of augmented reality include Snapchat lenses, the game Pokémon Go, and interior design apps.

Virtual Reality (VR)

It is often associated with a deep dive or complete immersion experience that leaves behind the physical world. VR devices include popular entertainment devices such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or Google Cardboard. Users can explore various digitally-designed or real-world locations. It can be as simple as flying in outer space or fighting a raging dragon with an epic sword.

Mixed Reality (MR)

It is a hybrid of AR and VR. It combines real-world and digital objects to allow users to produce new environments and visualizations. It’s where physical and digital objects mix and interact in real-time. Microsoft’s HoloLens is one of the earliest devices for mixed reality.

Check out our article on the 6 Innovative Technologies in AR/VR and our project on designing the electronics for augmented reality glasses to learn more.

About Voler Systems

Located in Silicon Valley and with more than 40 years of electronic design experience, Voler Systems continues to be a leading custom product design consulting company providing high-quality electrical engineering and firmware development. Voler Systems ensures delivery of quality products, on time, on budget with low risk. All projects are undertaken with good specifications, the right people, quality design, constant communication, and a smooth transfer to manufacturing.

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