1. Internet-of-things: According to MarketResearch.com, the healthcare IoT market is slated to be at $117 billion by 2020. As a disruptive technology, IoT facilitates real time capture of data through smart sensors and wearable devices, exchanges the captured information on Cloud and with BI/Analytical tools, analyzes the information streams much rapidly than conventional means. The massive use of embedded systems is ushering in a “connect everywhere – every time” culture along with parallel trends of home and industrial automation, and smart cities where GPS functionalities are weaved into every movement. The consequences are numerous: from remote monitoring to ATM-like machines which can dispense drugs after a check-up from providers thousands of miles away.
2. Increasing Use of BI and Analytics: Healthcare BI and analytics, a market projected to cross US$18.7 Billion by 2020, is undergoing a silent transformation as there is greater demand for tools and solutions which can plug the missing gap in visualizing real business challenges and solutions through existing healthcare data. According to a PwC survey, it was found that over 95% of CEOs in healthcare companies are looking for ways to harness data in a better way. Medical devices of tomorrow will be rendered incomplete if they cannot use historical data for predictive analysis and other data for solving existing challenges faced by providers. Tableau has risen to the fore as a very intuitive tool to visualize randomized data to see for patterns and anomalies.
3. Mobility: Increasing smartphone usage and dependence is fostering a condition where physicians and patients would require access to information on their mobile devices and tablets – the key focus is engagement. Many medical supply stores are focusing on delivering mobile healthcare solutions and apps which will continue to become more creative in future. In the long run, mobile devices in association with telemedicine, will facilitate complex operation procedures and medicine dispensing, allowing care providers to look after their patients from remote locations. The dispensation of 24-hour emergency care would become easier.
4. Increasing focus on security and surveillance: Considering the huge number of web-connected and Cloud-connected devices, secured access to data points would become a challenge in future. Medical devices should be equipped with affordable chips and sensors with ability to read biometric information, for instance, features which would allow greater security in access.
5. 3D printing: 3D printing technologies are increasingly becoming mainstream and even affordable. They have immense scope in medical devices industry as they can be used for everything from preclinical testing to new lab innovation (reducing verification time), improvised training and for sales demo.
6. Emergence of Multipurpose medical devices: Increasingly, medical devices will be expected to play multiple roles. For example, ambulance care units will have access to gadgets that combine defibrillators with suction kits, blood pressure cuff and pulse oximeters in one inflatable unit which can save time and space for administering emergency care.
From a consumer point of view, the increasing availability of latest trends as discussed above would translate into less frequent visits to the doctor, transferring the responsibility of effective healthcare directly to patients (although this, by no means, would mean patients should not access their providers directly).