January 28, 2014
There is no shortage in tech at a show like CES, and this year in particular Digital Health made a number headlines-but ever more the opportunity for health wasn’t just what one might find in that particular hall-the expo floor at-large proved to have ample opportunity and applications for the medical device industry.
Trends that will fuel medical product activity:
Robots from all over the world took center stage and were doing everything from sweeping the floor to providing comfort in the form of a doey-eyed seal. These sophisticated feats of engineering interact and entertain in a myriad of ways. While some have already made their way into the surgical setting, it’s only just beginning…
2. Sensors & Connected Devices
Gaming consuls, TV’s, phones, sports equipment and of course the fitness activity monitors are taking readings, monitoring, connecting and analyzing across user groups allowing companies to create virtuous cycles of loyalty between the manufacturer and the consumer based on real data. The medical analogy is not new here but inarguably so much more valuable and powerful. Connecting multiple physicians, to wearable or home diagnostics and therapeutic devices that are managed through data analysis in the cloud to provide a continuum of care is not futuristic thinking but reality. Moving the emphasis of medicine away from the “Fix it” mindset of today to a “prevent it” platform is most certainly the future standard of care. Companies like Idealife are beginning to show the first small examples of the possibilities and values.
3. 3D Printers
Already having an impact on healthcare and medical product development, 3D printing is at once simple and understandable but the cost and availability of maker devices will continue to fuel innovation in the medical space. There were tiny 3D scanners that were mesmerizing to watch. It can only be imagined how and where these will be used in the future.
Eight flying devices performing an aerial dance of incredible complexity with elegance and precision with no controller had me awestruck. The implications of automation at this level to the healthcare arena, different from today’s robots (which are largely master slave devices) is huge. Devices such as these that will monitor and act with us as we maintain our life routines will surely change our relationship with our health forever.
The opportunity is huge for the convergence of consumer, technology and healthcare to revolutionize the way healthcare is delivered.