The medical device industry will continue to display rapid development in 2023 with an average growth rate of 5.6%. This comes as emerging technologies like AI and 5G extend the speed and complexity of medical care. This allows for exciting new developments such as telemedicine and remote surgeries, both of which can expand access to underserved patients.
In this trends report, we dive into medical device trends for 2023 including utilizing 5G and AI, DE+I, supply chain re-assessment, and 3D printing.
2023 Medical Device Industry Trends
Trend #1: Widespread 5G is a Technological Game Changer
5G technology allows the medical industry to increase data transfer rates by nearly 100x. This means that patient information can be processed and analyzed far faster, especially in the context of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). For example, a sponsor in the healthcare industry can reliably connect patients’ wearable devices to machine learning software, which may detect and prevent complications far faster than a human. One such use is utilizing IoT-connected inhalers to track and analyze attack triggers or correlations.
Another potential use of 5G connectivity is for remote surgeries. As 5G reduces latency, or the delay between data’s origination and destination, surgeries performed by a surgeon across the world become more feasible. It also opens doors for new forms of learning such as medical students watching surgeries via a remote livestream.
Ultimately, faster and more reliable connections allow healthcare firms to develop complementary technologies that were previously unrealistic.
Trend #2: Harnessing the Potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence (AI) is immensely valuable for performing repetitive and time-intensive tasks more accurately. For example, the use of AI to predict treatment outcomes has been found to increase accuracy from 30% to 68% in men and 35% to 72% in women. AI is also revolutionary in that the more it performs the task, the faster and more accurate it becomes because of machine learning.
There are devices currently being developed and implemented that utilize AI to assist with surgeries. One such machine is HUGO by Medtronic, which is able to process data in real time to help surgeons make more reliable decisions. For example, HUGO senses tissue over 400,000 times per second to make operations smoother and safer.
It must be noted, however, that AI can quickly develop implicit biases. This may stem from processing historical data which has been skewed or biased against certain groups. As AI continues to grow, sponsors should be aware of these biases so as to ensure the best treatment outcomes.
Trend #3: Improving DE+I in the MedTech Space
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE+I) are extremely important, especially within the MedTech space. Currently, the industry only has 21% of executive roles held by women and only 3.2% by African Americans. A diverse pool of employees in a medical device company, however, is key to generating new ideas that address a more holistic client base. It’s also important for avoiding implicit biases and assumptions that may exclude segments of the population.
Companies are also making larger investments into DE+I-related projects. Many, for example, are developing technologies that prioritize women’s health. As such, the women’s health diagnostics market is projected to rise above $50 billion by 2026. Much of this tech revolves around prenatal care including more affordable pregnancy monitoring and AI for prenatal treatment. Continue reading by downloading the full report below.
Don’t forget to read this year’s 2023 Wearable Device Trends here.
Read last year’s Medical Device Industry Trends Report here.
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Contributions from David Lin and Jake Park-Walters