Medical devices get used in the healthcare industry to provide a wide variety of medical services, and they help address various challenges that the healthcare industry faces. Medical devices used in healthcare facilities like hospitals and clinics are constantly evolving with the goal to find better ways to diagnose and treat illnesses in more effective, efficient ways.

Related: Predictive Analytics in Healthcare

Here are the medical device trends that you should be familiar with in 2021:

Enhanced Cybersecurity 

With the advance of medical technology also comes the advance of security breaches. Cybersecurity should be a top priority in every area of healthcare, including the medical devices the industry utilizes. Medical information gets exchanged daily between stakeholders like healthcare providers, equipment suppliers, and manufacturers. Enhanced cybersecurity measures are needed whenever patient data gets exchanged through medical devices in an effort to mitigate security breaches. The FSA is holding the manufacturers of medical devices responsible for any security problems that arise from the devices—risk management and cybersecurity are a top priority.

Medical Robots

A new trend that’s accelerating rapidly in 2021 is the use of various robots in medicine and other healthcare fields. For example, the surgical robot “da Vinci Surgical System” assists surgeons in the operating room. With the advance of robotics in the medical field, this technology serves a crucial support role in patient outcomes. As robotic medicine advancements go further, they become more capable of performing procedures beyond simple roles. The intensity and levels of tasks performed by these robots are expected to increase significantly over the next few years. Some companies are currently working on medical robots that can provide targeted radiation therapy to patients.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality has grown significantly over the past few years, and it’s made its way into the healthcare industry. Medical devices utilizing virtual reality have seen uses for training medical students and surgeons, but they also have served a purpose for some patients: patients with autism, vision disorders, depression, anxiety and other conditions have seen benefits from virtual reality medical devices. These medical devices have the ability to address brain discordance issues and are revolutionizing some healthcare processes.

Related: Virtual Reality in Healthcare

Genomic Medicine 

Genomic medicine is an increasingly popular way in which healthcare providers are utilizing demonic data to make decisions regarding a patient’s medical care. It involves using artificial intelligence for the purposes of creating a care plan tailored to the specific needs of each individual patient. Genomic medicine sees wide usage in the oncology, pharmacology, and infectious disease sectors of healthcare. Medical devices using genomics enable healthcare providers to gain a better understanding of various medical conditions, leading to faster, more effective treatment options. Genomic medicine has had success in treating cancer, cystic fibrosis, and other conditions.

Device Connectivity 

An electronic blood pressure monitor

Software as a medical device (or SaMD) is healthcare software used to improve the connectivity of medical devices. For example, it can empower patients by providing them with data about their medical history that gets used to manage their health and treatment plans. For patients with chronic conditions, medical devices can allow them to easily share that data with various providers and gain deeper insights into their own health. This software is all about providing the necessary information needed to make better, informed decisions to improve a patient’s overall wellness. We expect to see a significant rise in SaMD products in 2021.

5G Technology 

While not unique to healthcare and medical devices, the use of 5G technology is quickly rising. Medical devices used in healthcare settings require high-speed networks to perform optimally, and 5G technology is beneficial since it provides the level of speed that these devices need to excel. From the most practical point of view, this technology enables healthcare professionals to use multiple devices to send large files when collaborating with other providers. Most commonly, 5G will aid in sending things like x-ray images and scans to other specialists for diagnosis. It also benefits remote healthcare facilities and telemedicine companies immensely.

Computer Vision

While the capabilities of technology continue to expand, medical devices continue to gain traction. Computer vision allows medical devices to better see and interpret medical images and scans to provide crucial information. This technology isn’t new, but it’s seen significant advancements over the past few years, and it’s not expected to slow down in 2021. Computer vision helps improve diagnostics in healthcare by providing unbiased, accurate information. For example, these devices can detect if a patient is hemorrhaging or if there are tumors present in an image. Essentially, it helps ensure accurate diagnoses.

3D Printed Objects 

The use and availability of 3D printing technology are expanding rapidly. Its uses in the medical industry introduce remarkable possibilities with the potential to prolong or save patients’ lives. For example, 3D printed objects can replicate human organs, tools used for medical procedures and produce customized prosthetics for patients. These objects also see use in medical research and development to create and test various prototypes. 3D printing is offering up solutions all over the medical field, including dentistry and orthodontics. The use of 3D objects in healthcare is expected to grow significantly throughout 2021.

The Internet of Medical Things

Wirelessly connected medical devices

The Internet of Medical Things, or IoMT, consists of a wide variety of apps and medical devices that get used to connect IT systems in the healthcare field. Essentially, it’s a way that enables multiple devices to communicate with each other, typically over a WiFi connection. IoMT analyzes shared data to enable healthcare professionals to make better decisions, and IoMT devices and applications help lower the cost of medical services, improve operational efficiency, and optimize patient outcomes.

IoMT aims to eliminate or reduce the most significant challenges in the healthcare industry, which is why many companies seek ways to expand their IoMT technologies in 2021.

Do you want to build an IoMT application to enhance the way your healthcare facility operates? Get in touch with Alternova—We design and create secure applications that benefit healthcare professionals and their patients!

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