While the years of Pandemic have been challenging for many industries across the globe, its uncertainty has changed the way we live and work. Against this backdrop, the medical device industry has had to adapt to novel methods of digital transformation to ensure product quality, reduce costs, improve efficiencies and comply with global regulations.
As we progress into the future, it is crucial to remain aware of trends affecting the medical device industry in 2022. While sound infrastructure and legacy software may have assisted in improving the structure and efficiency of modern healthcare and hospitals in the past, however, given the demanding nature of the medical industry, such outdated software may not be enough to meet the growing needs of customers and key stakeholders. Moreover, it is also essential to consider whether legacy infrastructure and software can integrate with latest technologies or if they may be replaced by more cutting-edge and reliable systems. Eventually, if these technologies are more focused on productivity, security, and efficiency without compromising on reliability, they may begin to be widely adopted.
There have been many innovations in technology that have driven the transformation of the healthcare sector. Given below are some of the most significant technologies from Cloud PLM solutions to smart medical wearables, affecting the medical device industry, which could have the potential to transform the industry.
The growing demand of cloud transformations
In this age of distributed and collaborative business models, cloud computing is gradually gaining popularity in the digital workforce. Many industries have either completely moved or have moved most of their processes to the cloud.
Cloud computing has an untapped potential in the medical device industry as they provide a shared platform with industry-wide automation workflow, unified data and a comprehensive and customized product development process, which can help medical device enterprises become more scalable and efficient. Cloud services not only help improve the scope of the medical services, but they also improve the flow of data between the service providers and users.
By improving visibility, collaboration and responsiveness across the entire value chain, the latest generation of cloud services enable reduced costs, faster time to market and superior customer experience.
Adoption of cloud PLM services for enhancing product development lifecycle
The medical device industry faces enormous challenges that range from quality inconsistency, supply chain inefficiencies, complex regulatory compliance issues and rapid product innovation to meet the current demands of the healthcare industry. This is where the importance of current product life management (PLM) systems can be revolutionary in optimizing current technological assets or upgrading to new solutions.
The PLM cycle is the process of managing the entire lifecycle of a product from its formation through its design, development, manufacturing, and commercialization of the manufactured product. In the realm of the medical device industry, it has become a key player in accelerating deliveries, improving time to market, reducing costs, supporting regulatory compliance issues, and achieving faster product design.
PLM services for the medical device industry, such as Oracle PLM Cloud and Agile Product Lifecycle Management Solutions have been incredibly valuable as they consist of solutions for product innovation, supply chain, quality, and regulatory compliance. Getting an innovative, cost-effective product to market quickly requires collaborative interaction of all key stakeholders throughout the product design cycle. This is where the adoption of PLM services is crucial as it not just reduces time to market, but it also reduces costs related to redesign, reduces regulatory delays due to inefficient document control and improves communication between the teams.
Medical wearable technology is becoming popular
One of the most significant advancements in the healthcare industry is the advancement of wearable technologies. Smart wearable medical technology has made it possible to monitor the status of a patient or monitor their own status, which is incredibly valuable. The trend for consumer smartwatches is set to become more widely adopted and their potential to be used in healthcare applications must be noted. In addition to this, smartwatches are also improving in their ability to provide more accurate blood vitals in their users.
Smart watches are not the only technology that will see a growing curve in the coming years. Bio patches and small hearing aids have similar levels of impact when it comes to promoting overall health and wellness and optimizing healthcare given to patients.
3D print technology helping save lives
Another emerging technology that is expected to gain a lot of traction in the medical device industry is 3D print technology. 3D printing is the process of making 3-dimensional solid objects from a digital file. When used in the medical device industry, 3D rendering technology has remarkable ability to create a positive impact and save lives. With 3D print technology, it is possible to generate prosthetics that are customized to patients, produce custom-made organs and tools used for surgical procedures. In addition to this, these printed objects can also be used for the development of prototypes and for research purposes. Moreover, 3D print technology is also used for the enhancement of design in dentistry and orthodontics.
The scope of artificial intelligence in medical regulations
While the medical device industry has improved rapidly, raising life expectancy but as longevity increases, medical industries face growing demand for their services and a workforce that is struggling to meet the needs of its patients. The growing demand of patient needs along with huge expenses and operational inefficiencies has compelled businesses to rethink their whole lifecycle processes. This is where the significance of AI comes into play, which is the science of equipping a machine to make decisions in a way that mimics human intelligence and behavior. Driven by the pandemic, recent times have seen AI progress from being a concept to a reality.
Medical devices are subject to strong regulatory standards that give reasonable assurance of their safety and efficacy due to their ability to alter patients’ health outcomes for the better or for the worse. AI can speed up this process by giving more meaningful insights from minor patterns in vast data sets and advanced analytics on how systems work throughout time and across many circumstances, decreasing inspection times dramatically. In addition to this, AI can read and anticipate text, language, symbols, and other assets linked with a medical device’s label thanks to its predictive skills. It can then automatically feed this data into a spreadsheet, speeding up arduous procedures that would take people far longer.
AI can be a game-changer when it comes to optimizing operational efficiency and minimizing risk in a highly regulated business like the medical device industry, where it may lead to significant improvements in mistake handling and performance management.
Future of the medical device industry is in digital innovation
As 2022 progresses, the medical device industry will continue to grow significantly in many key areas especially in regulatory compliance. With compliance dates and regulation deadlines, medical device industries must embrace advanced technologies if they wish to fulfill regulatory compliance policies and many other operational challenges.
Fortunately, novel technologies such as Cloud-based services, especially cloud-based PLM solutions, artificial intelligence and 3D printing are paving the way for digital innovation in medical device industries and helping them solve critical challenges. While such technologies are a long way from replacing human interaction and intelligence, they can be significant in enhancing operational efficiency, productivity, and speed, while minimizing the risk of errors.