If the trends are any indication, 2020 is going to be a huge year for medical device software. All you need do is consider how large a role new technology plays in the healthcare industry to recognize there is a voracious demand for more, as well as upgraded, medical devices and the software required to make them optimal. There is no denying that growth in the industry has largely been due to the ongoing advancements being made in the world of technology in general. In this article, we will explore the reasons why that is and what to expect in the coming year on this particular front.
Trends Directing The Medical Device Movement
Before we take a look at the main reasons why there will be so much growth in medical device software this year, we should see what trends have been identified. Here is a short list of them.
1 – Small Start-Ups Have Equal Footing With Giant Corporations
There is no such thing as an exclusive market for the development of medical devices or the software used to operate them. This opens the door for opportunities for smaller, entrepreneurial start-ups. It also means big players can partner with innovative creators to build new technologies.
2 – More Focus On Cloud-Based Systems
The trend to shift data to cloud-based systems comes with a long list of benefits to all who have access. The main attraction is still the higher level of security and the fact that cloud storage is a huge storage base that can house countless files and related data on patients, case histories, diagnosis, treatments and more.
3 – Care Becomes More Personalized And Personal
Probably one of the most effective ways in which medical devices and their software programs affect the medical industry is how they change the level of care for patients. A more individualized diagnosis leads to a personalized treatment that is not the same as what is presented to everyone else results in better recovery.
4 – R & D Spending Increased By Small Medical Device Companies
As mentioned, one of the trends for this year is that start-ups have as good a chance at developing new software as big companies do. One of the reasons for this is that small medical device companies are aggressively increasing the amount of money they invest in research and development. This helps to identify the need for new devices and initiate their development sooner.
Why Medical Device Software Is Going To Be An Area Of Growt
Having explained a little more about the trends that are driving change in the healthcare industry, we can look deeper into the three key reasons why there will be growth in the medical device software industry in 2020. You may be surprised at what they are.
Reason #1 – Portability And Ease of Use
Okay, you could argue that those are two different reasons but they go hand-in-hand. With medical devices getting smaller, and more often battery-operated, they can be used in virtually any situation. According to Orthogonal, the easier a device is to use, the more likely it will be used. As for the software, some programs can be downloaded as apps that can connect one or several medical devices.
Some software crosses platforms, thereby eliminating the need for different software programs for different devices. Also, software programs permit you to perform many different tasks ranging from collecting data to accessing data from other sources and much more. The bottom line is that with programs that don’t require much time to learn, the medical professionals using them can start to use them sooner.
Reason #2 – Artificial Intelligence Is Vital
It may not have seemed possible just a few short years ago, but artificial intelligence (AI) is making a positive impact within the healthcare industry. Sources, including Digital Authority Partners, point to the use of this as a turning point in both diagnosis and treatment processes in all levels of healthcare. Not only does AI play a role in these important phases of medical care, but it can also perform many tasks that free up medical professional or speed up their work.
Some of the applications for AI include: managing data, handling repetitive tasks, working on creating effective personalized treatment plans for patients, running tests, making newer and better medications and even perform administrative work. Artificial intelligence doesn’t replace workers; it helps workers be more efficient and effective when working with patients, co-workers or data collection.
Reason #3 – Involving The End-User In Development Processes
It may seem simple to create a medical device and the matching software so that it is practical and logical to use. However, developers working on these projects are rarely the people who end up using the devices and programs once they reach the consumer marketplace. This is why it is so important to include a focus group of end-users who can participate during the development of the device and software.
The practical, experience-based information that can be provided by participating end-users can make the difference between an “okay” product and an “awesome” product. This kind of input also reduces the time spent on field tests and returning to the drawing board to address the findings that result from trial and error. With the assistance of end-users, products are designed better and function as they should in real-world situations.
The market for medical device software is just starting to move forward and should experience a great deal of growth during this year. Advancements in technology, the work of small development companies and entrepreneurs have created a growth curve that is going to pick up momentum as the year passes.
Faster, more effective and accurate means of collecting data, diagnosing patient conditions and creating personalized treatment plans are all possible with medical devices and the software on which they operate. Making it easy for doctors and other medical professionals to do their job means that these professionals will be able to continue to serve us longer and provide us with better care as a consequence.