With the initiation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) last year, which placed a 2.3% additional revenue-based tax burden on medical device manufacturers, the landscape of medical equipment has changed. Already competing with price pressures in a global market and increasing regulatory demands, this market has quite the road ahead of it.
In addition to business pressures, patients and medical professional alike are increasing the expectations of this equipment and what functions they are expected to perform. While medical data is certainly available to facilitate diagnoses and improve patient care, this can only be done through the electronic equipment that serve this industry.
A far cry from the humble stethoscope, modern medical equipment is expected to adapt to a patient’s physiology, talk to other interconnected pieces of equipment and share information in real time, while accurately monitoring a patient to help determine the correct treatment, ailment or cause of a medical situation.
Medical electronics need to be rugged and reliable, while being mobile and money-saving. Even MRI machines, the behemoth of medical equipment, are now placed on trailers and driven to facilities to perform scans of patients. Conversely, patient-wearable diagnostic equipment, such as a surgically-placed defibrillator, is constantly subjected to the daily rigors of the patient who touts is around.
A major aspect that has fueled these advancements within the medical device industry is ruggedized electronics with denser functionality, and this trend is set to continue. The trick will be to balance innovation and growth with function and cost, keeping product development on track, while providing a good return on investment.
For more insights on technology and healthcare, check out this article: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/518871/we-need-a-moores-law-for-medicine/