Insights and Trends – Digital Trends in Medical Manufacturing
AI and machine learning, digital twins, extended reality, Internet of Things (IoT) and 3D printing are some digital trends in medical manufacturing that will impact the industry in 2020. The impact of these top five trends healthcare could save lives for decades to come.
1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
- While broad use of Machine Learning (ML) is still down the road, there are dozens of ML models in production, development, and planning stages in healthcare with algorithms that learn from data.
- An estimation by McKinsey Global Institute found that applying big-data strategies to better inform decision-making could generate up to $100 billion in value annually across the US health-care system.
- Examples of companies in AI and ML include Arterys and PathAI.
2. Digital Twins
- A digital twin is a near real-time replica of something in the physical world.
- When a digital twin is created, it offers insights about how to improve operations, increase efficiency or discover an issue before it happens to whatever it is duplicating in the real world.
- General Electric is a player in the digital twins Industry.
3. Extended Reality
- The VR/AR healthcare market should reach $5.1 billion by 2025, making this technology extremely beneficial for training and surgery simulation.
- This technology can help patients retrieve memories and a sense of joy simply by returning them to a time, experience, or sound that was important to them in the past.
- Examples of companies using extended reality are Propio and Echopixel.
4. Internet of Things (IoT)
- The Internet of Things has enabled the medical industry to undergo a paradigm shift by improving the efficiency and quality of treatments that are provided to patients. There are several benefits with the use of IoT in this industry that include simultaneous monitoring and reporting, data analysis and assortment, tracking and alerts, and research. Significant applications of IoT include head-mounted devices called moodles, computer vision technology, smart pills that are also known as edible IoT pills, and hearables.
- Wearables are currently being used to determine the number of steps a person walked on a day and to monitor heart rhythms. The data is being used for research to advance different medical fields. Proteus Digital Health and TruTag are some leaders in the space.
- IoT technology is expected to continue the development of various applications in the industry of medical manufacturing and management. Some of these applications include drug monitoring and medical equipment management, pharmaceuticals and medical device anti-counterfeiting, real-time monitoring with the help of RFID tags, digital hospitals, medical waste data management, drug storage, medical emergency management, and medical equipment tracking.
5. 3D Printing
- 3D printing is a type of additive manufacturing that is flexible and allows designers to make changes easily without the need to set up additional equipment or tools.
- 3D printing is gaining popularity because it enabled prototyping, customization, research, and manufacturing for healthcare.
- 3D printing makes it easier to cost-effectively develop comfortable prosthetic limbs for patients and print tissues and organs for transplant.
- Examples of companies in 3D printing include Stryker Orthopedics.
We began our search by looking into industry-specific reports and market research reports from websites such as McKinsey, media reports from websites such as Forbes, academic reports from open journals such as IOP Science, and government databases to determine some future digital trends in medical manufacturing. After a thorough search through multiple reports, we were able to identify five key future trends in the space. The trends identified have been chosen based on the frequency with which they have been mentioned by industry leaders, studies, and experts.
Innovations – Medical Devices
2019 has witnessed a variety of innovations surrounding medical devices. In the United States, these include the Artificial Heart Valve, iStent Inject, ProAir Digihaler, Medtronic Brain Modulation, Starkey Livio AI, Zephyr endobronchial Valve System, GentleWave System and the Heartlogic heart failure diagnostic.
INNOVATION 1: ARTIFICIAL HEART VALVE
- The artificial aortic valve is meant for patients suffering from the aortic heart valve ailment that have been advised to take up valve replacement surgery.
- The bovine heart tissue has been used to develop this valve and one of its merits is that it minimizes the build-up of calcium on the valve tissue while at the same time enabling the valve to be kept dry.
- Edwards Lifesciences is an American-based company behind this innovation.
INNOVATION 2: ISTENT INJECT
- This is a device that aims to reduce instraocular pressure in a safe and effective way in patients diagnosed with glaucoma: open-angle, pseudo-exfoliative or pigmentary.
- During cataract surgery, the injection is implanted to the body via a one-entry point and creates a path to the primary blocksite for better physiological flow.
- Based in San Clemente, California, Glaukos Corporation has spearheaded this innovation and it is estimated that close to 50% of healthcare companies have incorporated this inject system in their operations.
INNOVATION 3: PROAIR DIGIHALER
- ProAir Digihaler is a device which utilizes sensor based system to link with a smartphone app for patients suffering from asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
- The fact that it uses built-in sensors enables it to measure respiratory flow and also detect when the inhaler is used. This data is then sent to the smartphone app for review and analysis by healthcare professionals.
- The device was innovated by Teva Pharmaceuticals — a company with headquarters both in America and Israel.
INNOVATION 4: THE MEDTRONIC BRAIN MODULATION
- The Medtronic brain modulation is a Deep Brain Simulation (DBS) device for patients experiencing high epilepsy incidences (6 or more in a month).
- The device works by targeting the anterior nucleus of the thalamus, (the brain region responsible for producing seizures). Leads are fixed in the anterior nucleus of the thalamus and provide controlled electrical stimulation.
- This DBS innovation has been found to reduce the frequency of seizures in adults over 18 years and improves the long term quality of life. Patients who have failed at least three epileptic medication have been found to benefit from this innovation.
- Medtronic is the company behind the innovation. It has an operational and executive headquarters in the state of Minnesota, US.
INNOVATION 5: STARKEY LIVIO AI
- Artificial intelligence continues to grow with each passing day and this gadget will come in handy by detecting when its users have fallen and may also act as an assistant.
- Starkey Hearing Technology launched the gadget in 2019 in the United States and says that it has 99% accuracy when it comes to measurements.
INNOVATION 6: ZEPHYR ENDOBRONCHIAL VALVE SYSTEM
- The zephyr endobronchial valve is a device that helps in proper functioning of the lungs by reducing lung air volumes for patients with emphysema condition.
- The device utilizes an airway targeting system which uses a flexible delivery catheter in combination with a standard bronchoscope. Once implanted, the single-way valves prevent airflow to the affected region hence allowing trapped air and fluids to escape.company:
- The device is an innovation from Pulmonx Inc — a company based in California, United States.
INNOVATION 7: GENTLEWAVE SYSTEM
- The gentlewave system is a fluid delivery and control system that is used in root canal therapy.
- The device introduces a soundbar system to the conventional system. This enables the device to perform both macro and microscopic cleaning which improves the overall efficiency.
- This device was invented by Sonendo Inc — a company based in California, United States.
INNOVATION 8: HEARTLOGIC HEART FAILURE DIAGNOSTIC
- The Heartlogic Heart Failure diagnostic is a device for predicting future heart failure events.
- The innovation can predict potential heart failures, weeks in advance and detect signs of worsening heart failure conditions. Has multiple sensors that track physiological trends with 70% sensitivity detection of heart failure.
- Massachusetts based Boston scientific is the company that introduced the innovation. The device hopes to target over 1.1 million hospitalizations attributed to heart failure annually.