The electronic medical device technologies comprises three main areas relevant to future medical devices: computerized devices and IT systems, robotic devices, and wireless systems.
These technology areas continue to be driven by the acceleration of silicon technology, infrastructure development and availability of venture capital; and are more likely to generate significant new medical device developments (products and systems) in the coming years (2015-2020).
Computerized Devices and IT Systems
Computer-Assisted Diagnostics (CADx)
EPR Implanted Chips
Integrated Electronic Patient Records
Networks and Systems
Virtual Reality (Immersive Training Simulators, Tx, etc.)
Robotic Surgical Systems
Cell-Net Phone Based Devices
Radio Frequency Infrared Detection (RFID)
Wireless Monitoring Systems
Wirelessly Connected Implants
Whereas, significant innovation and product development is most likely predicted in the following electronic medical device technology areas; and specific product and system groups:
In case of computerized devices and medical IT systems, advancements are predicted for products such as integrated electronic patient medical record systems, computer-assisted diagnostic systems, internet-based medical systems, virtual-reality immersive medical training systems, and networks and systems of devices. Other areas commonly identified were potential developments in closed loop systems (e.g. implanted applications), and computational modeling of disease (e.g. patient-specific models). The main constraints include software reliability in complex systems, the difficulty of predicting behavior of interactive systems of intelligent devices, data security and confidentiality issues, and in limitations in bioinformatics capabilities to cope with huge amounts of patient information generated through records, and monitoring systems, etc.
For robotic systems, highest likeliness of product development over the next five years is predicted to be in robotic surgery, and robotic prosthetics, whereas the constraints includes complex maintenance, long-term mechanical reliability, and bio-integration challenges for robotic prosthetics.
Wireless products and systems are also predicted to develop significant new medical devices during the five years period of the forecast. The most commonly identified product area for new developments includes RFID technology, whereas the constraints includes EMI and signal penetration.
Reference: Herman and Devey, Future trends in medical device technologies: A ten-year forecast.