Top Medical Device Trends and Outlook for 2024

Published: April 2024

The growing prevalence of chronic diseases among large populations across the globe has become a cause of concern. Individuals suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes require regular monitoring and hospital visits. Sometimes, it is difficult for patients to travel for medical attention, specifically during an emergency. With advancements in groundbreaking technologies, the era of remote monitoring has unfolded. Medical devices emerge as a potential solution for the healthcare industry to diagnose, monitor, and treat patients remotely. Global medical device market players have developed several remote monitoring devices, health applications, and software and hardware systems. These medical devices leverage the Internet of Things, biosensors, and automation to fetch data in real-time. The fast analysis approach with higher accuracy has enabled healthcare experts to deliver preventive treatment for disease management. Further, medical devices facilitate early detection, which significantly treats diseases and prevents patients from adverse consequences.

Integrating transformative technologies with healthcare will redefine patient care, diagnosis, and treatment processes. From immersive technologies to remote patient monitoring devices and wearable gadgets, the market landscape is poised for significant advancements that revolutionize the healthcare industry. The development of wearable gadgets and injectors offers continuous health monitoring and disease management, empowering individuals to track their health metrics in real-time. The trend of wearable devices fosters a proactive healthcare management approach, enabling personalized interventions. The medical device market's significance has shifted industrial leaders towards technological advancements to develop smart devices for patient care and treatment protocols. Given the growing requirement for remote medical devices, the key players navigate the forward-thinking trends to reshape the healthcare industry. In this context, let's read about the top medical device trends and outlook for 2024.

1. Customization through 3D Printing Technology

The budding trend of personalized healthcare and treatment according to the patient’s individual requirements has surged the demand for custom-made medical devices. 3D bioprinting technology is an immersive approach of creating bespoke medical implants, prosthetics, and medical tools that match individual patients' treatment needs. Further, 3D printing also helps to develop accurate human-specific disease models that help to develop drugs and serve the unmet requirements that still need to be addressed with traditional medicinal approaches. The ability of 3D bioprinting technology to create cells, tissues, and organs has facilitated organ transplantation, expecting to generate interest among leading pharmaceutical players to develop more tools using this technology.

In addition, integrating Internet of Things medical devices is a significant trend in developing healthcare. The ongoing advancement in medical devices and custom approaches allows continuous monitoring, development of treatment plans, and real-time data collection, fostering better healthcare management with personalized insight.

2. AI-Powered Diagnostics and Automation Measures

Early detection of diseases, specifically cancer, is of paramount importance to prevent patients from severe consequences. Considering the requirement for early detection, the medical device market players are focusing on implementing automation and artificial intelligence-empowered devices. Medical devices powered by AI algorithms have reshaped the landscape by providing unparalleled accuracy and efficacy in identifying diseases. Simultaneously, automation measures have become a key trend, ensuring that healthcare experts get real-time data with seamless accuracy. Further, AI-powered medical devices have been extensively used in diagnostics, medical imaging and act as decision support systems. Considering the benefits of implementing artificial intelligence, advancements in AI are likely to continue in 2024 for accurate and faster diagnosing.

3. Digital Therapeutics and At-Home Diagnostics

Digital therapies are software-based medical gadgets that gained massive popularity during the pandemic. These AI-powered gadgets are frequently used by physicians to digitally treat, manage, and prevent various illnesses and disorders. These technologies increase the effectiveness and availability of treatment by allowing patients to control their health without sacrificing the quality or standards of care provided. With the growing adoption of digital therapeutics solutions across the globe by patients and healthcare experts, the medical device market has increased its interest in digital therapeutics.

At-home diagnostics are similar to digital medicines in that they enable patients to control their health. Though they are classified as medical devices, they are not always AI-powered and are intended to identify possible ailments or diseases. During the epidemic, COVID-19 tests were extensively disseminated to individuals in their homes worldwide, and they became habituated to self-testing. This resulted in a significant growth spike in the demand for at-home diagnostics devices and tools that enable remote diagnosing by the patient. Further, developing at-home diagnostic tool kits has increased adherence to the treatment regime and disease management so patients can live a quality life.

4. Increasing Focus on Minimal Invasive and Sustainable Technology

Medical devices are beneficial in early diagnosis, patient monitoring, and treatment; however, these tools are expensive—these can restrict their adoption at a large scale. Further, devices such as single-use medical diagnosing kits and surgical instruments negatively impact the environment, generating amounts of waste. Environmental sustainability is becoming a consideration in the healthcare industry, including the manufacturing and disposing of medical devices. Companies may increasingly focus on environmentally friendly practices. In 2024, medical device market players will focus on sustainability and minimally invasive technology to improve patient compliance and make these devices available to a broad population. The medical device market also emphasizes minimizing medical waste and implementing comprehensive technologies to enhance carbon neutrality.

5. Robotics Surgery Will Be the Future

Robotic arms have been in practice for years to perform typical surgeries with higher accuracy and a minimally invasive approach. Advances in automation and robotics have brought precision and enabled surgeons to perform surgeries on difficult-to-reach body parts. The trend of robotics will continue in 2024 to develop innovative technology-based robotic instruments such as micro-robotics that help treat brain diseases. Furthermore, the medical device market players will focus on developing advanced tools that allow surgeons to perform surgeries with fewer cuts, raise safety, reduce pain, and offer a fair recovery period.

6. Cybersecurity Will Be a Major Need

Medical devices involve AI algorithms and software integration that rely heavily on data collection from various sources. The inter-connected data transfer is prone to breaching, and the healthcare system may lose patient personal information and other valuable data. As a medical network grows, it becomes more vulnerable to attacks. With more web-connected and mobile technology in use, a cyber assault may readily and swiftly spread to additional devices on the network, substantially increasing its reach.

Considering the ongoing demand for medical devices and security concerns, cybersecurity will be the major area to focus on by key industry players. In 2024, the medical device market players will emphasize adding a robust security system, end-to-end encryption, and zero-trust authenticity to prevent data breaching activities.

Multiple authentication steps and a complex cyberinfrastructure must be implemented within a decision support system, electronic health records, electronic prescriptions, intelligent heating, air conditioning, medical internet of things, and infusion pumps. Further, medical device manufacturers must make efforts to address these issues, including installing strong encryption and authentication mechanisms and routinely upgrading device software to address vulnerabilities.

7. Incorporation of 5G Technologies

Medical professionals, specialists in surgery, and radiologists now have relatively easy access to patient information owing to the introduction of 5G technology in the field of medical devices. 5G networks facilitate real-time data transfer, critical for rapid and accurate diagnosis. 5G networks have greatly expanded the possibilities for remote patient monitoring. This technology targets populations that want to receive healthcare at home and people who reside in rural areas with limited connections. Furthermore, remote hospitals with less expert knowledge frequently employ 5G technology to connect to metropolitan clinics. Using such tools, surgeons may receive rapid feedback. The 5G technology integration enables efficiency and improves patient outcomes and contributes towards an effective treatment approach.

8. Miniature Medical Devices

In the healthcare industry, portable medical devices with advanced features will be trending in the future. Miniature medical gadgets such as blood sugar monitors and heart rate trackers enable patients to monitor their health parameters for timely interventions. By understanding the ongoing requirement of unique miniature devices, several medical device market players focus on the development of portable devices. One such innovation is the healthcare heart start automatic external defibrillator developed by Philips. This smart AI-powered portable cardiac rhythm analyzer encourages the user to administer defibrillation shock in an emergency automatically. Some other miniature medical devices that have been developed are listed below:

  • A handy oxygen concentrator with pulse-dose delivery and continuous flow helps track the oxygen ratio.
  • Cardio Help, a small portable heart-lung support system, has been developed to track blood values like venous oxygen saturation, hematocrit, hemoglobin, venous blood temperature, and arterial blood pressure. The upcoming advancements in this device help patients manage their medical requirements without visiting healthcare centers.

9. Medical Drones

In the healthcare industry, the timely delivery of medicines and medical resources plays a crucial role in saving a patient during an emergency. In recent years, medical drones have become an indispensable part of the healthcare industry, delivering medicines, diagnosing kits, vaccines, surgical equipment, and organs to distant locations inaccessible through traditional routes. Medical drones also help to enhance healthcare distribution and overcome logistic challenges. Medical drones can also serve as emergency responders and help in disease management during medical emergencies. Furthermore, medical drones have various other advantages, such as reducing human error, lowering expenses, and increasing patient outcomes. Furthermore, medical drones improve healthcare accessibility by reaching remote places and delivering critical healthcare resources to regions with limited access to excellent treatment, fostering fairness and inclusion in healthcare supply. It is interesting to note that, driven by rising demand for speedier delivery of medical supplies, the medical drone market is expected to expand significantly throughout the projected period.

Challenges in the Implementation of Advanced Medical Devices

Despite enormous opportunities and trends striking in the medical devices market, several challenges slow the adoption of new technologies. Some of the potential challenges included regulatory complexities and sustainability mandates. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, remote monitoring devices, and other software-based devices require data accuracy to make an informative decision about personalized treatment plans. Hence, to implement technology-based devices, the medical device market has to meet complex regulatory compliance to ensure the accuracy and security of patient's personal data. Furthermore, the medical devices market may also witness several challenges in securing patient information from breaching activities. The cost associated with the development of medical devices is another restraint that may hinder the adoption of these technologies on a large scale.

Medical Devices: The Future of Healthcare Industry

In conclusion, medical devices will be the future of the healthcare industry to deliver precise care with a real-time monitoring approach. The continuous advancements in technology and future-driven approaches take the medical device market towards digital transformation and automation that helps in disease management, surgeries, and treatment. Overall, the technology is here to stay in the future, and medical devices will soon become a crucial part of drug discovery and development to speed up manufacturing and approval. The field, such as medical aesthetic devices, integration of augmented reality, and the addition of cybersecurity practices, will make a robust platform for the widespread adoption of these tech-driven systems in the healthcare industry. However, industrial leaders have to navigate the challenges and find new opportunities that help to transform the medical device industry.

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