smart-medical-devices

Smart Medical Devices: An Introduction

We have recently written about the Internet of Medical Things (“IoMT”) and intelligent medical devices.

In creating a context for understanding the evolving medical device industry, we have repeatedly used “smart medical devices”. This has created distinction between the different types of IoMT devices (e.g., intelligent devices, connected devices, etc.).

Certainly many people have developed a better understanding of the changing marketplace with this approach. However, we’ve been asked by some to dive deeper into the concept of smart medical devices.

In this post, we’ll discuss these devices in depth and try to shed some light on this promising market.

Recommended: Intelligent Medical Devices: An Overview


What Are “Smart Medical Devices?”

In our post about IoT-based patient monitoring systems, we defined “smart devices” as devices connected to the internet.

We expanded this definition in our post about intelligent medical devices to include “the ability to interact with users and other devices.”

Incorporating the above definitions, we define “smart medical devices” as those that can be controlled by users or other devices, and connect to the internet.

An example of technology is a smart watch with a user-friendly interface. This watch collects a patient’s heartrate data, then uploads this data to the cloud.

smart-medical-devices-definition

How Are Smart Medical Devices Being Used Today?

The smart medical device market has been gaining adoption for some time. The COVID-19 pandemic put pressure on medical device manufacturers to accelerate their timelines for wireless, user-friendly devices.

One patient monitoring device manufacturer recently announced it is producing a tablet that will integrate with its patient monitoring devices. This will enable physicians to remotely view and analyze patient health data.

The diabetes industry has also presented opportunities for “smart” innovation. Established and startup medical device companies are utilizing cutting-edge wireless glucose monitoring solutions to increase patient comfort and wellness.

Additionally, certain medical device organizations are using smart technology to better observe asthmatic patients. Alone, this group consists of over 19 million people in the United States

These examples highlight the diverse ways in which these devices are being used to improve the quality of people’s lives.


Smart Medical Devices and Big Data

One of the common terms connected with “smart medical devices” is “big data.”

Certainly patient data was gathered long before the advent of smart technology. However, adoption of these devices is enabling healthcare providers to gather data on a scale that was implausible a decade ago.

Further, this data is not being gathered for the sake of collecting data. It is collected for the purpose of helping drive better diagnostic and treatment decisions.

As consulting firm McKinsey notes:

As we begin building these models, aggregating big data, we’re going to be testing and applying the models on individuals, assessing the outcomes, refining the models, and so on. Questions will become easier to answer.

Smart medical devices are paving the way for physicians to monitor patients outside of the hospital. Sensor and imaging technology is evolving rapidly. This means that the healthcare world will collect more valuable patient data.


Additional Resources

As you can see, smart medical devices are already starting to have a significant impact on the healthcare industry.

However, developing these devices can be challenging; especially if you’ve never done it before.

We recommend partnering with an expert who can guide you on the path of smart device development.

To learn more about the future of medical devices, please download our free eBook.