By now many of you have grown tired of hearing about how the Internet of Things (IoT) will change our lives. For the last few years, ever since the term “Industry 4.0” hit the scene at Hannover Messe Fair in 2011, we have been waiting for the next industrial revolution to take hold. The problem has been that the pace of IoT has been slower than anticipated. Compared to other industrial-technological revolutions like the steam engine or the computer, it has been hard to pinpoint a single technological device to hang the IoT hat on.
Part of this is because several of the tools enabling IoT have been around for a while now. Data sensors, 3D printing, the cloud, robots, smartphones and tablets, and artificial intelligence (AI) technically aren’t new innovations. What we have to keep in mind is that the IoT revolution is more about how these tools are being used and how they are being perfected. No example makes the case better than the world of medical devices.
The medical industry as a whole has slowly started entering the connected world of IoT. Electronic medical records have started to be implemented across the country. Patients have access to online portals to obtain their records. Doctors can also now digitally prescribe medication. However, the true future of IoT in medicine lies with medical devices.
The IoT world provides medical engineers with wireless sensor technology, remote and continuous monitoring, microscale actuation and motor tools, mobile connectivity, and 3D printing capabilities of living tissue. This field is known as the Internet of Things for Medical Devices (IoT-MD). It promotes the quick flow of information and enables easy access to the patient and the healthcare environment. It reduces clinical error and treatment costs by providing human predictive maintenance.
And the industrial sector has taken notice. The IoT healthcare market is projected to grow from $41.22 billion in 2017 to $158.07 billion by 2022. The main growth drivers of the IoT healthcare market are the evolution of AI technology, the rise in investments for the implementation of IoT healthcare solutions, and the increasing penetration of connected devices in healthcare. The global medical device market is expected to reach an estimated $409.5 billion by 2023. The major drivers for the growth of this market are healthcare expenditure, technological development, an aging population, and chronic diseases.
Here at Machine Design, we have been following this trend. Earlier this year, we relaunched our Medical Design microsite to cover new developments in this technological space. More recently, we launched a new conference, the Medical Device Technology Exchange, to connect developers, engineers, and industrial companies around the design and development of medical devices. The MDTX event had its launch in April and will launch its second event October 2-4 in San Diego. The call for speakers is now open for those looking to share their knowledge at the event.
IoT-MD will change how we view healthcare monitoring and treatment. It will help personalize medicine and promote a better standard of care and living. Technological innovations will help create a more affordable healthcare service, as well. If you’ve been waiting for the IoT iron to strike, keep your eye on IoT-MD market.