Three Biotechnology and Medical Device Trends to Watch This Year
Constant evolution in technology has driven change in every aspect of our lives. From the way we consume content and communicate to how we perform our daily job duties, it’s often difficult to remember what life was like before we were constantly connected. When it comes to biotech and medical devices, there is no exception; constant evolution means changing the way we provide and receive care on a regular basis.
Check out three of the biggest trends to keep an eye on in the biotech and medical devices industry this year:
1. Digital Therapeutics
Digital therapeutics are gaining popularity after several companies were granted FDA clearance last year for digital therapies, including an inhaler with built-in sensors that connect to a mobile app for users with asthma and COPD to help prevent bronchospasms.
These treatments typically rely on technology to work together with a device, medication, or other therapy to deliver patient care that otherwise would be difficult to monitor. According to PwC, we can expect companies to introduce digital therapies that can not only help providers manage patient health better, but also help patients make important behavioral changes.
2. Bionic Organisms
This may seem like a rather futuristic concept, but bionic organisms are really just living organisms with inorganic compounds introduced that “improve or alter its functionality.” Current examples are as simple as a cochlear implant like those from local medical device company Advanced Bionics, or more complex like recent nanomaterial modifications to mushrooms and yeast from last year. These additions allow the organisms to photosynthesize better for different purposes but offer promising potential for the future of nanoscale bionics.
3. Marketing to the General Public
Traditionally medical devices are only marketed to healthcare providers because of FDA regulations, but recent trends in the “general wellness” sphere (think FitBit, Apple Watches, etc.) are encouraging some providers to target the general public. Medical device companies and providers are hoping this will empower users to monitor their own health outside of doctor’s visits.
Just last year Apple was granted FDA clearance for its Series 4 Apple Watch to include features for EKG monitoring and detection of irregular heart rhythm. While this isn’t exactly the same as an “approved” device that would undergo much more rigorous testing, it is definitely the first commercially available wearable device to achieve such a clearance.
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