Connected health and personalization will drive demand for customized medical devices, finds Frost & Sullivan

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – December 31, 2015 – The proliferation of smartphones and other portable electronic communication devices is setting the stage for the explosive growth of medical devices aiding connected health. The radical advancements in IT, along with the rising demand for healthcare personalization, is expected to accelerate the shift away from hospital care to home and community care over the next decade.

Consumers have shown a preference for medical devices with complex and multiple functionalities. As this complicates the design and production of medical devices, manufacturers are considering new techniques, such as 3D printing. This technique is projected to find fast adoption in medical device prototyping in the initial stages; however, 3D printed implants and prosthesis are forecast to experience considerable application in healthcare.

“3D printing is already being used to make hearing aid shells and aligners for orthodontics,” said Frost & Sullivan’s TechVision Research Analyst Karthik Vishal Lakshmanan. “In future, 3D printing and micromanufacturing are anticipated to serve as the front line technologies in the production of personalized orthopedic or orthotic implants. 3D printing could also help drive mass customization in the medical industry.”

While all the emerging manufacturing technologies will have a significant impact on medical device manufacturing, low-risk devices may experience a relatively rapid uptake, as they do not require regulatory approvals.

Globally, many OEMs are following different strategies to tackle the intensifying competition in the medical devices industry. In addition to cutting-edge technologies, manufacturers are employing many modern materials and composites such as titanium alloys, novel thermoplastics and fiber materials in medical devices on a large scale.

“The medical device industry is constantly seeking to use diverse materials to deliver high-quality healthcare to consumers,” noted Lakshmanan. “As new composites and materials make their way into medical devices, manufacturers are acknowledging the need to combine these materials to deliver precise output.”

Advances in Medical Manufacturing, part of the TechVision (Medical Devices & Imaging) subscription, offers a detailed account of the various emerging manufacturing technologies and their impact on the medical device manufacturing in the next five years. This research service provides trends, insights, and technologies of focus for stakeholders in this segment. It also presents an overview of technology Megatrends affecting medical devices. It identifies the emerging market needs that are likely to shape R&D efforts in the near future.

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