The Innovations that are Pushing the Boundaries of Medical Devices

Medicine is an industry that’s filled with innovations and exciting ideas that have the power to change how the global sector operates. Medical devices play a vital role in how healthcare is delivered, and we’ve identified some of the key trends that will push boundaries over the next decade and beyond.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

The internet of things (IoT) is a broad technological category where devices work together as a system. It’s a development that allows devices to connect to create more streamlined ways of working and delivering improved results. The IoT is already beginning to have a significant impact on other sectors and a recent report indicates that IoT sensors in healthcare will be worth close to $2 billion by 2022. As the technology becomes more prevalent in healthcare settings, the IoT will help to collect, aggregate, analyse, and provide feedback based on the data it receives. It’s even possible to create automated responses when certain data is acknowledged to better deploy resources.

The connected devices have a huge range of uses, from being worn by in-patients to connecting to medical devices in a hospital setting. It’s an innovation that’s still developing, so expect to see far more applications in the near future.


Alongside the IoT, interoperability is an important trend and one that businesses operating in medical devices need to prepare for. Linking back to connected devices, it’s becoming more important for devices from different brands and with different applications to work seamlessly together. It’s technology that will soon be expected by healthcare organisations and those responsible for making purchases.

What does this mean for medical device companies? It presents both opportunities and challenges. On the one hand, it means with some forward planning, you’re able to attract new clients, even if they already have a system in place. Of course, on the flipside, it also means you have the potential to lose out on contracts to rivals. If you’re a firm that wants to specialise in a particular area, interoperability gives you even more scope in terms of customers.

3D printing

It should come as no surprise that 3D printing is going to continue having an impact on medical devices. It’s already being used in a number of applications and it’s set to go a step further with bioprinting, which effectively prints functioning human tissue. Businesses that work within this area, both directly and indirectly, have a lot to gain, especially if they continue to innovate and problem solve common medical challenges. It’s an area that still needs a lot of testing and approval before it’s full capabilities are deployed but when it is, expect it to revolutionise both medical devices and the overall approach to treatment for a huge variety of conditions.

Smart instruments

This is technology that’s already proven it’s worth but as more professionals begin to use the equipment, there’s no doubt that further applications and developments will emerge. Smart probes and scalpels have been designed to detect certain types of tissue within the operating room, removing the need for further tests to be conducted and speeding up overall processes. It’s already being used to detect tissue that is cancerous in a small number of organisations but it could soon be commonplace to use the technology to complete a range of microsurgical procedures through providing high level intelligence.


Josh Levine is a MedTech industry expert and Head of Medical Device Recruitment at Templeton Parker.

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