Game Changers: Technology Trends to Watch in 2013

December 6, 2012 – 7:40 am

As we look ahead to the New Year and what it may bring, we have collected the most important game-changing, cannot-be-ignored 2013 medical device technology trends for you. The healthcare industry sees medical technology as a particularly innovative and promising field and the general population welcomes the increase in technology in modern medical technology much more than in other sectors. In fact, according to a Forsa survey, more than 90% of the population sees developments in preventive medicine, diagnosis and treatment as positive. At the same time they expect a high degree of therapy benefit and personalised treatment.

Biochip technology
The medical field differentiates between biomarkers in screening for the early detection of diseases, biomarkers for prognosis, for determining the course of a disease, predictive markers that indicate the response to a specific drug or its potential risk, as well as monitoring markers that can indicate the course of a disease under therapy. Basically, molecular biomarkers can be used in lab diagnostics as well as in diagnostic imaging. In January 2012 we published an article on medtechinsider discussing the use of microelectronic technologies to detect biomarkers: New Chromatography Technique May Detect Biomarkers in Patient’s Breath.

Stretchable electronics
Most electronic appliances are rigid, or at most mechanically flexible. A growing number of applications, however, require electronics that dynamically adapt to curving and bending surfaces. Some examples include biomedical systems such as unobtrusive, wearable health monitors and advanced surgical tools. You can read about the latest in stretchable electronics in the article Imec Researchers Demonstrate Electronics that Flex and Stretch Like Skin.

Electronic implants
Electronic implants have been around for a while. But devices are not only becoming increasingly smaller and more technically refined, they are smarter: most pacemakers can automatically send information on their condition via mobile services and transmit data on a patient’s health status via integrated sensors, for instance. To read more about current and emerging technologies in implantable electronics, check out the EMDT article Active Implantable Medical Devices: Winning the Power Struggle.

Materials
Whether we are talking packaging, tubing, coatings, orthopaedics or implants, materials are always a hot topic in the medical device ecosystem. And scientists seem to come up with new, PVC-free, antibacterial, implantable materials by the minute. Here on medtechinsider you can read about everything material related. For instance, check out an article about a new implant coating developed by MIT engineers that promotes bone growth and creates a stronger seal between the device and the patient’s bone than bone cement: Hydroxyapatite-Based Coating Could Prevent Premature Implant Failure.

Personalised medicine
With an ageing population, it becomes ever more important to develop technologies that improve the quality of life for the elderly. One objective is to develop technologies that help people remain active and independent for as long as possible. Personalised medicine and homecare applications have developed into a compelling theme in the medical device sector. You can find an article dealing with the application of electronics in homecare technology on EMDT: Advancing Homecare Technology.

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