Prescription for smaller, smarter, safer healthcare technology

TTI director of supplier marketing, Scott Stemley, explains how healthcare equipment and services are undergoing a major check-up.

The daily global volume of healthcare data is phenomenal. Now measured in zettabytes, it accounts for more than 25 per cent of all information created. It’s not only the amount of data that’s changing healthcare, but also how fast and efficiently it’s collected, communicated and analyzed.

As a result, medical technology is expected to experience robust growth—as much as $432 billion globally by 2025. The connected device segment alone may increase more than 25 per cent by 2024. The result is higher quality, lower cost, more responsive, less intrusive medical care. To accommodate this, new, innovative electronic components are emerging. The following areas are seeing the most change:

Size and weight: Small and light is the new normal, replacing previously bulky, heavy and cumbersome equipment. Leaving more room for design and less weight for convenience and maneuverability, the move to miniaturized components is reflected in demand for SWaP features, which optimize size, weight and power capabilities. Patients and practitioners now expect devices to be accurate, small, sleek, fast and well connected.

Speed, reliability and durability: Today’s components are designed with an emphasis on speed, reliability and durability. 5G speeds have arrived along with next generation WiFi and Bluetooth. Precision sensors are performing at near-perfect rates and robust, durable components are excelling in extreme and critical conditions where failure is not an option. 

Comfort and ease: Another key medical technology trend is ‘wearable’, taking advantage of size, weight, customization and speed optimization. Rooted in the trend of human-centered technology, wearable devices introduce a new healthcare mindset that stresses comfort, discreetness, instant monitoring and care that is more preventive, proactive and personal. Additionally, miniaturization offers reductions in complex invasive procedures which decreases recovery times.

Interoperability: Many advances center around interconnectivity—where machines are sharing information with other machines in an Internet of Medical Things. For example, some watches use a single lead ECG that alerts users of abnormal heart rhythms. Advantages include: real-time monitoring, remote diagnoses and wider access to services previously unavailable.

Breadth and multifunctionality: Enhanced speed, efficiency and reliability expands the depth and range of care. Patients are offered more care options and the degree and complexity of those options are constantly improving. New areas of care include 3D visualization and robotics. Devices with multiple functions are also emerging, like the ability to monitor EKG, oxygen saturation, skin temperature variation, stress and heart rate levels.

In this new age of healthcare possibilities, manufacturers require component suppliers with high quality parts, design experience and the ability to deliver products when they need them.  TTI’s specialty is a deep, wide inventory of quality available parts, expert design specialists with years of experience and a customer-first mentality to help them diagnose and execute critical operations as successfully as possible.