Telemedicine, remote patient monitoring, blockchain technology and the internet of things. Chances are pretty high that you’ve already heard about of one of these digital trends before. But how can you implement them in your own medical devices to accelerate adjacent innovation?
Why should you care about digital health?
Digital health is rapidly transforming the healthcare industry to a more patient-centered care system. Technologies like computing platforms, connectivity, software and sensors enable patients to consult real-time health data collected in an application on their phone, smartwatch or other wearables. Successful examples include virtual alternatives for traditional appointments with healthcare providers. This makes it easier to access professional or digital services that leverage the capabilities of machine learning for early disease prediction.
The improved patient outcomes then seem self-evident, but digitalization of your medical devices also comes with strategic advantages. Reducing costs by developing more effective products, new revenue streams by expanding your market and long-term growth potential is just the tip of the iceberg.
How do you innovate by leveraging digital health technologies?
All this information sounds good but you don’t know where to start? Here are some strategies for implementing digital health in medical devices to accelerate adjacent innovation within your organization:
1. Focus on user needs
This not only includes patients but also healthcare professionals and caregivers. By understanding the needs and preferences of the end user, manufacturers can design solutions that are user-friendly and tailored to their users’ specific needs. For companies, this will help ensure product effectiveness, user adoption, and competitiveness, balancing the conflict between regulatory and user needs and ensuring usability for complex devices. Make sure to also check out our perspective on market adoption!
2. Leverage data analytics
Medical devices can collect a vast amount of data, from patient vital signs to medication adherence. Data analytics can also be used to optimize device performance, identify areas for improvement, and enhance patient outcomes.
3. Embrace artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing healthcare, and medical devices are no exception. By incorporating AI algorithms into medical devices, healthcare providers can improve the accuracy and speed of diagnoses or enhance treatment recommendations. Another example is the use of AI in medical imaging devices. AI algorithms can analyze medical images and help detect abnormalities that may be difficult for human radiologists to identify. In one study, AI-assisted radiologists were able to detect breast cancer with 90% accuracy compared to 88% for human radiologists alone. This has the potential to improve patient outcomes by enabling earlier detection of diseases and reducing the need for repeat scans.
4. Prioritize patient engagement
Patient engagement is a critical component of digital health innovation in medical devices. By empowering patients with tools and information to manage their own health, medical devices can improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.
5. Integrate existing systems
Medical devices do not operate in isolation, and it is important to ensure that they can seamlessly integrate with existing healthcare systems. This includes electronic health records (EHRs), hospital information systems (HISs), and other digital health solutions. By integrating with existing systems, medical devices can improve workflow efficiency, reduce errors, and enhance the patient experience.
6. Ensure regulatory compliance
Medical devices are subject to a complex regulatory environment, and it is essential to ensure that any digital health solutions incorporated into these devices comply with all applicable regulations. This includes regulations related to patient privacy and security, data management, and medical device approval processes.
In conclusion, adjacent innovation through digital health provides medical device manufacturers with a range of opportunities to create new products and services that meet the needs of patients and healthcare providers in new and innovative ways. By focusing on user needs, leveraging data analytics and artificial intelligence, prioritizing patient engagement, integrating with existing systems, and ensuring regulatory compliance, we can create digital health solutions that enhance patient outcomes, improve workflow efficiency, and reduce healthcare costs.