Trends in Medical Device Innovation

In the next few years, medical technology innovations will fundamentally transform the health care delivery system, providing new solutions with medical devices that will challenge existing paradigms and revolutionize the way treatments are administered. Already medical innovations that would have been considered the stuff of science fiction just a few years ago are quickly becoming the standard of care.

With the convergence of many scientific and technology breakthroughs, the pace of medical invention is accelerating, inspiring hope for better clinical outcomes with less invasive procedures and shorter recovery times, all in lower cost settings. There are powerful forces at work that are driving rapid fundamental change in healthcare delivery.

These changes will drive demand for new lower cost diagnosis, monitoring and treatment procedures. Medical devices that offer less invasive treatment options, with better clinical outcomes and shorter recovery times, will create tremendous value in the next few years.

Medical Solutions Conceived in the Profession Will Prevent Medical Errors

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report entitled: To Err is Human: Building a Safer Healthcare System. It estimate that as many as 98,000 patients die due to medical errors in hospitals each year. This is more than double the rate of accidental death caused from automobiles. In the recently published book from the IOM, Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century, it states: “These quality problems occur … not because of a failure of goodwill, knowledge, effort or resources devoted to health care, but because of fundamental short comings in the ways care is organized.” A major focus of healthcare delivery in the next decade is to improve quality and eliminate accidents and errors. We are enthusiastic to work with medical professionals to deliver breakthrough medical inventions that can eliminate the potential for errors, improve the quality of healthcare delivery and save lives.

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Dr. Jerome H. Grossman, has said, “Changing patient behavior is where the rubber meets the road. It’s perhaps the most critical component in the process that will take healthcare out of the shadow of social welfare and into the light of individual responsibility.” (American Healthcare Symposium 2004) Every year consumers are bearing a higher cost of the healthcare burden. The average consumer share of healthcare expenses has increased by 7.7% in the last five years.

Competitive Forces and Transparent Quality will Drive Medical Innovation

Dr. Grossman continues, “Only when they have ‘skin in the game’, will they begin to ask questions about their care and its costs. Paying for a portion of their care will cause a shift in consumer behavior in line with the principle of disruptive innovation: consumers will purchase the lowest cost item when given the choice of goods and services that provide no value beyond their basic expectation.” One of Dr. Grossman’s conclusions is that as healthcare quality becomes more transparent, as is inevitable in the information age, consumers will chose the best cost performance option. Competitive forces reinforced by consumer self-interest will drive innovation in medical devices and healthcare delivery in the next few years as never before.

Professor Clayton M. Christensen is the thought leader on innovation and business growth at Harvard Business School and the author of the best selling, The Innovator’s Solution. In his study of innovation in healthcare; he found that the vast majority of medical device inventions were conceived in the minds of the practicing medical professionals as they perform their daily jobs. A conclusion of Professor Christensen’s seminal work on innovation in healthcare is: an organized, motivated, independent and broad network of practicing medical professionals represents the most powerful force for rapid, low-cost innovation in the medical device industry. Website:

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