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The medical device and imaging technology space is experiencing fast-paced research and development (R&D) activity to meet the demand for cutting-edge technologies to cater to an aging population and a high number of patients suffering from chronic diseases. Medical device developers are striving to align their innovations with the Mega Trend of technology convergence in order to function in and support a smart connected world.
“As medical device manufacturers collaborate with electronics, sensors and IT companies to create sophisticated medical products, the latter also are recognizing healthcare as an important application for their technology platforms,” observed Frost & Sullivan TechVision Industry Analyst Bhargav Rajan. “Emerging technologies have the potential to replace existing clinical practices, and make healthcare delivery more effective and affordable.”
Top Technologies in Medical Devices & Imaging, 2017 is part of Frost & Sullivan’s TechVision (Medical Devices & Imaging) Growth Partnership Subscription. The analysis profiles the 10 most influential medical devices and imaging technologies that stand out for their market adoptability, market potential, intellectual property (IP) activity, application scope, size of innovation ecosystem, amount of R&D funding received, and market readiness. These include optical biopsy, surgical robots, smart bandage, super-resolution microscopy, proton beam therapy, artificial organs, neurostimulation, tactile imaging, X-eluting stents, and 3D medical imaging. Nascent technologies, such as tactile imaging and super-resolution imaging, will be commercialized, and technologies such as optical biopsy, eluting stents, and surgical robots, now in the early commercialization phase, will experience wide-spread adoption across markets.
Despite the huge demand for and potential of these medical device and imaging technologies, their commercialization is challenged by several regulatory requirements. Further, their prolonged development phase and competitive IP landscape extend the time-to-market and delay the return on investment. Once they hit the shelves, the devices have a long market life, further spurring generational improvements and gradual innovations, prolonging their stay at the top of the pile.
“There is clearly a need for more collaborative and multi-cluster innovation practices in the medical device and imaging innovation space,” noted Rajan. “Leveraging technology platforms from non-healthcare industries can significantly reduce development time, save investment costs, and lower barriers to entry.”
The growing relevance of the new-age medical technologies has attracted the attention of large and small companies alike. Tier-1 companies, traditionally perceived as technology-shy, are beginning to directly or indirectly (investments, tie-ups, and acquisitions) stake a claim to these high-impact markets. The medical technology industry received funding worth $3 billion in 2016 and with more concerted research and commercialization efforts, it is expected to emerge a hot investment hub in the near future.
Frost & Sullivan's global TechVision practice is focused on innovation, disruption and convergence, and provides a variety of technology-based alerts, newsletters and research services as well as growth consulting services. Its premier offering, the TechVision program, identifies and evaluates the most valuable emerging and disruptive technologies enabling products with near-term potential. A unique feature of the TechVision program is an annual selection of 50 technologies that can generate convergence scenarios, possibly disrupt the innovation landscape, and drive transformational growth.
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