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UBM TechInsights Issues Warning to Medical Devices Industry About Possible Obsolescence as Reliance on Smartphones Increases

ANAHEIM, Calif. Feb. 7, 2011 UBM TechInsights

Jeff Brown

Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West Managing the Electronic Medical Device Lifecycle from Standalone Innovation to Converged Capability."

Innovation in the electronic medical devices industry is accelerating, enabling breakthrough methods of administering treatments and improving patient care. Initially, these sophisticated electronic medical devices, like many advances in consumer electronics, appear as standalone units with high price tags and low sales volume. Over time, successful device categories attract competitors that drive product evolution in one of two directions: improving the original stand-alone format, or converging functionality with a larger, established market.

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The core elements of many personal medical devices – including processors, displays, memory, keyboard/data-entry methods, battery power, connectivity methods, speaker/headphones, and sensors – are being found increasingly in smartphones. Driven by apps, video, and gaming, smartphones have also become more sophisticated, boasting greater processing power and better sensors.  

As a result, electronics designers can now deliver valuable medical device functionality at a lower marginal cost through integration with smartphones. Lower prices to consumers who already possess smartphones increase the addressable market for integrated products as compared to more expensive, stand-alone medical devices.

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"Medical device functionality in smartphones is often rudimentary to start, compared to stand-alone devices," continued Brown. "However, smartphone implementations come with the advantage of being conveniently at hand and ready for use at all times, and usually at a significantly lower cost to the consumer. Over time, medical technology innovations improve the precision and reliability of implementations on smartphones so that they rival – or, when combined with apps – even surpass stand-alone devices."

DesignMED Anaheim California February 10, 2011  

[email protected]

About UBM TechInsights

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SOURCE UBM TechInsights

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