Future global trends in medical technological development are that of non-invasive, portable medical devices produced using 3D printed electronic components, medical devices integrated into the internet of things or AI, and self-administered needle-less medical devices – according to an analysis by business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.

In the pipeline of late-stage clinical development and trial are the manufacturing of easy-to-use devices for the home setting, that are integrated with digital technologies, such as mobile applications, that aim to increase patient engagement and therefore improve treatment outcome for their medical condition.

Solving current and future challenges

Particularly relevant to the Covid-19 pandemic as these devices put the onus of treatment on to the patient – and will shift the arena of care from hospitals or GP surgeries and into the home.

Many companies also have an eye on ecological issues as they are exploring the use of designs that incorporate biodegradable or recyclable plastics – which Frost & Sullivan predict the use of will increase over the next six years. Also, as designers are incorporating 3D printing into the production of these upcoming medical devices, this has in mind both: ecological issues as well as other disruptions to globalised supply chains caused by worldwide crises.

Ashish Kaul, Technical Insights Senior Research Analyst at Frost & Sullivan, said that: “Therapeutic medical devices delivering energy or electric fields non-invasively to the specific affected sites and eliminating systemic side effects can explore business opportunities in chronic diseases in oncology and neurology.”

Kaul added that: “Going forward, advance manufacturing technology such as 3D printing can enable medtech companies to meet the market need in case of urgencies such as COVID-19 pandemic or high market demand for fast manufacturing.”