Newest Technologies in Medical Devices

Wearable and disposable medical devices use advanced methods in their design, manufacturing, and operation. From diagnosis to treatment, the newest technologies in medical devices pave the way for faster testing, safer sampling, better usability for patients, and better educational methods for medical students.

Wearable and Mobile Technologies

Far beyond counting steps, wearable technologies have advanced to monitor data on pulse and blood pressure. Some can even track irregular heart rhythms and message doctors. COVID-19 made everyone aware of the need to monitor blood oxygen levels, and some smartphones already can do just that. Mobile ultrasound scanners help in areas that can’t afford or access the big machines. They aren’t as good at imaging as the larger machines found in medical suites, but they are a great improvement on no scanning at all.

Augmented and virtual reality are already in use in medical schools and surgical environments. Soon, it will come to rehabilitation, offering an alternative to boring, repetitive exercises and more ways to re-engage injured areas of the brain and encourage the development of new neural pathways.

Wearable devices are now extending to headsets and implantable devices that target certain areas of the brain to deliver stimulation meant to treat mental illness.

Diagnostics and Disposables

Developers of disposable diagnostic devices use advanced prototyping with advanced 3D-printing, stereolithography, and computer numeric control to save time and increase precision for new diagnostic medical devices.

Digital inhalers can measure inspiration (inhalation) and track how often a patient uses the inhaler. They can then send the data to a smartphone app, and the patient can share the information with their doctor. Hearing aids can now detect when a wearer has fallen and offer assistance. Stick-free glucose monitors have sensors that can measure blood glucose levels without puncturing the skin. They can gather and compare data to display trends and even work through clothing.

New technologies in medical devices include devices still under development that show promise, like cyborg eyes and smart tattoos that flex with the skin, are waterproof, and can detect and transmit medical data. Artificial organs, bioresorbable electronics that report data wirelessly, and 3D-printed prosthetics are in the pipeline of advanced medical devices. Each year is sure to bring new advances that improve the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.