Today, the United States is the largest medical device market in the world. It is estimated that by 2023 the growth of medical device industry is expected to touch $208 Billion. Medical devices sector is an integral part of healthcare industry in the United States. The manufacturers of the medical device equipment aim at integrating accuracy with automation. According to a market research report, there is an emerging trend of application of AI in the medical devices sector, and business leaders and professionals are looking for insights on the impact of this technology.
Since the year 2019, the FDA also started welcoming Artificial Intelligence into medical devices. In the past few years a majority of technology companies have invented many new software as medical devices (SaMD) to help doctors take important decisions cautiously in:
- Medical Image Analysis
- Genetic Sequencing
- Pharmacokinetic Analysis
- Pre-Surgical Analysis & Health monitoring
AI has reached such a level of hype in the business circles that even FDA has also started working on having separate rules and regulations for Safety requirements, HIPAA compliance & related privacy rules for AI platforms.
As AI has a significant role to play in the next-generation robotic surgery, many robotics companies & medical device manufacturers are working together for further enhancement of ergonomics, longevity, and effective design of medical devices. On top of it, it is believed that AI-assisted surgery will significantly improve the efficiencies of procedure and patient outcomes.
Some of the new emerging trends of applying AI in medical devices are:
1. Chronic disease management:
Many medical device manufacturing companies are using AI & ML to monitor patients’ real-time data using connected mobile app and sensors. For example, Medtronic is using the Sugar I.Q app for diabetes management & better quality of life.
2. Medical Imaging:
Integrating AI with medical devices like scanning devices not only increases the image quality but also saves time and money for healthcare organizations while improving the patient outcome by reducing the exposure time to radiation.
Example:GE healthcare has Integrated AI platform and neural networks to their Computerized tomography (CT) scan for locating tumours, cross-sectional image of brain or bones, soft tissue damage inside the body etc.
3. AI and Internet of Things (IoT):
IoT based Cloud healthcare apps or wearable devices can track the real-time data of patients and track the vital signs like blood pressure, pulse rate, movability, and analyse the data with AI sending signals to the doctors or family for any inconsistencies.
One such example is the Apple watch. According to the report, some Apple users received warning on their Apple watch that their heartbeats are dropping constantly by 40 bpm, but their normal bpm at resting state is 60 bpm to 100 bpm. It ended up saving their lives.
To conclude, it won’t be wrong to say that AI has the potential to help doctors save time, make informed decisions, and help patients by providing them with an alert on the situation that needs attention. FDA, on the other hand, is also taking a balanced and positive approach towards the AI in medical devices. For integrating AI with human lives, we need more skilled professionals in order to leverage these technology tools to its full potential.