What are the emerging trends in healthcare, and how can medical device designers prepare for them?

  • Sustainability. There will be a drive to reduce waste in all areas of health care delivery. Reducing packaging and moving away from disposables and back to re-usables will become the mantra.
  • Self-care. The high cost of conventional modes of health care delivery, combined with advances in personal health technology and software will both enable and force individuals to take on more of the responsibility for their own well-being and disease treatment. The traditional health care community will take on more of an advisory role.
  • Preventative health. Along with self-care, pressure to contain health care costs will translate into more emphasis being placed on maintaining good health and preventing problems from occurring in the first place. The expansion of personal informatics will give individuals the pertinent information that will allow them to manage their health.
  • Consumerization of medical devices. Care will increasingly be moving from hospital to home. Medical devices will succeed that are designed to fit into the home environment and that pay attention to the differences in the way products are used in the home as opposed to the hospital/clinic.