I recently wrote about how medical product design was evolving to base signal processing and user feedback functions on smart phones. As further evidence of this trend, Variable Technologies has introduced their NODE product – a small tubular device to which various sensor modules can be attached. The sensors send their data via bluetooth to a smart phone or tablet, where the relevant information is displayed for the user.
By incorporating smart phones and other stand-alone digital displays into the product platform concept, medical device product development resources that would have otherwise been used to design an integral display for the product are freed for other uses, or are applied as savings to keep the cost of the product low.
I believe that we will be seeing interesting application of this type of modularity in the design of medical products. It represents a new approach for the industry, and as such, should spark some creative solutions.