I have been following new developments in the medical device space for a number of years. In that time, I have written about many technologies that have the potential to revolutionize medicine. Yet few of those technologies have been able to be commercially realized. Are these potential breakthroughs promising more than they can actually deliver?

In 2012, C8 Medisensors received CE approval for a device that used Raman spectroscopy to measure glucose levels non-invasively through the skin. But apparently, the difficulties of manufacturing their device to work effectively at commercial volumes proved too great and the company went out of business in 2013.

On a daily basis, the medical press is filled with stories about new materials, technologies and scientific discoveries that promise to change the effectiveness and economics of healthcare delivery. The difficulty of moving these developments from research findings to viable products is being vastly underestimated. It’s easy to speculate about the uses a new technology might be put to. It’s another matter to bring them to reality.