Pushing for MedTech Innovation in 2023

By Devin Partida, Editor-in-Chief, ReHack.com
Twitter: @rehackmagazine

IT professionals in every sector have a duty to accelerate technological innovation. Medtech is a unique industry rife with outdated tools while being the most desperate for advancement to meet a growing population’s increasingly complex health needs. How do IT teams instigate this conversation for productive, thoughtful and creative discourse to push medtech into its next generation?

Incite Patient Buy-In

New medtech could expedite administering diagnoses and reduce wait times in doctor’s offices and hospitals with automated communications. Despite the shining pool of potential, patients remain skeptical for numerous reasons.

Are medical devices safe against cyberthreats? Are they stealing personal data? Is it safe to have electronic devices as implants? These questions symbolize a worldwide transition to independent health care focused on self-diagnoses and decentralized data. IT professionals must reign in data management to stay relevant.

These queries directly result from two factors — a lack of information access about medtech and medical professionals’ failure to make that information more robust. IT professionals could help on these fronts by conversing with patients, performing research and trials, and finding meaningful ways to distribute factual data to increase patient buy-in.

A survey in Japan illuminated professionals on how medical and tech priorities intertwine. It showed many chose their career based on health care benefits and technological access in nearly equivalent percentages — 39% and 32%, respectively. Customers want medtech to work, but they need proof.

Experts can inform how new medtech would improve quality of life. It can reduce anxiety and frustration when hospitals can’t maintain a stock of ventilators or reduce potentially year-long wait times to reach specialists because tech more thoughtfully curates waiting lists.

Design for Sustainability

IT professionals and biomedical engineers must collaborate to structure medtech blueprints for practicality and cost. New medtech must be sustainable in multiple ways:

  • Inexpensive enough for manufacturers to mass-produce and patients to purchase.
  • Versatile in material composition to avoid raw material shortages and supply chain disruptions.
  • Ethical in mission by incorporating earth-friendly materials that align with medical companies’ corporate social responsibility objectives.
  • Impartial enough for health care and IT professionals to lobby for regulations and standardization for novel medtech.
  • Resilient against cyberthreats and easy to update and manage with remote tech.
  • Communicative with human health professionals to supplement care and relieve stressors from workforce shortages.

Nations want medtech that bolsters economic stability while supporting patients. Otherwise, stakeholders need more motivation to invest, whether private or governmental.

Companies see this as supply chains deglobalize and reshore parts to keep profits internal. Medical engineers and tech teams must convince individuals outside the industry to understand the necessity of medtech advancement while appealing to their motivations.

Rebrand the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)

The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the quintessential yet fragile creations of Industry 4.0. Modern humanity needs constant connectivity and professionals need endless streams of incoming data to build knowledge wells to advance their sectors. IoT has a host of controversies, including data privacy and security. When considering IoMT, these issues compound because medtech has human lives on the line.

IT professionals are responsible for finding ways to make IoMT more stable and secure. Some devices send health information to doctors, like internal heart monitors. What if that disconnects without the patient knowing and there’s a health concern the doctor isn’t informed about? It’s these kinds of situations that medtech has to begin analyzing to brainstorm ways to improve consistency and strength.

Medical information is some of the most valuable data in the world, which is why many medical companies are victims of cyberattacks. Medjacking — a cyber threat that abuses vulnerabilities in medtech — could steal data from a smartwatch to apnea monitors.

Eventually, everything will connect to IoMT and nothing should entice criminals to breach them. Otherwise, patients might use that reputation to justify refusing life-saving medtech for countless conditions. According to Black Book research, 50% of patients are skeptical of medtech already.

Changing the Mindset of MedTech in 2023

IT professionals in the medical industry have a lot of say in patient well-being. They can advocate for innovations in medtech, design tech that appeals to everyone — financially and sustainably — and transform the IoT for everyone for a safer and more welcoming future. Though the medical industry might have some reluctance to adopt new tech rapidly, it has the potential to save more lives than ever before with consistency and ease.