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The convergence of information technology with medical devices is transforming the landscape of patient care. Integration of medical devices with mobile applications for monitoring and diagnosis of disease conditions can reduce cost of diagnosis. Also, evaluating health measures is no longer restricted to in-clinic visit. Patients can self-monitor their health at their convenience using portable medical devices. In-vitro medical devices have transformed the diagnostics industry by reducing cost and time required for tests. Growth of the medical devices market has been influenced by technological innovations and patient focused care.

Challenges

One of the challenges faced by medical devices companies is integrating rapidly evolving technologies with existing products in order to maintain a competitive advantage in the market. Hence, a major share of the spending of these companies is directed towards research and development (R&D). According to a survey conducted by Forbes in 2015, around 47% of the medical device manufacturers were planning to spend over 6% of their revenue on R&D till 2017. Moreover, new regulatory requirements and fierce competition are posing a challenge for companies operating in this sector. The new Unique Device Identification (UDI) guidelines introduced in 2014 will help stakeholders save costs.

Home Healthcare Devices to Fuel Market Growth

Self-medication practices are also driving demand for home healthcare devices. The launch of glucose monitors, insulin delivery devices, oxygen concentrators, and nebulizers has improved access to healthcare in emerging countries. The increasing awareness about lifestyle disorders among the populace, in addition to advent of new technology has led consumers to adopt more sophisticated devices to self-monitor their health conditions. Furthermore, these devices are convenient to use, and save time and healthcare costs. However, app-based devices are facing challenges with respect to obtaining approvals from regulatory authorities such as the FDA.

Growth in Emerging Economies

North America dominates the global medical devices market, however Asia Pacific and Latin America regions are projected to exhibit significant growth in the forthcoming years. Factors such as rapidly expanding patient pool, rising healthcare spending, and increasing health awareness in these regions are expected to create opportunities for manufacturers of medical devices to expand their operations to these markets. However, market players may need to adopt distribution, manufacturing and business strategies tailored to these regions to ensure a successful foray. Strategic mergers and acquisitions with regional and local players is likely to help companies operating on a global scale to strengthen their product portfolio and market presence.

Conclusion

The way healthcare is delivered, accessed and perceived is changing due to introduction of novel medical devices. As regulatory requirements change and evolve, medical device manufacturers need to understand the implications and be operationally and technologically equipped. Companies also need to ensure that they have the right competencies to keep up with increasing competition and regulations, and assess their impact. Key players operating in this market are Johnson & Johnson, General Electric Co., Medtronic Inc., Siemens AG, Baxter International Inc., Stryker Corp., Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co., St. Jude Medical Inc., and Becton, Dickinson and Co.

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