Trends in Medical Device Applications

By SMARTsemi
February 14, 2024

The medical device industry has evolved rapidly over the past ten years thanks to technological advancement. Healthcare devices have become an essential tool to diagnose, treat, and monitor patients across the globe. With an aging population in the West and a growing demand in emerging markets, the need for increasingly sophisticated and smart medical applications will continue to rise. From a supply chain perspective, changing markets and next-gen technologies offer unparalleled technical and financial opportunities to the medical device industry. In this blog post, we will dive deeper into three key trends in medical device applications that impact the memory market for long-life applications.

Remote patient monitoring

The first trend is telehealth: The pandemic has spurred the growth of mobile medical device applications for remote patient care. Devices that allow monitoring and care for patients from a distance are primarily used for managing chronic illnesses, assisting patients in remote areas, and reducing readmissions to hospitals. Valued at more than $14 billion globally in 2023, the remote patient monitoring market is expected to grow at a double-digit rate in the years to come. Telemedicine products and applications require long-lasting low-power components with fast and reliable read and write speeds that are compact and lightweight.

Surgical Robots

The modern operating room today is filled with technology. A study in 67 - mostly Western - countries found that around 15% of surgeries today are robot-assisted, and that percentage will only rise in the future. Robotic systems help medical professionals to improve precision when operating. By decreasing the size and number of incisions, robot-assisted surgeries can shorten recovery time and reduce pain, scarring, and blood loss. State-of-the-art micro-robots can even perform procedures on the brain that were previously almost impossible to do. Surgical robots need to be fast, highly reliable and require high computing power. That is also true for the embedded semiconductor components. Memory components for surgical robots are typically high-density products (512GB-1TB) with high quality, endurance, and writing speed. Working with a supplier that offers custom packaging is an added bonus since many robotic systems for healthcare have particular design requirements.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning

The final and biggest technology trend in healthcare applications is artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Every year, the FDA and CE approve an increasing number of AI-enabled therapeutic applications. AI and machine learning offer great opportunities across the medical industry, including in radiology, cardiology, wearable sensors, and surgery. In surgical robots, for example, AI can help with detecting patterns and abnormalities, as well as enhance visualization, imaging, and dexterity to boost real-time surgical performance. With the increased usage of AI, the required computational power in hospitals and medical practices is rising every year and with the demand for reliable and high-performance semiconductor components.

As technology boosts the capabilities of medical device applications, the reliance on these tools for the diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of patients goes up. With patients’ lives on the line, it is a priority for the medical equipment itself, as well as the embedded components to be reliable, stable, long-lasting, and available long-term to avoid costly replacements and regulatory challenges. Working with a supplier that understands the market’s needs and maintains the same high standards as the healthcare industry is key to developing the medical device applications of the future.

SMARTsemi is your supply chain partner for DRAM components, eMMC solutions, and SD/microSD Flash Memory Cards for long-life applications. With 20+ years of industry experience, we understand your challenges and have aligned our priorities with yours to simplify your memory chip supply chain for the long run. We know what you need before you need it. Get a jump start and request a sample today.

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Established over 20 years ago, SMARTsemi is a Line of Business of SMART Modular Technologies, Inc. that globally manufactures and delivers millions of memory components annually for embedded medical, robotics, communications, industrial, defense, home entertainment applications and standard, ruggedized, and custom memory and storage solutions in high-growth markets. When you think memory, think SMART. When you’re sourcing memory components, select SMARTsemi.