What are the key trends for the next year in the medtech space?
- Personalised medicine
- Artificial Intelligence
- 3D printing
- Surgical robotics
- Regulatory change
A move towards personalised medicine
We wrote about personalised medicine in oncology last year, and personalised treatment plans are set to be a major goal for healthcare providers in 2019. As we move away from a ‘one size fits all’ approach, it is hoped that personalised medicine may mean more effective treatments with less side-effects for a variety of patients.
The recently-announced NHS long-term plan also places a focus on increasing the availability of personalised care. The use of digitised health records should facilitate this in happening and they are aiming to have rolled out the NHS Personalised Care model across the UK by 2023/24.
The rise of artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence is one of the hot topics in medtech for 2019. With deep learning technologies becoming increasingly mainstream, AI is set to have a huge impact on a variety of medical technologies.
In the past year AI has been put to use in a variety of ways, including verifying ophthalmic diagnoses, providing data in real-time during surgical procedures, and analysing scans for diagnoses.
Over 2019 it is expected that both clinicians and patients will become more accustomed with AI in medical settings, as well as an increase in the kinds of applications AI can be used for.
The 3D printing market is set to exceed $1.7bn globally by the end of 2022, and technologies are likely to grow in popularity over the course of this year.
Applications of the technology are already being seen. Conformis have used 3D printing to produce patient-specific implants and single use instruments tailored to those implants, and Stryker have used their 3D-printed cages used in spinal fusion surgeries.
As 3D printing becomes more commonplace and the materials become cheaper, we can expect to see these technologies being used more and more.
Surgical robots truly are at the cutting-edge of innovation. These technologies are designed to improve the consistency and quality of complicated surgical procedures by expanding the capabilities of surgeons.
One of the most exciting developments in the surgical robotics market for 2019 is that CMR Surgical’s Versius system is hoping to be CE-marked this year. It is expected that the robot will be used by the NHS in more than 70 hospitals across the UK.
Preparing for regulatory change
A trend that’s less about products and more about preparation, one of the key factors companies will have to consider in 2019 is how they prepare themselves for the regulatory changes that are happening in the medtech world.
The new EU Medical Device Regulations were implemented in 2017 and will be fully applicable to all medical devices being placed on the market by 2020. Companies will need to effectively navigate this period of change to ensure their products still go to market. Download our UK Medical Device Regulation Report 2019 to find out more about this complex topic.
We couldn’t talk about 2019 without talking about Brexit. As the 29th March 2019 looms, medtech companies need to consider how they will begin to manage the complexities that come with leaving the EU, deal or no deal.
The EU is the UK’s biggest export market for health-related technologies with around £2bn worth of goods sent over each year, so the start of 2019 will be hugely important for companies in terms of getting the right talent in place to help them deal with Brexit. It’ll have an impact on manufacturing, selling and regulation.
What do you think are the key trends to watch out for in 2019?
If you want to discuss talent management in light of the predicted trends for 2019, get in touch with our Meditech team on firstname.lastname@example.org