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manufacturers of devices to show the value of their product and tie that value to an outcome achieved by the patient.” Pressure to lower costs plays a role. “The aging global popu- lation is huge in terms of overall medical device market growth,” Hughes of P&M said. “As you get above 70, the cost of treating chronic conditions such as COPD and congestive heart failure increases dramatically. To care for a patient per day in a hospital is $3000, in a skilled nursing facility is $450, at home is $50.” With home care in mind, companies that have in the past developed devices for use in hospitals are shifting their focus to the home health market, Hughes said. Innovations that will make home care possible include


improved and miniaturized implantable devices. Interventional cardiac defibrillators are now implanted and leadless—a great improvement over older technology, Robinson said. The devices are implanted into the heart and use much smaller batteries and electronic circuitry. The data processing chips will have higher density processing capabilities to enable bet- ter performance without increasing size. To assemble such


devices, manufacturing technology has improved to create hermetic seals to prevent fluids from leaking into the de- vice and micro-joining processes to connect the battery tabs and microprocessor to the electronic circuitry, he said.


Growth in Smart Medical Devices


More devices will be worn, both on the wrist and as part of clothing using technology that prints circuitry onto fabric, said Jeffrey C. Rasmussen, market research manager at the Industrial Fabric Association International (Roseville, MN). “In the past, sensors and circuitry embedded into fabric


were too big and too clunky,” Rasmussen said. “Manufactur- ers have been able to make them miniaturized, more stretch- able and comfortable. It’s exploded in the last year. Some of the big apparel players in the market are Adidas, Nike and Ralph Lauren.” Such clothing is improving in terms of wash- ability, he said, although research continues in that area. Sensors are becoming better and more sophisticated. Devices now entering the market have sensors that measure


June 2016 | AdvancedManufacturing.org 43


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