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collect data. These wearable devices to monitor health information include products such as the Fitbit or Apple Watch, Robinson said. Technology fusion will come into play again as tech companies such as Google, Fitbit and Verizon are moving into medical device territory, said Chris Schorre, vice presi- dent of global marketing at medical device consultancy Emergo in Austin, TX. “You are also going to see more companies that are making traditional medical devices looking for ways to add a wireless monitoring component to their products so they can con- nect to a smartphone or tablet. Con- sumers want their devices to do more than simply count steps or measure their heart rate, and doctors increas- ingly appreciate the benefits of remote patient monitoring.” For example, Verily, formerly Google Life Sciences, has gone aggressively into life sciences, he said, citing the com- pany’s research and development with Swiss manufacturer Novartis of a contact lens with a chip embedded in it to mea- sure blood glucose (BG) levels. “There are definitely going to be winners and losers,” Schorre said. “A lot of this technology will connect via a smartphone, tablet or other system. If Verily succeeds in getting its contact lens with an embedded glu- cose sensor cleared by the FDA, and users can constantly monitor their glu- cose levels with alerts on their smart- phones, it’s going to have an impact on companies making traditional meters … at least among the 10—15% of people wearing contacts.”


As companies such as Google move into medical device territory, medical device companies will have to return the favor, Schorre said. “You are going to see more companies that are traditional medical device com-


panies developing wireless technology to connect their products to a smartphone.” When devices are designed to collect and transmit data to healthcare providers for diagnostic analysis and therapeutic


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The Group June 2016 | AdvancedManufacturing.org 45


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