By Melissa Barnes, Associate Editor
Consumer medical technology is one of the broadest medical device sectors with the most
opportunity. It holds the highest
demand and promise for newcomers
and long-time players alike, but if
medical device makers do not jump
on this opportunity fully, the sector
may be lost to other competitors.
Wireless technology has made
leaps and bounds as far as creating usable
and successful products for the consumer,
but medical device makers have yet to truly
take advantage of current technologies to
gain a firm foothold. However, several new
devices have shown promise.
The device makers that garner the most
success are those who integrate cutting
edge wireless technology to create wearable
devices currently trending in the consumer
market. The consumer is a much different
kind of customer than the medical practitioner, so device manufacturers must meet a
different set of demands.
The Demand for Integrated Wireless
According to IMS Research, wireless capable devices make up a mere five percent of
the consumer medtech market. Yet, when
looking at consumer devices as a whole,
wireless products make up the majority.
Clearly, an important demand has yet to
be met by the medical industry. Consumers
have come to embrace and expect their
devices to seamlessly connect with their
mobile devices and smart technologies, so it
follows that they would expect the same of
their health devices.
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES)
offered some exciting medical mobile devic-
Can MedTech Keep Up with
es this year, particularly from MobileHelp.
The company is currently offering the industry’s only dual mobile PERS (M-PERS)
system that integrates a cellular home base
station and mobile device. The Fall Button
detects falls in senior patients and provides
access to an emergency protection system,
both at home and away.
The Wellness Connected suite of wireless
monitoring systems from A&D Medical
was also unveiled at this year’s CES. The
utilization of Bluetooth Smart technology
makes for a promising product offering
through synced apps and cloud services that
allow consumers to track and manage their
One of the more surprising devices to join
the wireless consumer medtech world was
Google’s contact lens glucose monitor. The
contact lens integrates an ultra-mini glucose
sensor and wireless transmitter that keeps
track of a diabetic’s insulin levels. At the
core of the device’s success is its combination of the main driving forces in consumer
medtech demands: minimally invasive,
small, and user-friendly technology.
Though the prototype is still five
years away from market launch,
Google’s famed X Lab has proven
itself capable of cranking out novel
technology that is sure to infiltrate
the consumer lifestyle. Even though
Google is new to the medical
device market, they are successful
at providing cutting-edge, wireless,
and wearable technologies that take
consumers by storm.
“There are a lot of people who
have big promises,” said Dr. Christopher
Wilson, CEO of NovioSense. “It’s just a
question of who gets to market with something that really works first.”
The Demand for Wearable Monitoring
The best approach to a successful application of consumer medtech devices is one
that bridges the gap between doctors and
MobileHelp’s device is the industry’s only dual
mobile PERS system that integrates a cellular
home base station and mobile device.
The ON-Q Pain Relief System is a device that
offers effective pain management in lieu of