Saturday, December 2, 2023

Medical Electronics: Shaping the Future of Healthcare

Medical electronics has immense potential to address healthcare concerns and challenges like rising costs, access and quality of care -- FICCI Medical Electronics Forum

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Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and accelerometer-based solutions are embedded in a mobile phone and used for applications like pulse-rate and heartbeat monitoring of the user. The same data can also be transmitted to the caregiver.

However, a challenge lies in the regulation of these devices and software applications so that the data confirmed by these portable devices is validated and correct. Therefore a strong regulatory framework needs to be devised for promoting the right products.

Way forward
Medical electronics is a domain of very high rate of technology innovation and obsolescence at the same time. Product development and research has to be promoted with a framework for protection of intellectual property rights. Product development in this sunrise sector must take a collaborative path, with joint development across the nations and simultaneous global launch to offset the high R&D cost. Amalgamation of technology innovation and cost-effectiveness will lead to the desired results.

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More functionality can be built in mobile phone medical applications with addition of sensors and embedded software for monitoring of vital parameters in cardiac patients. Any irregularity in the monitoring results can be raised as an alarm and then transmitted to the caregiver, who can suggest immediate measures for medication.

Medical healthcare solution providers are looking forward to health information technology (IT) and point-of-care therapy. Various applications will come up in the domains of electronic health record, electronic medical record, telemedicine and beyond, where medical electronics will serve as a base architecture for high-end network applications. The introduction of e-ICU has enabled the doctors to have a real-time monitoring of the patients in intensive care unit while they are on the move or elsewhere.

Medical electronic devices in present and future will adhere to communication protocols, which can securely transfer data over wireless media/Internet and bridge the gap between caregiver and patient, also reducing the reaction time and hence increasing the opportunity. Data security and authentication will play a key role and extend the participation of IT and other allied software encryption services.

The future of medical healthcare’s access and affordability will depend on the technological advancements in the domain of medical electronics. A collaborative development effort amongst various disciplines, centred on the medical electronic devices will expand the reach and benefits to a larger section of the Indian population.

The FICCI MEF (FICCI Medical Electronics Forum) launched by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) responds to the requirements of the medical electronics industry and creates awareness about the opportunities as the next growth area after IT sector


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