In 2020, the global medical devices market was valued at over $430 billion. And as new technology emerges and existing technology improves, the market for medical devices will continue to rise.
What exactly is a medical device? And what are the latest and greatest devices on the market today? Find out when you read this brief intro to medical devices.
What Are Medical Devices?
A medical device is a device that is used for medical purposes. Medical devices can be simple and low-tech like bandages or a stethoscope. Or they can be complex like implantable pacemakers or deep-brain stimulators.
Medical devices have existed since ancient Rome but we’ve made quite a bit of progress since then. Medical devices help medical professionals prevent, diagnose, monitor, and treat various health conditions – including both chronic and acute disease. The FDA regulates medical devices to ensure they are safe and effective.
Types of Medical Devices
Medical devices are classified into 3 categories based on the level of risk – Class I, Class II, and Class III. Class I is low risk items like thermometers. Class II is low to moderate risk like an ultrasound, infusion pumps, or an x-ray. Class III medical devices are high risk such as implantable devices.
Some countries use a classification system with 4 categories – Class I, Class IIA, Class IIB, and Class III. The classification of medical devices allows consumers to understand the risk of the device. And it helps the FDA to organize the process of approving new medical devices and technology.
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Examples of Medical Devices
Medical devices can be further organized by the tasks or functions they help medical professionals perform. For example, imagining devices such as x-ray machines and MRI machines are a group of medical devices primarily used for diagnosing internal injuries.
Portable medical devices are another category. Portable devices include blood pressure monitors, glucose monitoring systems, and automated insulin pumps. These devices have made it easier to track and treat conditions like hypertension and diabetes.
Testing devices such as the portable EKG/ECG device can read results in real-time and store the data on a mobile application. Advances in medical devices mean faster results and faster intervention for patients.
Implantable medical devices are some of the most advanced medical technology on the market today. Cardiac pacemakers, implanted cardiac defibrillators, and coronary stents can help track heart activity. They can also help improve heart function. Hip and knee implants allow individuals to move safely and comfortably just weeks after surgery.
The Future of Medical Devices
New medical devices are being tested and approved at a rapid rate. Health technology and medical devices are two of the fastest-growing industries in the world.
Medical devices have the ability to improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare on a global scale. They will change the way we think about diagnostic medicine and treatment solutions. You can learn more about medical devices on the FDA website.
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