Hijacked-Display-SystemsThe need for dedicated hardware to support feedback on medical devices seems to be evolving faster than many of the medical procedures themselves.

At Insight, we’re constantly exposed to a broad range of new technologies and healthcare trends, thanks to our work with both medical device startups and Chicago’s universities. And one such trend has had a strong impact on our work in the past several years: the focus on hijacking display systems, or transferring real-time device data to other screens or feedback devices, such as an iPad or Android tablet. 

But why would it prove beneficial to remove UI feedback from a device? Two reasons:

Versatile Products with Longer Life Spans

Both the complexity of a medical device and the rigor of the approval process can stagnate technology and processing power. By finding a way to push data to another platform, teams can circumvent the need for electronics associated with UI feedback. This in turn removes a great deal of complication, since screen resolutions and on-board processing power needs tend to evolve faster than the medical devices themselves. So pushing data to other platforms creates a more versatile product line and longer tool life.

While this is a growing trend in medical-device development, the concept is not revolutionary: in the consumer-electronics world, this approach has improved the life span and cost of implementation for countless products.

Improved User Experience

By incorporating multiple device inputs and patient feedback in one collective area, device developers can improve stakeholder experience. For example, when a surgical device can communicate with other patient feedback systems in the same environment, more accurate information and data can be collected. This system approach also provides great opportunity for analytics and life-saving directional feedback.

There are challenges, of course: we need to address FDA hurdles, and software updates can prove demanding and time-intensive. But with well-designed core medical device functionality, and with the UI appropriately updated to provide improved stakeholder experience and system integration, manufacturers who take this approach will have a significant leg up.

Imagine a 5-year-old surgical device with a segmented LED feedback system. Now compare that to the same core device with no built-in feedback but a hijacked display transmitting data to an iPad or iPhone with rich analytics and clear, high-resolution UI correlating multiple device inputs.

It’s easy to envision a future where built-in medical-device display is a thing of the past.

On October 25th, 2013, Insight is hosting their next HealthTECH Summit that will cover this topic and more.Learn more about Insight HealthTect Summit.