Medical automation technology provides the ability for variables such as patient information, treatment, and diagnosis to be entered into a data processing system automatically by use of robots. The software will allow health care workers to concentrate on providing quality care instead of writing reports and looking up patient records.
Some components that make robotic medical automation possible are barcode identification systems, voice recognition programs, record scanning software, and wireless communication technologies. The first step in a robotic diagnostic system is typically pre-identification, which can be performed through barcode reader systems or voice recognition technologies that may be attached to the computer workstation where the doctor is located. In addition, wireless communication technologies can provide mobile devices with complete access to patient information. The first step in a robotic pre-treatment system is typically patient documentation, for which a barcode reader or voice recognition system can be used. Next, the treatment process may begin with automatic medication dispensing and other computer-controlled functions that are guided by wireless technologies.
As time goes on, researchers continue to come up with new technologies to enhance the medical field such as telemedicine and robotic surgery devices. More than $1 billion has been spent on the research and development of robotic automated systems, which demonstrates the value of medical automation technology.
Demand for Medical Automation Technologies is Increasing
Medical technology is a rapidly advancing industry as demand for these technologies increases. Patients are looking for better, more efficient ways to monitor their health and patients want the ability to have quick access to medical care at any given moment. With so many factors indicating an increase in demand for medical automation technologies, it's no wonder this market is expected to grow by 37% each year from now on. The global medical technology market was valued at USD 55.1 billion in 2020." In addition, it has been found that across all types of specializing fields there will be a growing need for certain medical automation technologies because of the increased workload the aging population will bring about.
Today, medical professionals have responded to the growing need for more automation in their field by transitioning from a paper-based system to an electronic one. In this modern age of technological advancement, a medical office or hospital must utilize devices that incorporate the use of technology into patient care and allow physicians an easier way to manage their workflows. These technologies will aid in increasing efficiency and productivity thereby allowing these facilities to provide better patient care. The vast growth potential of the medical industry has been closely linked with the adoption of automation technologies. The boom in connectivity carries enormous implications on all including health care where new digital channels stand to make patient care safer and more accessible.
Increased Need for Complexity, Intensive Training, and Patient Safety may be Challenging
With the speed of change in the medical industry comes challenges. The need for additional training on how to use these devices is a concern among medical professionals since automation technologies may add another layer of complexity when it comes to diagnosing and treating patients. In addition, there often is a lack of standards when it comes to implementing these technologies in various facilities which creates confusion in establishing guidelines and protocols that need to be followed for these devices to function properly and provide accurate information. With an increase in demand for these technologies, many are hoping that there will be renewed efforts aimed at developing standards so that everyone has the same level of knowledge about their proper use.
Recommendations have been made to medical facilities to enhance their safety protocols by implementing automation technologies. The National Patient Safety Agency's Technology Enhanced Patient Safety report stressed on the importance of technology safety plans. These plans act as a guide for hospitals and clinics getting ready to implement new technologies in their facilities. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that all devices are used safely, and health care workers can properly use them without compromising patient care.
With an increase in demand comes the need for more support staff who will be trained on how to operate these systems correctly. This creates an opportunity for vendors to offer both hardware and software solutions aimed at improving productivity within the medical sector. Although there are some concerns about how these technologies may affect certain roles within healthcare institutions some believe that they will ultimately lead to increased job satisfaction and quality of work.
Surgical, Diagnostics, and Monitoring Automation Technology to Lead the Market Growth
Demand for surgical, diagnostics, and monitoring automation has grown primarily due to an increased number of minimally invasive surgeries (MIS) that are performed globally on account of technological advancements, decreasing cost advantages with MIS over open surgery, increasing aging population leading to higher prevalence of chronic diseases across the world including developed countries such as U.S., Canada, Japan, Germany, Australia, etc., rising awareness about patient safety issues in hospitals resulting from medical errors during surgeries performed through MIS methodologies compared to open surgery, and changing medical reimbursement models in developed countries such as the U.S. with a shift from a fee-for-service model to value-based care which offers surgery packages at fixed reimbursements based on surgery types and procedures. Strategies such as the expansion of product portfolio, development of technologically advanced products, and collaborations with MIS device manufacturers will provide key opportunities for the growth of this market during the forecast period.
In an analysis from data from the U.S., the European Union and five other countries, it was found that medical automation increased 11% in 2015-2016 alone, with similar projections for 2020 and beyond. This trend is expected to continue into the foreseeable future as more hospitals begin to implement newer technologies that allow for safer methods of care delivery to patients while also freeing up staff time for critical patient care elsewhere.
In a thorough review of the top 100 most influential global companies in this sector, it was discovered that IBM dominates with a market cap nearly three times larger than its closest competitor (Cerner). The other companies in the top 10 include Epic, McKesson, Meditech, Siemens Healthineers, MEDITECH, Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, and GE Healthcare.
The largest investment into this sector has come from Philips which invested $4.8 billion into its medical device division since 2015-2016. In total the top 100 global companies that were analyzed had a combined market capitalization of more than $1 trillion as of December 2016. A significant number of acquisitions have been occurring recently including CVS purchases from Omnicare for over $12 billion and Philips buying out OEC Medical Systems for close to $2 billion. With increasing consolidation happening regularly only a handful of players will likely remain in the field in coming years.
Key Elements Included In The Study: Global Medical Automation Technology Market
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