Q: What’s in store for the medical device sector in the coming year? What news, technologies, regulations, or companies will capture the spotlight in 2016?
The wearable technology trend has gained momentum in recent years, and at Ambiq Micro, we believe that wearable devices are going to become more prolific in 2016. As the lines between “fitness,” “wellness,” and “medical” wearables become more blurred, and companies like FitBit and Misfit shift towards the health monitoring space, there is mounting pressure for wearables to be even more accurate. For instance, when a wearable with a heart rate monitor (HRM) is an “opt in” to get cheaper health insurance, it has to be accurate – an accuracy of +/-10 percent results in paying a premium to the insurers where the HRM has recorded a dangerously high bpm, when in reality it within the realms of normal.
In medical applications, where a device is monitoring an “at risk” person for normal heart activity, monitoring needs to be reliable, constant, and accurate. We are seeing more and more applications where devices require “always on” monitoring, especially in the HRM arena. This has a massive impact on the battery life of a wearable, and here power conservation becomes key.