Between government stimulus packages, an aging population, exploding healthcare costs and increasing need for better remote diagnostics, it's understandable that engineers looking for the next big opportunity would look up and cry: "Thars gold in them thar [medical] hills." But not so fast.
They may be right, but mining this particular mother lode has proven difficult at best, to downright stomach wrenching at worst, and the medical-device landscape is littered with the dried-up carcasses of what at one time seemed like a good idea .
Why? The reasons are many, which is why we've convened a panel of experts in the field to discuss medical Trends and Opportunities at ESC Boston this coming Tuesday, Sept. 21.
By the way, that panel will include a free drawing for a TMDXMDKEK1258 ECG development kit, courtesy of Texas Instruments (worth $499).
The general issues are not so much technical as they are systemic: changing FDA rules and approval delays and lack of reimbursement models (see related blog for more on these issues).
So yes, mining medical is indeed difficult, but the opportunities exist, given the strong drivers at play. Imaging, remote diagnostics, ultrasound, molecular sensing all have potential and the panel will explore the opportunities. However, let's not constrain the conversation to the panel on Tuesday, and instead kick it off here.
So, readers: It's been long promised, but where do you see the biggest opportunities for engineers in medical technology? What are the obstacles? What would you like to see asked of the ESC panel? If you're an engineer in the field, what have been your experiences with design and FDA approval? If you're a VC, what are you looking out for? If you're on Wall St., where are you seeing the money go?
Join the conversation below and drop by tomorrow's ESC panel. Did we mention the free drawing for the $499 TMDXMDKEK1258 ECG development kit?