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Dan Thurmond
By Dan Thurmond
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 01:00

At the recent MD&M West Tradeshow, I attended the keynote presentation by Bill Betten, Technology Director at UBM TechInsights.  His presentation, When Worlds Collide: Medical Devices Meet Consumer Technology discussed a trend that we have begun to see with our own customers in the medical device arena.        

The premise of his presentation was the merging of medical devices and everyday consumer electronics like smartphones and tablets.  Eventually he sees most medical devices plugging into or adapting to the smartphone or tablet.

While we won’t see the merging of medical and consumer devices immediately, it is a very real eventuality.  Many of our customers have already adopted user interface systems that act like a smartphone.  For those that have not yet gone that direction, several are working with us to adopt smartphone-like featured on the next generation of their product.  The reason is simple; it is easy to use and customers expect it! (For more, see our blog post titled Advantages of New Touchscreens).     

We have also seen some customers developing products that attach or plug directly into a smartphone or tablet.  While this is not yet widespread, like Betten, I anticipate that this will be another growth area moving forward. 

From eye exams using a smartphone camera to monitoring devices that plug into your tablet to display data, the integration of consumer electronics and medical devices is already underway.  The real question is how quickly will it be adopted?