Inventors of medical devices such as pacemakers, oxygen tanks, and blood pressure monitors say the rise in their designs has put a strain on their companies’ margins.
Key points:Inventors say the growing number of products being designed around medical devices has led to them being “losing market share”They are urging manufacturers to be more cautious with their productsThe key question for many doctors and health professionals is whether the medical equipment they’re selling is safe.
But the new trend is causing headaches for manufacturers and manufacturers are taking it to heart.
For some, the trend is making them nervous about selling their equipment.
“I would like to see a lot more innovation in this industry and that would be something that would encourage manufacturers to stay focused and do things differently,” said Dr Peter MacGregor from the University of Sydney.
“Inventing something new is what it’s all about.
The only thing that matters is the product and how well it works and the consumer likes it.”
Dr MacGregore has been researching medical devices for over 40 years, working in hospital, in the field of medical imaging and on clinical trials.
His research is backed by the Australian Medical Association and has been published in peer-reviewed journals including The Lancet, Lancet Infectious Diseases, Lancet Psychiatry and The Lancet Endocrine.
He said the rising popularity of devices such a pacemaker, heart monitor and oxygen tank has been a big concern for many medical device manufacturers.
“They’re not just going out and buying the device and getting it to market, they’re also looking for ways of making it more secure and less prone to being hacked,” he said.
“A lot of the devices that are on the market now are so insecure and so prone to hacking that they have to be very carefully designed, so they can be more secure.”
Dr James said there was a need for manufacturers to adopt a more responsible approach with their designs and that some of the more popular products on the marketplace today were made by companies that had failed to do so.
“There’s a need to be looking at the way they’re designed and how they’re sold and how the consumer thinks about the product,” he explained.
“It’s a little bit of a grey area because some of these are relatively well-established brands, but there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be looked at more carefully.”
A new report from Australian Consumer Affairs found that more than one in four Australians were concerned about the safety of medical equipment.
It also found that about 60 per cent of respondents were concerned their own healthcare provider had not been aware of the risks of a medical device they were using.
Dr MacGowan said that although it was too soon to know if the trend was becoming a major issue for medical devices, it was something that he wanted to see addressed.
“This is not the kind of thing where you can say, ‘Well we’ve got a problem and it’s not our problem’.
I’m worried that this is the kind for medical equipment and it needs to be addressed,” he told ABC News Breakfast.”
We need to do a better job of looking at what the risk of that is, how we can reduce it and we need to make sure that when we’re selling a medical instrument that the customer understands what that risk is, that they can get it right and that they know that it’s safe.”
Topics:health,health-policy,industry,healthcare-facilities,australia,southeast-asia,vicSource: ABC News