Medical device forecast

Medical device forecast for the brave new world after COVID-19 

Very few market researchers for medical devices could have predicted the world we live in today when making their forecasts for 2020. The COVID-19 virus has ushered in a reality that even Aldous Huxley could have scarcely imagined. But what kind of brave new world awaits the medical device industry? 

First impact

When COVID-19 emerged, there was a high-level of uncertainty about the amount of equipment hospitals would need should the virus become a pandemic. The main concern was the number of ventilators and amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) available to hospitals. An article in the New England Journal of Medicine noted a “Critical Supply Shortage” on 30th April.

First response

Many medical device manufacturers began to race against the clock to produce a never-seen-before number of new ventilators. Market leaders, including Draeger, Phillips Respironics, and ResMed drastically increased their output. They wanted to react to the sudden increase in need for respiratory devices and other equipment related to respiratory infections.

New players

It quickly became obvious that despite the efforts of major respiratory device companies, they would not be able to meet the increased demand. As a result, new players started to emerge. Major non-medical device companies such as Ford and Tesla dedicated some of their factory capacity to ventilator production.

New regulations

Launching a new medical device usually takes between 4.4 and 6.7 years.  With even minor modifications causing long delays in obtaining regulatory approval. Designing a completely new device is an even more daunting process. To facilitate access to life-saving medical devices, the FDA announced a new option called emergency use authorization. This guidance is one of many actions the FDA has taken to increase the availability of medical devices. It includes diagnostic supplies and PPE as well.

New normal

Experts say that once the pandemic is over, some of the changes it has brought about will stay with us and the new normal will begin. A key word describing this new normal will likely be “remote”. Remote monitoring of treatments, remote auditing, and ultimately remote patient care.  

Just as in other industries, the rise of telecommunication in medicine will be far more significant than anyone could have predicted. It is hard to foresee how this new normal will play out, but one thing is sure, it is here and we better buckle up! 


The team at IronRooster is continuously working with partners in the medical device industry and in telemedicine to tackle new challenges. Our expert colleagues, vast experience and custom solutions can help kick-start a new idea, a new technology, or a new device. Get in touch with us at IronRooster so we can help you adapt to this brave new post-COVID-19 world!

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