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The Digital Doctor is Not a Smartphone

New smartphones are sleek, lightweight and connect us to our other devices, autos and even our bodies. We take them everywhere with us, including into the bedroom while we sleep. It stands to reason that we’d want to use them to monitor everything from our sleep to our physical activity, heart rate and maybe even blood pressure and blood sugar. But, they aren’t medical devices. They have not been approved by the FDA because they weren’t designed to the same standards as true medical devices. So, while our smartphones are not yet “real” medical devices, they increasingly define the digital doctor.

Think about all of the innovation that is happening around connected sensors. As our medical devices become part of the Internet of Things (IoT), they’ll connect seamlessly and securely with our smartphones. A great example is the collaboration between Google and Novartis. The two corporate powerhouses are working on a smart contact lens that will eventually measure the wearer’s blood glucose levels. And you can bet, as part of the vast ecosystem that is the Internet of Things, that the data it collects can be stored on your smartphone. This is just one example. By 2015, over 34 million health monitoring wearables will have shipped globally. Clearly, this market is large and growing larger.

Best of all, data collected by all of these wearable and connected devices can be shared with your doctor regularly.  As a result, your doctor has deeper and more meaningful insights into what’s happening with your body instead of a single snapshot of your vitals at the time of your visit.

Ultimately, though, it isn’t technology that is really shaping medicine. It’s the doctors themselves. According to LBI Health, 2014 marks the first time in history that there will be more digital natives practicing medicine than digital immigrants. These new digital doctors will have a tremendous amount of technology at their fingertips and they’ll know how to use it. They’ll spend more time innovating around device-collected data, providing patients with unprecedented access to care. In other words, no matter how sophisticated our smartphones get, their strongest role will be to better inform our doctors.

But none of these technologies can find their way to consumers or our medical professionals without global manufacturing partners. We do more than build these technology marvels. Our engineers know better than anyone else on the planet how to make a great design even better. Reduce costs by streamlining part count? Yes. Provide insights into designing for manufacturing? Of course. Getting your regulated industry innovations to market faster through unsurpassed supply chain intelligence? Definitely. We not only think about our customers, we consider our customers’ customers. That’s why we work tirelessly to continuously improve outcomes. Together, we’ll help you treat the world.

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