Blog Tag: Hospitals

Medical Device Connectivity Market Reported to Top $2.6 Billion by 2023

The market for medical device connectivity is projected to reach about $2.6 billion by the year 2023, according to a report published in April 2018 by several publishers.  The report states that the connectivity market for 2018 is expected to be about $940 million.  This equates to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2018 to 2023 of 23.2%.

According to news articles, the report states that “[t]he growth in this market is attributed to the increasing penetration of [electronic health records] and health information exchange systems in healthcare organizations, growing focus on care quality and patient safety, healthcare IT initiatives driving the integration of medical devices with hospital information systems, and the growing need to curtail healthcare costs through a connected healthcare environment.”

From 2018 to 2023, the medical device connectivity market CAGR is estimated to be 23.2%

The report further states the medical device connectivity services segment, as opposed to the device connectivity solutions segment, is anticipated to grow at the maximal CAGR during the “outlook period” from 2018 to 2023.  The report divides the technology sectors into wired, wireless, and hybrid technologies.  The wireless segment is projected to register the highest CAGR during the outlook period.

The report also breaks down the relevant markets into hospitals, home healthcare, ambulatory care settings, and imaging & diagnostic centers.  It finds in 2017 hospitals controlled the medical device connectivity market.  The report also finds that North America is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the outlook period, followed by Europe.

The increase in the market is attributed in the report to “growing funding towards innovative projects in the medical market, [the] need to curtail the escalating healthcare costs in the USA, the presence of a big number of healthcare IT firms, rising investments in the healthcare sector by top market players, and increasing awareness about advanced technologies.”

The report is made available for purchase from several publishers, for example by Report Linker and Markets and Markets.

ECRI Institute Releases Guidance on How to Protect Your Medical Device Systems

The ECRI Institute released new guidance in its article: “Ransomware Attacks: How to Protect Your Medical Device Systems” on May 18, 2017.  The report recommends various protective actions for hospitals to take and points to critical differences in the protection of medical device systems as opposed to general hospital systems.

According to the report, ransomware makes data, software, and IT assets unavailable to users.  The report describes ransomware as using the encryption of data to hold systems hostage, where the hacker promises to give the victims access to their data if a ransom is paid.  One previous ransomware example reported on the Knobbe Medical Device Blog was the WannaCry virus, a ransomware that caused disruptions for several hospitals in the United Kingdom.  The International Business Times reported that security researchers had found that the WannaCry ransomware was not limited to computers but also capable of exploiting medical devices.

The ECRI Institute report explains that an IT department can use new security patches for some medical device systems; however, some systems will remain susceptible because they are based on an older version of an operating system and can’t be upgraded or they have not been validated for clinical use with the latest security patches. 

The report includes a list of dos and don’ts for quickly responding to emerging threats.  The “Dos” mentioned in the report include:

  • Identify medical devices, servers or workstations that may be affected.
  • Contact the device vendor. 
  • Request written copies of the manufacturer’s recommended actions for dealing with a current ransomware threat. 

The “Don’ts” mentioned in the report include:

  • Don’t overreact.
  • Don’t install unvalidated patches.  Unvalidated patches can make medical devices faulty or inoperable.  Ask the manufacturer for documentation of the validation.

The ECRI Institute is a nonprofit organization that has its U.S. headquarters in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania.