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The revolution powering medtech innovation – Med-Tech Innovation

Innodisk considers what it calls a quiet, medical-grade revolution underway in the healthcare industry.

Under the radar and away from buzzwords, new innovative solutions are upgrading medical equipment across the board.

Pairing the latest computer hardware with cutting-edge software solutions medtech megatrends such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) promise to bring a technological revolution to the medical sector. However, one of the main challenges is that medical equipment manufacturers cannot simply take top-of-the-line consumer-grade computer hardware, put it in a different form factor, combine it with medicine-oriented software, and call it a day. Not only do consumer-grade products not reach the reliability, stability, and longevity required by medical applications but additional provisions must also be made to guarantee that unique challenges in healthcare applications are fully satisfied.

These challenges have caused a significant mismatch in terms of expectations and hype around medtech and the real-world implementation of such solutions. The reality is that the technologies revolutionising other industries often are not ready to make the same monumental impact in healthcare.

New technologies and innovations in the computer hardware space are now turning this on its head, paving the way for rapid and safe adoption of cutting-edge technologies in the medical field.

Smarter medical imaging

While imaging applications like MRI machines and PET scanners may be considered the most high-tech equipment in hospitals, they are usually low-tech in other ways.

Due to the intense magnetism and radiation emitted by such machines, as well as the critical nature of what they do, upgrading medical imaging equipment with state-of-the-art computing abilities has not been a priority for most manufacturers. However, the increasing sophistication of all the other pieces of such equipment means that the amount of data that is generated – and requires processing – is beginning to put strains on the traditional work processes.

At Innodisk, customer demand for industrial computing solutions that are designed with special protection against the strong magnetism found in imaging equipment is at an all-time high. This is part of a larger trend to equip imaging equipment with more computing power to ensure quicker results, involve less manual labour, and make way for AI-assisted diagnosis.

New advancements in the design of industrial-grade DRAM modules, flash storage devices, and embedded peripherals allow medical imaging equipment manufacturers to make their devices smarter and more powerful than ever before. With powerful data processing capabilities connected directly to medical imaging equipment, system designers can enable real-time processing of the imaging data generated by their equipment and feed all pertinent information to medical professionals for further analysis and diagnosis.

Paving the way for the medical IoT

While medical imaging equipment presents challenging applications for industrial-grade computer hardware, critical components intended for less challenging medical applications also fail to meet their requirements. Even the three fundamental requirements for components used in medical equipment – reliability, stability, and longevity – are difficult to fulfil. With other typical requirements added on top, such as legacy support and environmental protections, finding suitable components for medical equipment can seem impossible.

At Innodisk, we have devoted resources to bridging this technology gap, as we aim to bring top-tier industrial computing hardware to medical applications without compromise. That means taking our product series and making it fully compatible with the requirements posed by medical applications.

In practice, this means lots of customisations and product adaptations– but the result is always the same: it makes the dream of medical IoT possible. For example, Innodisk’s healthcare-optimised DRAM modules come with protections against data errors caused by radiation and other types of interference. Flash storage devices, meanwhile, can be equipped with customised firmware and hardware solutions to ensure stability and protection against unstable power supply. With embedded peripherals, electrostatic discharge and surge protection as well as wide-temperature support, these are key technologies for meeting medical application requirements.

These leaps in technology mean that the stage is set for the introduction of truly innovative medical IoT applications in real-world healthcare settings. Not only does that mean the promise of healthcare boosted by technological prowess is becoming true, but also patients will receive better care than ever.

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