Social media and medical devices: Key technology trends revealed

2 March 2020 (Last Updated July 3rd, 2020 14:58)

Digital technology is continuously becoming more accessible, driving the growth of internet and social media users at about 9% year-over-year. People are turning to social media as a way to connect with one another, form communities, and seek information. As it becomes an integral part of people’s lives, GlobalData expects social media to become essential in driving the growth of the medical device industry.

Social media and medical devices: Key technology trends revealed

Digital technology is continuously becoming more accessible, driving the growth of internet and social media users at about 9% year-over-year. As it becomes an integral part of people’s lives, GlobalData expects social media to become essential in driving the growth of the medical device industry.

Listed below are the key technology trends impacting the social media industry in medical devices, as identified by GlobalData.

Cloud

Cloud technology has transformed the digital storage of information, offering increased flexibility, automation, and reduced costs compared to traditional physical servers. Social media platforms require large amounts of storage to store user information and heavy multimedia content. In addition to being a storage system, the added advantages of cloud technology in enhancing usability make cloud systems a foundation for social platforms.

mHealth apps

mHealth apps play a large role in the social media industry. More apps are providing new users with the option of creating a profile using their existing accounts. This allows for further personalisation of the app to the user. In turn, mHealth apps are also allowing users to upload content directly to their accounts.

Medical device manufacturers are increasingly becoming involved in the mHealth app industry. Medtronic has developed a series of apps ranging from educational to remote patient monitoring. As apps and social platforms become more connected, medical device companies will be able to grow their user base.

Data protection/cyber security

Data protection in social media is a significant concern, raising the attention of governments to implement specific regulations to protect individuals. Large amounts of personal information are uploaded onto social platforms every day, and continue to increase with the growing number of users. While companies have gone to great lengths to secure the cloud systems, the ever-changing internet environment leaves storage systems vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Social media companies will need to continuously improve the security, and adapt to the regulatory environments.

Artificial intelligence

Large amounts of personal information are continuously being uploaded into cloud systems. Social  platforms transitioned from being a way for users to connect, to a content viewing source. Traditionally, users would proactively subscribe to content that is of interest. With the development of AI, tracking patterns of users’ behaviour allows the platforms to tailor content.

Medical device companies are leveraging social media platforms to advertise their products to educational posts. AI will improve the engagement between medical device companies and their audience, thereby helping tailor more content for users.

This is an edited extract from the Social Media in the Medical Device Industry – Thematic Research report produced by GlobalData Thematic Research.