When it comes to disruptive medical device innovations, it’s easy to lose the perspective of history. Here are devices through history that definitely made a difference.
Chris Newmarker, Managing Editor and Danielle Kirsh, Assistant Editor
Whether you’re talking about surgical robotics or efforts to bring more value to healthcare, the word “disruptive” seems to get tossed around a lot these days.
So what is truly disruptive? And what is merely revolutionary or just innovative or simply hype?
Take stents as an example. The coronary stent market is already worth billions of dollars; Grand View Research projects it will nearly double to $15.2 billion by 2024. They’ve definitely changed the game because cardiologists in developed countries implant them into patients a lot. They’re a major product for medtech giants including Abbott, Boston Scientific and Medtronic.
But when researchers in the United Kingdom got around to doing a study with a sham control, the results late last year were unbelievable: Stents could be useless for most stable patients; the chest pain reduction they think they’re getting could be a placebo effect.
“Stents still have a place in care, but much less of one than we used to think,” Dr. Aaron E. Carroll, professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine, recently wrote in a New York Times post.
If the jury is out on stents, is there anything these days that can be called truly disruptive? The editors at MassDevice and Medical Design & Outsourcing got together and came up with a list of devices through history that were truly game-changes.
Here are some medical devices that seem to be good candidates for a list of most disruptive medical device innovations of all time.
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