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8 SMT Magazine • January 2016 by Stephen Las Marias i-connecT007 EDITOr'S nOTE Medical Electronics: Manufacturing Vitals ColuMn Welcome to the January 2016 issue of SMT Magazine. 2016! How time flies, right? I turn 35 this month, and one of my New Year's resolu- tions is to live a healthier lifestyle. After pro- crastinating about it for a long time, I've de- cided that this year will definitely be the year to restart my journey to fitness and healthy living. This leads me to this month's focus of SMT Magazine: medical electronics. Two months ago, we were in Munich, Germany to cover productronica. Spanning seven halls of the Messe Munchen exhibition center, productron- ica 2015 was a really big event—and involved a lot of walking. Considering the amount of cov- erage we did at the show, I would say I lost a few pounds during the weeklong expo. It could have been a little more, but the weight I lost during the daytime was offset by the beer and really good German food at dinner. I also had a chance to look at my colleagues' Fitbit devices they were wearing, so I activated a smartphone app to track my footsteps during the event. It's amazing how quickly people are get- ting into the healthy lifestyle mindset with the help of such health and fitness tracker apps and devices. But from an electronics manufactur- ing standpoint, that is just a small piece of the medical electronics market. With the rapidly growing aging population, rising healthcare costs and increasing health awareness, opportunities abound in consumer medical devices, diagnostics and patient moni- toring, medical imaging, and medical instru- mentation. Advances in semiconductor and sensor technologies, and integration of infor- mation technology have made these systems portable, low cost and more connected. According to a report by market analyst Mar- ketsandMarkets, the total value of medical elec- tronics market is expected to reach $56.5 bil- lion by 2020, registering a CAGR of 5.5% from 2014–2020. Fueling this growth are increasing urbanization, the growing population, rising income levels and greater demand for person- alized healthcare, MarketsandMarkets noted in the report. The continuous development of innovative electronic devices, low-cost medi-

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