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12 The PCB Magazine • January 2016 by Jason Marsh insulectro If you are an electronics manufacturer and you ask your business bankers where their mar- ket research suggests growth will come to, they will almost certainly identify medical electron- ics as a key growth area. For the past five years, the segment has enjoyed something close to 6% CAAGR with acceleration predicted in the short term and remains one of the few areas where the U.S. is a net exporter of products. This re- sults in a market size on the order of $120 bil- lion in the U.S. alone with more than 6,500 companies participating, and analysts expect this figure to grow to $133 billion in the next two years. There are a series of drivers for this growth: demographics, technology advance- ments and, perhaps most importantly, remote monitoring. The first and most obvious trend is that the population base is both aging and living lon- ger (Figure 1). With an increasing number of prospective patients for more advanced proce- dures, the proliferation of medical electronics and technology advancement is a critical piece of the puzzle. The objective is to bring technol- ogy advancements such as wireless communica- tion protocols, data analytics and robotics into the hospitals and operating rooms to improve success rates, reduce complications and im- prove patient comfort. A visit to a hospital operating room in 2015 will provide ample evidence of the trends to- ward more and more advanced electronics adoption in the medical field. Technology is al- lowing more surgery to be done with fewer in- cisions, reducing scarring, risk of infection and other complications. 3D cameras and robotic surgical instruments allow doctors to operate from several feet to thousands of miles away avoiding the crowding of operating rooms and allowing specialists to work on patients who cannot trav- el to their physical location. The da Vinci® sys- tem manufactured by Intuitive Surgical is a great example of this enabling robotic technology (Figure 2) whereby the entire procedure can be precisely controlled from a remote operating Robots, Wearables and Implanted Devices in the Age of Bionic Health Feature

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