In the past few months I’ve spoken at a medical device conference, and shared insights in industry publications – most recently in Medical Design and Outsourcing, about the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in med device manufacturing and supply chain operations. The market is prime for AI, given the innovation taking place in medical devices and the critical role they play in patient health.
The Medical Design and Outsourcing article, which included the thoughts of many industry experts, including Todd Morley, director of data science for Medtronics, Prashant Jagarlapudi of Sparta Systems and others, focused on the fact that AI can play a significant role in the efficiency of medical device manufacturing and reduce risk, but they caution that it’s still a work in progress.
Medtronic’s Todd Morley told Medical Design & Outsourcing that his company anticipates widespread use of AI. He said, “Industrial engineers have applied statistical methods to manufacturing for decades, however, the convergence of ubiquitous, inexpensive sensors; abundant computing resources; and powerful, highly accurate AI methods such as deep learning and graphical modeling creates new business cases for AI in manufacturing.”
In the article I shared the idea that through the support of AI, engineers can have more time to innovate, instead of fixing problems. For example, a defective device that may be taken out of production could use a predictive algorithm to determine the probability of that particular device being scrapped, so it won’t be sent to the engineering department.
While the use of AI in med device manufacturing may still be in the early stages, it will soon be a core part of the process. As I mentioned in the article, just as AI is helping with autonomous driving or suggesting which movies we should stream, it could become so omnipresent in med device manufacturing that “people won’t even notice it’s there.”