convergenceI am seeing a lot of stories in the medical press about new developments in diagnostic devices and point-of-care analytical systems. New microfluidic devices seem to be announced regularly. Imagine a future whereby you could deposit a small sample of your own blood or urine onto a microfluidic slide, insert it into a reader attached to your smartphone, and have an artificial intelligence or expert system analyze the sample, compare the results to your health history and genetic profile, assess your risk, and suggest appropriate treatment options, including a choice of pharmaceuticals that would be the best options for you, considering your individual characteristics.

Such a device could conceivably be combined with a drug delivery device – an insulin pump, for example – to create a closed-loop system to provide continuous diagnosis/analysis and therapeutic remedy.

I am also seeing increased mention of development work being done on biologics and large-molecule drugs that require an injector, transdermal patch, or other assistive device to administer.

All of this points toward future devices that will be more like systems, with diagnostics, drug and delivery device combined into a single product.