COVID-19 forced dramatic innovations in healthcare technology, both within the hospital walls and beyond.
Healthcare, like other industries, is still contending with shortages in key resources, including equipment, supplies, staff, medications, and specialty devices. Demands on medical manufacturing have skyrocketed, and factories and distributors struggle to keep pace, partly due to labor shortages and pandemic-related safety protocols that have impacted productivity.
Tracking of goods throughout the supply chain—from raw materials and manufacturing equipment to finished products such as masks, ventilators, and vaccines—has become critical for medical manufacturers to meet the needs of the industry for the delivery of quality care.
In response, many factories adopted smart technologies, including robotics, internet of things (IoT) devices, and other automation enabled by 5G connectivity to speed production, boost efficiency and create safer work environments. Those changes are here to stay as factories recognize the need for progressive resilience in their operations. One study predicts a $214 billion global smart factory market by 2026, up from $140 billion in 2020.