Your Guide to Portable Med Tech and How It Can Help Your Business

The latest trends in portable med tech and why this leading industry matters more now than ever before – for patients, practices and employers.

From 3D printing to surgical robots, med tech continues to revolutionise the healthcare industry. But as much as it has transformed the way doctors and healthcare practitioners work, there have still been limitations in terms of mobility. There’s just no way to pack a sound booth or an ECG machine into your doctor’s bag, is there?

These challenges have become all the more apparent with the rise of the Covid pandemic because healthcare accessibility became more limited than ever. In reaction, we’ve seen a rapid acceleration in the production and use of digital and portable medical devices. This has opened up significant opportunities for remote and more accessible healthcare.
If you’ve been considering how to improve your reach of patients – along with your practice’s bottom line – investing in portable med tech is the obvious solution. What’s not so obvious is deciding on which emerging digital and portable technologies to trust. And which ones are worth the time and effort necessary to adapt to using them.

The Future of Med Tech: An Industry and Market Overview

Med tech is defined by the WHO as the “application of organised knowledge and skills in the form of devices, medicines, vaccines, procedures, and systems developed to solve a health problem and improve quality of lives”.

It’s incorporated and useful in every step of the healthcare process. As outlined by the South African Medical Technology Industry Association (SAMED), med tech “plays a vital role across the continuum of patient care including prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation”.

In general, med tech aims to put patients first, decrease the amount of time it takes to diagnose conditions, and improve the quality of medical treatment and care.


What Types of Tech, Products and Services Are Included?

As an umbrella term, med tech encompasses any technology used to treat existing medical conditions and enhance diagnostics. This includes anything from a plaster to in vitro diagnostics.
More recently, digital med tech has become a strong focus of attention. Also sometimes referred to as eHealth, this includes a wide range of devices, tech and services. Some examples are mobile health (mHealth) apps, electronic health records (EHRs), electronic medical records (EMRs), wearable devices, telehealth and telemedicine, and personalised medicine. It also incorporates and encourages AI and robotics.
Want to discover the top new med tech devices transforming healthcare today? Read our blog

What’s Happening in the Med Tech Market?

First and foremost, med tech helps us save lives. But it’s also big business.
Med Tech Europe describes the industry as one of Europe’s most innovative and diverse sectors. In 2020 the European med tech market was estimated to be worth 140 billion euros. More than 14,000 new medical patents were filed.
In South Africa, despite the challenges faced due to Covid, the market is expected to increase from $1.3 billion in 2019 to $1.8 billion by 2023. (2020 SAMED report)
The United States is unsurprisingly the world’s largest medical device market, expected to reach $208 billion by 2023.

Focus on Digital Health

If we zone in on digital health, the global market is expected to grow from $183 billion in 2020 to $201 billion in 2021 (Digital Health Global Market Report 2021). In Mercom Capital Group’s 2020 report, CEO Raj Prabhu gave insight into the reasons why:
“Covid-19 supercharged funding activity in digital health in 2020. Ten digital health categories had their best year with record funding amounts ... The pandemic has mainstreamed the consumer side of digital health technologies in less than a year. Digital health products that were a novelty a year or two ago are now a necessity.”
So which digital healthcare company got the best funding deal in 2020? Twenty-year-old Chinese online healthcare company DXY reportedly raised $500 million!

In the startup sector, one of the most successful organisations was AI healthcare company Olive, which nabbed $225.5 million. On the startup’s website, Olive is described as an AI-powered workforce solution “built to make healthcare more efficient, more affordable – and more human – by working side-by-side with healthcare employees to automate and optimise workflows.”

Olive’s success is no surprise since AI is one of the biggest transforming technologies in healthcare right now. In an article published in January 2021, Digital Authority Partners said: “The healthcare AI-powered tools market is expected to exceed $34 billion by 2025, which means this technology will shape almost all facets of the industry.”

Will AI replace audiologists? Read our blog

Med tech is evolving rapidly with a focus on putting patients first.

Portability: How Med Tech is Evolving

For some time already, there has been a focus on making medical equipment more portable. Med tech developers have been working to enable home healthcare through devices that are small enough to transport and easy enough for the patient to use unassisted. A good example of this is eMoyo’s portable Kuduwave audiometer range and Orcawave spirometer.
The increasing ability of devices to connect to the Internet has facilitated and sped up this process.

Why Portability Matters More in 2021 Than Ever Before

There are several key reasons why portable medical devices, digital health platforms and related tech continues to grow in importance:
  • The pandemic: The onset of Covid has forced us to adapt to a new way of delivering and receiving medicine. This is undoubtedly the biggest current reason that digital technology in healthcare has taken centre stage.
  • Longer lifespans: An ageing population puts more pressure on the healthcare system. It also sees more patients needing remote access to healthcare, either because they are immobile and cannot travel or because they live in rural areas and don’t have the means to travel.
  • The need to reduce costs: This goes for hospitals, doctors and patients. Smaller and/or digital devices require less setup costs.
  • The call for equality: To combat the effects of poverty and racial discrimination on access to healthcare.
Find out how eMoyo is helping to solve these challenges:

Can Digital and Portable Med Tech Be Trusted?

Digital health and portable med tech often go hand in hand and, as a result, the terms might seem interchangeable. After all, digital naturally implies portability, and the latest portable med tech devices are often supported by digital applications.
However, we do need to differentiate between the two in certain instances. Particularly as more and more devices are being made available direct to the public. (According to Business Insider, research shows that more than 80 percent of consumers are open to wearing fitness tech. In 2020, the number of people using health and fitness apps increased by 27 percent.)
Although there has been a huge shift by the public towards embracing digital healthcare, it’s important to note that certain digital health devices (like wearables such as FitBit) are not considered regulated medical devices.
Portable medical devices, too, are not all made equal. The challenges in designing regulated and trustworthy portable med tech lie in being able to shrink components to create a more compact design while still delivering a robust device with powerful diagnostics ability and accurate results.
The sweet spot is, of course, a med tech device that is portable, digitally enabled, powerful and accurate enough to be used by doctors or healthcare practitioners for diagnosing and treating.

What Do Doctors Think About Digital Health Applications? 

Back in 2015, Cello Health Insight surveyed 1,000 doctors and released their findings in a report titled The Digital Health Debate. One of the statistics stated that 41 percent of doctors surveyed agreed that mobile apps “could be a game-changer to improving health outcomes”.
Reports show that while some doctors may still be reluctant to adapt to the digital health trend, others have begun to embrace it in so far as certain devices and apps might prove helpful for patients’ self-care.
A more recent report – in 2020 by Health Care Global - revealed a rise to 88 percent of doctors being “in full support of patients tracking their health at home using different kinds of health apps, especially for watching their weight, blood sugar levels and checking vital signs”.

Are Doctors Embracing AI and VR? 

One 2019 study showed that a third of the physicians interviewed are using AI in their work. This is no real surprise considering the impact AI has had just in terms of accuracy of diagnoses.
For example, a 2020 issue of Nature highlighted one study that compared breast cancer diagnoses made by Google Health’s Deep Mind to those made by physicians: “As compared to the physicians, Deep Mind reduced the number of false positives by 5.7 percent in US cases and 1.2 percent in the UK cases. False negatives were reduced by 9.4 percent in the US and by 2.7 percent in the UK.”
When it comes to VR, it’s been called the “pièce de résistance” of digital transformation in healthcare. Its applications extend from helping patients cope with chronic pain and PTSD to doctors practising techniques or planning complex surgeries.
As AI and VR continue to become more prevalent in the healthcare industry, the reality is that the majority of those working in the medical industry will need to be proactive about reskilling. (World Economic Forum).

eMoyo’s pen-sized Kuduscope is ultra-slim and as light as a pen.

Which Portable Medical Devices Are Essential?

Remember the beginning of this article where we said there’s no way to pack an ECG machine or a sound booth into a doctor’s bag? Well, these days you actually can, thanks to advancements in portable med tech.

The Medical Futurist says a GP’s bag today should contain – among other portable med tech devices - a handheld ECG, blood pressure monitor, digital stethoscope, and otoscope.

Recommended devices:

Handheld ECG: With the range of personal-use ECG monitors now available to consumers, it’s important to select a medical grade device for reliable results. Healthline offers a roundup of different options.

Blood pressure monitor: Several 2021 roundups recommend the Omron Platinum for its high accuracy (validated by the American Heart Association). Read a full review at Very Well Health.

Digital stethoscope: Known as the gold standard for health professionals, Littmann offers high-performing digital and electronic stethoscopes with Bluetooth connectivity.

Otoscope: eMoyo’s pen-sized Kuduscope is ultra-slim, USB powered and integrates with our powerful EMR software.

For occupational health practitioners, otolaryngologists and pulmonologists, we’d like to suggest adding the following to your list of essential devices:

  • Kuduwave OH: Robust, lightweight and fully booth-free, the Kuduwave OH is a highly accurate, portable screening audiometer designed specifically for on-site hearing loss screening in the workplace or on location.
  • Kuduwave PRO-TMP: Introducing simultaneous, bilateral tympanometry, for the first time ever. This new technology integrates tympanometry and acoustic stapedius reflex measurement functionality into any Kuduwave audiometer.
  • Orcawave Spirometer: A state-of-the-art, clinically validated medical technology device, designed for powerful, rapid, and highly accurate occupational health respiratory and lung function testing. Comes with complimentary EMR software and built-in 3D Tilt Sensing technology.


At eMoyo, our business is inventing and manufacturing state-of-the-art portable med tech devices. We’d love to know which devices can help you. Let us know:

How Portable Med Tech Benefits Your Patients 

There are myriad benefits for patients. Using portable med tech means quicker and easier access to diagnosis, treatment and after-care. This has become especially important while navigating the constraints placed on us due to Covid. It also means reduced costs, making healthcare more available to those with financial limitations. Patients are also empowered to monitor their own health.
We also shouldn’t overlook the overall impact on emotional and mental wellbeing. At eMoyo, one of our key motivating factors for developing efficient and accurate portable med tech devices – such as our Kuduwave range of audiometers – has always been the connection between health and self-esteem, confidence and happiness.
One interesting, recent case study was outlined in a May 2021 article by Med Tech News. It explained how switching from a traditional to a portable ECG device during the pandemic proved invaluable in treating mental health patients in England.
Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys (TEWV) is an NHS trust that, amongst other services, monitors patients taking certain antipsychotic medications. These patients require regular ECGs as their medication can cause arrhythmias. In the past, the tests would be conducted in a clinic or hospital using a big machine with 12 leads connecting to their chest, legs and arms.
To adapt to social distancing measures, TEWV equipped their community teams with the KardiaMobile 6L portable ECG device. During a three-month period, “more than 300 patients were monitored, saving an average of 17.5 minutes per ECG. Staff and patient feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with 100 percent of patients surveyed saying they preferred the new technology to the old approach”.

How Portable Med Tech Improves Your Work

You are already well aware of how innovations in med tech can enhance your work. It helps to streamline your processes, allows you to communicate more effectively with staff and patients, and ensures human error is reduced as far as possible. Most likely you’ve already added a few digital elements to your business. Something as simple as a chatbot on your website to fulfil a customer service role can save hours of time and therefore costs.
Now, incorporating portable med tech into your practice – and perhaps even making on-demand healthcare work for you, too – takes each of these benefits to the next level.
Imagine using VR to help manage your patients’ pain levels or being able to speed up diagnoses (without sacrificing accuracy) – as a result, you should also be able to accept new patients and bring in more business. In addition, utilising associated telehealth services will enable you to overcome geographical and time barriers.
Watch the video to learn more about how the Kuduwave OH can help transform your company’s occupational health hearing loss screening programmes.
Even better, imagine being able to free up enough time to give back to your community in a meaningful way. Taking your portable Kuduwave audiometer to less-privileged schools or clinics and giving the gift of health.
All of the above helps you to take a more patient-centred approach, which brings us full circle back to one of the main aims of med tech: to help us save lives.
Want to see how eMoyo’s portable med tech devices work? Book a free online product demo below.
eMoyo Kuduwave Pro Tmp Audiometer 07-1


Want to find out if eMoyo’s portable audiometers and spirometer suits your industry?