The original version of this article was revised to correct the name of Ashraf A. Dahaba.
A correction to this article is available online at https://doi.org/10.1186/s12871-018-0517-5.
Although significant advances in clinical monitoring technology and clinical practice development have taken place in the last several decades, in this editorial we argue that much more still needs to be done. We begin by identifying many of the improvements in perioperative technology that have become available in recent years; these include electroencephalographic depth of anesthesia monitoring, bedside ultrasonography, advanced neuromuscular transmission monitoring systems, and other developments. We then discuss some of the perioperative technical challenges that remain to be satisfactorily addressed, such as products that incorporate poor software design or offer a confusing user interface. Finally we suggest that the journal support initiatives to help remedy this problem by publishing reports on the evaluation of medical equipment as a means to restore the link between clinical research and clinical end-users.