Five Techniques that Will Change the Medical Industry Next Five Years
Recently, Forbes published an article, analyzing the technology trends in the medical field the next five years. Although, too optimistic, these five technologies themselves do have the potential to subvert the healthcare industry.
Artificial intelligent diagnosis
Artificial Intelligence (AI) can depict or mimic human brain functions by machines or software. Analyzing through the memory of medical knowledge in the program, AI is applied in the medical and healthcare filed to help doctors to improve the patient outcomes, thus, providing better treatment options. When urgent needs are needed, AI can provide clinically relevant, high quality, in time information that come from data stored in Electronic Health Records (EHRs) for doctors and researchers.
Healthcare application market of AI is increasing with a 42% CAGR growth and it’s expected to reach to global popularity worldwide in 2021. Outstanding therapeutic effect, lower treatment costs, eliminated unnecessary hospital procedures, simpler workflow and patient-centered treatment modalities are the primary factors that AI can be widely and increasingly accepted in the healthcare industry.
Immunotherapy has developed new areas for the cancer research, improving the patients’ lifespan and survival rates. For example, malignant melanoma has a great demand for treatment, but currently there are only a limited number of treatment methods. Every year more than 160,000 cases of melanoma were diagnosed, of which 40,000 people died. Immunotherapy can be used in a variety of patients. Once this therapy is found effective in the treatment of tumors, its would have great potentiality.
Humoral biopsy, a minimally invasive cancer detection technology, is likely to subvert the process of cancer detection and diagnosis by analyzing the tumor associated markers or cell in the blood. At present, to study the changing of cancer tumors, repeated biopsies are needed, which means a huge challenge for the patient. Humoral biopsy, however, provided quite attractive investment opportunities for diagnostics companies. Blood biomarkers, such as ctDNA and CTCs, have begun in a non-invasive way to achieve tumor tracking and monitoring. Probably in the next two years, humoral biopsy will become secondary form of biopsy. The effectiveness of this technology has been proven and it can even detect the worsening conditions before the CT scan. Compared with the biopsy, the most important advantage of this techniques is that there’s no need to find the root of the disease.
CRISPR / Cas9 (RT) in drug research and development
CRISPR / Cas9, a gene editing technology, can modify DNA in an accurate, valid and reliable way. In 2014, this technology began attract attentions outside the world. Companies began to use this tech for the development of therapeutic drugs.
CRISPR / Cas9 technology has a significant impact in the therapeutic areas, and will not ultimately remain at the research level. This technology overcomes a lot of difficulties of genome editing tools such as RNAi, TALENs and ZFN and it might get hundreds of millions market value in the next few years.
3D printing, for its unique customization capabilities in the healthcare industry, reflects great potential. Custom can greatly reduce the operation time and medical costs. Currently, the most common application is printing a stent or prosthetic (medical implant material), such as teeth planting and hearing aids. What really makes 3D printing become the industry reformers is the printing of human tissue: liver, heart, ears, hands and eyes or the building of the smallest functional blocks, and then the production of large organizations and organs. All those can be used as surgical graft to repair or replace damaged tissues and organs.