Advancements in MedTech
Written by: Seerat Parmar, Agile Software Engineer, TribalScale
Medical technology is constantly advancing and in recent years the speed has been accelerating. There are many fields of development including the diagnosis of diseases using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, mobile applications and wearable technology, brain computer interfaces, and 3D printing! Let’s review them:
Artificial intelligence is an up and coming technology that is involved or is on the brink of involvement in nearly every aspect and process available today. The MedTech industry has greatly benefited from this as the diagnosis of diseases. Using predetermined sets of data, a machine is able to receive key components of a patient and produce an accurate conclusion. For example, the MasSpec pen is a device that is able to differentiate between cancerous and healthy tissues using biomarkers and machine learning. Currently, it can take hours and multiple professionals to distinguish between the two. The pen will allow for molecules to be classified in the operating room.
Brain Computer Interfaces
Brain Computer Interfaces have been a large part of up and coming technologies. Companies like Neuralink and Synchron are hopping on the market and have created devices that are able to convert motor signals from the brain into actions. Those suffering with paralysis will benefit from services that allow them to utilize technology that would otherwise not be available. Although the development of the economy has slowed down, Synchro (a startup) received funding of 75 million dollars for their recent development in BCI.
Due to the pandemic, many services have had to be offered online to ensure patients still have access to them. Mental health has also been a major aspect of the healthcare system that had to adapt to online welfare. There are now applications that are available to talk to or seek help from a mental health professional. Apps like BetterHelp do a great job of providing people with immediate responses for their needs. Another example is the health app on iOS devices that helps users keep track of activities and emergency information. An overarching ability of phones is being able to FaceTime your doctors or even send pictures without leaving the comfort of your own home! It makes getting care much easier and more convenient for both parties involved.
This leads into health wearable technology. Along with being able to connect with our mobile devices, these tools are great for promoting physical wellness and fitness. On a large scale, the AppleWatch and FitBit allow for tracking steps, workouts, calories burned, etc. Each of these steps is helpful in being aware of staying active! Necessary devices, like a continuous glucose monitor for patients with diabetes, have become more accessible and easy to use. The pacemaker is a revolutionary tool that has aided those with heart arrhythmias. Future iterations of it can include longevity which will prevent excessive surgeries.
3D printing is at the forefront of new medical technology. There are many limiting factors when transferring live tissue or blood from one patient to another, including the supply itself. Many recipients can wait years to receive a life altering organ and creating artificial and replicable replacements could change thousands of lives. Companies like Aspect Biosystem and CELLINK have been successful in creating printed biomaterials! The world’s first human trial of lab-grown blood is underway by RESTORE in partnership with the University of Bristol. Through the donation of stem cells, researchers were able to grow and transfuse a teaspoon of blood into participants. If the trial is successful, many of the adverse side effects of long term issues involved with constant blood transfusions will be minimized. This is an extremely exciting feat that will take the industry by storm.
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Seerat Parmar is a an Agile Software Engineer at Tribalscale with a background in biomedical engineering. When she is not working on front-end development, Seerat likes to spend her time reading or watching Netflix.
TribalScale is a global innovation firm that helps enterprises adapt and thrive in the digital era. We transform teams and processes, build best-in-class digital products, and create disruptive startups. Learn more about us on our website. Connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn & Facebook!