Here are different ways in which MedTech is transforming healthcare and how it is making a significant difference:
Advanced-Data Analytics: To improve treatment outcomes, healthcare providers gather massive amounts of information on patients’ health. Advanced data analytics are useful in this situation as we can find patterns in patient data that can be applied to forecast the likelihood of specific diseases or problems by applying machine learning algorithms. This will enable early interventions and more potent treatment by identifying individuals who are susceptible to complications or hospital readmissions. As a result, data analytics can also assist in lowering healthcare costs by enabling the implementation of preventative interventions.
Wearables: Using wearables is another way that MedTech is altering the game. Wearables are little electronic devices that are used to detect, analyze, and transmit vital health information when worn on the body. A smartwatch, for instance, can be used to track heart rate, sleep patterns, and levels of physical activity. Several medical devices prove to be easy to use and assist in the management of long-standing diseases like continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps. Thus, real-time data may be utilized to notify the physician, assist people in remote monitoring of chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma, and COPD, and modify treatment strategies.
Personalized Medicine: The development of personalized medicine is one of the most crucial and recent developments that make medicine more tailored to the end-user. It is an evolving practice that uses an individual’s genetic or biomarker profile to guide disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment decisions. These advances in genomic technologies have revolutionized screening and treatment strategies improving the prediction of diseases and patient outcomes. Sequencing can reveal a lot about your disease and the identification of genes and biomarkers has only increased the survival rate among patients in the last decade. Example identification of BRCA1 and HER2, the most common genes associated with breast cancer. The development of targeted therapies, and new drug discovery that target cancer cells, for instance, rather than healthy ones, has also been facilitated by personalized medicine.
Telemedicine: Telemedicine is another major contributor to the flourishing of MedTech. It enables remote and quick medical care. This strategy has grown in popularity in recent years, particularly during the pandemic. Telemedicine allows medical professionals to care for patients who live in inaccessible or remote areas. In addition, it can also be used to provide follow-up care after hospitalization or surgery. As patients no longer need to travel to a medical center, telemedicine is also more practical for them.
Medical Imaging: MedTech is also greatly influencing medical imaging. Advanced imaging technologies, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed tomography (CT) scans, can now produce incredibly detailed images of the body, which can be used to diagnose and treat injuries and diseases without being invasive. Furthermore, 3D printing technology is being used to create customized implants and prosthetics, which can improve patient outcomes and reduce the risk of complications.
Medical Implants and devices: From rechargeable cardiac pacemakers to cochlear implants, intraocular lenses, other cardiac implants, and intrauterine contraceptive devices, we are exploring what technology can offer to essentially prevent, diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate illnesses. For example, the WATCHMAN Implant developed by Boston Scientific is a one-time, minimally invasive procedure for people with non-valvular atrial fibrillation who need an alternative to blood thinners. These innovations increased the scope for the safe management of diseases and illnesses and effectively reduced the risk of stroke, and death.
Advanced Biomaterials: The emergence of various medical devices is revolutionizing the world of surgical and wound care. For instance, the chitosan-based bleeding control device designed using Protonated Bioadhesive Technology (PBTTM) helps to stop moderate to severe bleeding within minutes. These globally used medical devices support combat casualties by saving their lives in the golden hour of succumbing to gunshots or blast injuries. In addition, the next-generation chitosan wound care dressings powered by the Bioactive Microfibre Gelling Technology (BMGTM) successfully manage chronic wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers, leg ulcers, superficial burns, and others. The non-woven protonated chitosan microfibre dressing offers effective exudate management and faster wound healing properties. Newer technologies like these may contribute to the improvement of the patient’s quality of life (QoL).
MedTech advanced the healthcare sector rapidly by transforming general medical practices by introducing life-changing technologies and connecting diverse populations. It is consistently improving access, personalization, and efficiency of healthcare systems by employing technology to track health parameters, personalize medical treatments, and deliver healthcare services remotely which in turn is improving patient care and treatment outcomes. We may anticipate even more significant technological advances as MedTech continues to boost.
(The writer is Head R&D, Axio Biosolutions, Ahmedabad)