These Disruptive Technologies Are Reshaping the MedTech Landscape

April 19, 2018 - 4 minutes read

MedTech app developer

MedTech development is a unique area of research that has the advantage of benefitting from incorporating numerous other disruptive technologies. Many of them are accelerating the refinement of new methodologies that are changing how healthcare is implemented.

Below are four disruptive technologies that are substantially reshaping the current MedTech landscape.

Robotics

At first thought, this one seems so obvious. After all, we’ve been using robots in surgery for what seems like decades. We’ve become accustomed to the high level of technology that surgical robots employ. But surgical robotics technology has been improving by leaps and bounds in terms of precision and accuracy.

For example, the FDA recently cleared a robot with the ability to provide “touch” and “feel” feedback to surgeons. This new haptic feedback can let a surgeon know if they’re grasping a patient too hard and recalibrate to just the right amount of force needed. Another advancement is surgeon eye-tracking to control surgical tools. These improvements may seem small and separate, but together, they could deliver a more intuitive surgical experience than possible before.

AR, VR, and MR

AR can enhance cognition for patients and surgeons, helping them navigate procedures better. VR is a great tool for training residents and students. For instance, Osso VR is a VR surgical training platform that lets users train their hands with an immersive environment.

MR (mixed reality) is already making waves in surgical settings. Usually used to overlay patient and procedure information on the patient during surgery, it’s making it easier for surgeons to tackle difficult procedures like tumor removal by giving them an accurate depiction of where the problem area is.

Sensors

Sensor and laser technology creates endless opportunities for more efficiency in MedTech. But perhaps the biggest way it’s helping is by removing any room for human variability. Decisions can be difficult to make, and human judgment and error can often bring more problems than solutions. Sensors and lasers allow us to create consistent, accurate measurements that remove these radical variables from the equation.

Conventionally, sensors are utilized in many common medical instruments, like laparoscopic dissector tools that aid doctors in detecting anatomical structures in surgery. Recently, Australian scientists actually incorporated sensors into a “fart pill” which detects gut gasses and transmits its findings to a server. While this may sound humorous, this device has the potential to improve how many digestive disorders are treated.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is revolutionizing analysis and diagnosis. Algorithms are being used to diagnose eye diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, and lung cancer. Google is even working on deducing a patient’s health outcome when they arrive at the hospital.

Viz.ai is a San Francisco-based AI startup getting recognition for its software that analyzes CT scans. It alerts the doctor if it detects a stroke possibility. Overall, AI is forming the foundation for the future of preventative medicine.

Better Health on the Horizon

MedTech is an interesting industry to follow. It’s one of only a few industries in which many disruptive technologies come together to create results that have huge, tangible impacts that can be felt quite fast. There aren’t many other fields where AR, VR, AI, IoT, and robotics intersect in such a way.

Getting to improve our ways of life and extend how long we live used to feel like lofty goals. But with these technologies in tow, they seem a little more viable.

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