The MedTech market has grown exponentially over the past decade, alongside our advancements in technology overall and our deeper understanding of human biology and physiology. The sector is transforming the way in which we diagnose, monitor and treat people, in so many impressive ways. We sat down with our Chief Strategy Officer David Rose to discuss the sector further.
Why is MedTech crucial in today's healthcare landscape?
“The MedTech industry has the uncapped potential to dramatically improve the quality of life, the quality of treatment and, most significantly, save the lives of millions of people across the world. Better patient outcomes at a basic level means the reduction in suffering that many endure during recovery from a procedure or while living with chronic conditions. It can mean illnesses and diseases can be detected and diagnosed faster and more efficiently. MedTech can be the difference between life and death. At an economic level, it can mean a reduction in labour and resource use and ultimately, a reduction in costs for all parties.”
More specifically, what challenges has the MedTech industry able to overcome?
“MedTech products and technologies have been instrumental in aiding people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, respiratory disorders and cardiovascular diseases. Products such as wearable sensors, smart devices and mobile apps can track vitals while simultaneously allowing medical professionals to remotely monitor this data in real time. This can, of course, reduce patient hospital or medical facility visits, saving time and money. There are countless companies operating in this specific field of MedTech, from major players like Johnson & Johnson and Baxter, to startups such as Medwand and Biofourmis.”
“Similarly, medical records have been updated, allowing for greater efficiency and paperless records. This includes the digitization of patient data storage and implementation of a comprehensive methodology for personalization via artificial intelligence.”
“Telemedicine and Consultations have also been revolutionised, thanks to video and virtual consultation opportunities. For those who either find it difficult to travel to a medical facility, or those who live in remote or rural regions, these solutions provide convenience and immediate access to medical professionals.”
“Assistive devices helping individuals with age-related impairments are also abundant thanks to MedTech development. From walking aids and prosthetics, to hearing and visual aids, many companies are giving people greater independence and autonomy as they get older. Companies like ReWalk Robotics are giving thousands greater mobility, and the opportunity to walk, run and climb like never before.“
“Many technological advancements have changed the way patients are treated, allowing for what was once a full surgery, to now be treated via non-invasive procedures, often eliminating the need for surgery altogether.”
Which technologies do you think are having the most significant impact on MedTech?
“One of the most major developments technologically, impacting our entire way of life and all sectors, is artificial intelligence. AI algorithms can analyse vast amounts of medical data and provide valuable insights for accurate diagnosis and personalised treatment plans. Robotics enable minimally invasive surgeries, reducing patient trauma and recovery time. Alongside the aforementioned Smartomica which uses AI in its data analytics, UK MedTech company AIBODY has developed the world’s first digital human organism, enabling the real-time simulation of biophysical, physiological and biochemical processes. This incredibly advanced technology will allow medical professionals to observe individuals’ physiology in incredible detail, simulate virtually any condition and deploy treatments and care.”
“Another technological development influencing MedTech is 3D printing. 3D printing allows for the creation of customised implants and prosthetics with incredible anatomically matching accuracy, improving patient comfort and outcomes. Companies like e-NABLE and Limb Forge are allowing people to have the limbs they lost or were born without, fully adapted to the wearers. 3D printing is cost-efficient and in the MedTech sector, can provide more personalised solutions where traditional manufacturing falls short.”
“Robotics are significantly changing the way surgery is performed. Providing enhanced precision, dexterity, accuracy and control, robotics allow for minimally invasive surgeries, leading to small incisions and reduced trauma. A great example - Intuitive Surgical and their da Vinci Surgical System, has transformed urology and gynaecology procedures that would previously require longer and more invasive surgery.”
What issues does the MedTech industry face?
“As with anything new in the medical field, such as new drugs, regulatory compliance is always a significant hurdle to overcome. MedTech companies must adhere to stringent regulatory standards to ensure safety and effectiveness. Meeting compliance requirements can be both time-consuming and costly.”
“Intellectual property protection is also a major stickler in the MedTech sector. IP protection is often crucial for MedTech companies to safeguard their innovations and maintain their competitive edge. Navigating IP landscapes and dealing with IP infringements, produce further challenges for companies to contend with.”
“Bringing new and innovative ideas to market in the MedTech sector is arguably more challenging than in other sectors, as is gaining subsequent adoption. Convincing healthcare providers and institutions to adopt new technologies, and replace existing systems requires clear evidence in improved clinical effectiveness, as well as benefits economically and to patients.”
“Ultimately though, the MedTech sector is benefitting exponentially from the continued advancements in technology we make as a society. More and more MedTech companies are infiltrating the industry to great success, showcasing how much more efficient healthcare can be, while improving outcomes for patients worldwide.”