September 17, 2021
The future of medical technology: 5 MedTech trends that will play a big role
Global life expectancy has never been higher. This would not be possible had it not been for the development of new medical technologies.
Revenue from the MedTech industry is expected to grow consistently. By 2024, industry profits will reach levels that are more than 65% higher than they were in 2011! So what kind of trends will fuel this increase?
5 Trends that support the development of new medical technologies
Medical revolutions happen every day. Even if they are not always visible, they allow us to develop more sophisticated machines all the time. And these machines serve only one purpose: to save lives.
Nowadays, even a smartphone can be used as a tool to help us stay healthy - especially with all the apps that can measure the number of steps we take or analyse the quality of our sleep and our dreams.
Medical robots are becoming more popular, and to some extent even famous! Machines like Da Vinci are successfully being used worldwide and commonly assist doctors during complex surgeries now.
They were found to be extremely valuable throughout the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 as some of these machines also limit personal contact between doctors and patients.
A new generation of medical robots is about to arrive, and these will not be limited to assisting surgeries. We can include revolutionary exoskeletons (which are still under development) in this bracket as well.
SmartWatches and SmartBands have turned out to be much more than just lifestyle gadgets. Not only do they motivate people to stay fit, but there are still many more features and applications to be implemented. The first SmartWatches that can be used to check blood glucose or alcohol levels are now making their way onto the market.
Wearables are also revolutionary in terms of cardiovascular care. They are able to generate a lot of heart-related data that is crucial for clinicians, resulting in more accurate diagnoses. Issues with precise measurements, device cost and patient privacy still need to be solved, but this will surely happen soon.
Telemedicine and telehealth solutions
Medical robots are not the only technology that has gained popularity over the last year.
Telehealth solutions were the main form of contact between patients and doctors during the COVID-19 outbreak. Most patients quickly adapted to it, and even now, telemedicine is much more popular than it was before the pandemic.
But Telehealth solutions do not have to be as simple as that. With better cameras in our smartphones, this form of contact and communication could displace traditional visits and make GPs a lot more effective.
It is clear that this sector is lucrative and has gained a great level of interest among investors. Personal virtual care could be a massive game changer, especially for people who live in rural areas.
Despite years of continuous investment, nanotechnology still leaves us with plenty to discover, and we can expect its role to increase.
Speaking of wearables, these are strongly connected to nanotechnology. All of the microsensors used in wearables are a product of nanotechnology research.
Scientists are currently working hard on finding ways to use nanotechnology for drug delivery. They believe it is possible to use nanotechnology to deliver medicaments to specific cells, reducing the total amount of substances necessary.
3D Bioprinting and additive manufacturing
This is another trend that emerged a few years ago, but its peak is still yet to come.
The vast purposes of 3D printing make it a very exciting space. Surgical instruments, and prosthetics or implants are cheaper whenever they are produced using this kind of technology. This is a game-changer for developing countries where the availability of medical instruments could be a problem in the near future.
But there is another way to apply this technology. 3D bioprinting is a new trend that can increase the popularity of total additive manufacturing. Focusing on human tissues and making them ready to print and deliver globally is another life-saving way to apply medical technology.
But how will these MedTech trends affect the future of medicine? What kind of impact will they make?
The trends and digitalization of MedTech will increase the efficiency of all parts of the healthcare system. Patients will be better connected to medical staff and, as a result, receive more satisfying and professional care, while medical staff will be able to focus their primary attention on patients. The most important thing is that we will be able to use the resources that are available to us more quickly and efficiently, allowing us to plan our collaboration and patient care in even less time and with greater precision. From the other perspective, the increasing use of technology also forces physicians to change the way they work, as they need to be able to use, understand and analyze technology effectively, while also nurturing their relationship with patients. The balance of challenges and benefits is in constant flux.