From contact lenses that measure blood glucose levels in people with diabetes using tears instead of a pin prick, to a robotic arm that helps surgeons perform complicated procedures without making an incision – MedTech or medical technology has come a long way in recent years.
Whether it’s internal medicine, sports medicine, osteopathic medicine or orthopaedic medicine… you get the idea, modern medicine and the MedTech industry has undergone some radical changes in recent years. With all the breakthroughs happening right now, it can be hard to imagine what the future of medical technology will be like.
So, in an effort to get a glimpse of that future, we asked a group of industry experts…
What’s the future of MedTech?
Their answers will get your imagination going…
Uri Rapoport, Founder & CEO of Aspect Imaging
“Within the next 10-15 years, there will be a shift from using the costly, dangerous and complicated full-body MRI scanning for head and extremities to a more efficient and specialized dedicated MRI systems for specific conditions. Permanent mid-high field magnet technology will supersede cryogenic, superconducting magnet systems. Dedicated MRI systems will become a common feature at the point-of-care and MRI scanning will become a routine medical practice, rather than a one-off appointment with a waiting time of many months. Dedicated specialized MRI systems will become common, placed inside Emergency Rooms and Neonatal Intensive Care Units. The medical benefits will be considerable, as will the financial benefits of compact, easy to install, use and operate systems that will pay for themselves many times over within a very short time. MRI will be used as part of rehabilitation processes to monitor patients’ progress. Ultimately, we will see a distinct movement from “fee for service” models of healthcare to “value added” care models.
In short, less waiting time > less pain > better service > better cost-effective healthcare.”
Simon Lorenz, Co-founder of Klara
“The future of medtech isn’t fully automating the industry. We’re not replacing doctors in the foreseeable future. We need the human doctor-patient relationship. We need technology that facilitates the relationship, not replace it. There seems to be a common misconception about the direction of medtech. We see it going to the enablement of connections among care teams and patients across the lifespan. There’s a core problem regarding interoperability and transparency in healthcare that needs to be solved before we introduce any of these ‘fancy’ robots.”
Joseph Smith, CEO of Reflexion Health
“The future of medical technology is smarter, agile, and pervasive. The disease-specific, stand-alone gadget will give way to the smart, connected, integrative solution that engages, informs, monitors, and coaches patients while alerting clinicians with unassailable cues for action.
As healthcare delivery becomes progressively more decentralized and democratized, healthcare will meet patients where they live and work, resulting in enhanced remote monitoring and telemedicine solutions. The requirement that we learn from each and every patient experience will drive unprecedented data collection and analytics. And, the exponential growth in this already unmanageable flow of information will hasten more widespread development of artificially intelligent digital assistants.”
Medtech will make healthcare smarter.
Holley Malia, President & Founder of Grey Matter Marketing
“The way we deliver care to patients will evolve away from a traditional 15-minute doctor’s appointment in his or her office to different delivery models (think phone, Internet, and group visits), a greater focus on patients’ behavior, and a far more team-oriented approach. The technology is certainly available. It’s more about changing behavior that could lead to reduced costs and increased efficiencies and convenience (for doctor and patient).
Concurrently, the cumulative effect of technological advances like 3-D printing, artificial intelligence, and genomic sequencing, will likely grow a number of areas, such as diagnostics and therapeutics, platforms and support, and wellness markets, in the long term. The overall impact of these advances should render the health ecosystem more efficient, effective and automated. The physician 10 years from now is going to be faced with making decisions with so many data points that he or she cannot make the best decisions without computer-assisted support.”
Hannah Steffensen, Media Relations Manager at GPS Trackit
“Cutting-edge GPS monitoring technology is starting to improve teletrauma systems, which enable trauma care to begin as soon as the patient reaches the ambulance. These systems use video monitoring and GPS-supported navigation to identify the optimal route to the destination hospital and connect first responders with trauma specialists, helping them provide the best care possible.
Continuing to integrate GPS technology with existing healthcare systems will likely create a future in which first responders have the support of trauma specialists in the most critical of emergency situations.”
Candice M Hughes, CEO & Founder of Hughes BioPharma Advisers LLC
“The question, What’s the future of Medtech, is thrilling, yet unnerving. The future is really an end, or perhaps a rebirth. We will stop thinking about Medtech as an industry. Instead, multiple pressures and industries are converging to create a Total Health solution. This may be frightening for those in the industry, but it will bring better health outcomes at a better cost for patients. Instead of a disease focus, one trip to the emergency room then done or prescribe a pill then check up each year, health becomes the focus. Starting from birth, how can we use every piece of information, every meal, every trip to the gym, every counseling session, every app, every device, and every pill (as needed) to lead a healthy life. The question to ask is, How can we solve health? Convergence of biotech, pharma, devices, health tech into Total Health is the solution.”
Avner Halperin, Co-founder & CEO of EarlySense
“By 2030, big data, wearable sensors, and personalized medicine will all be old news. Robotic surgery, genomically optimized medicine, etc. will allow us all to live longer and healthier lives. With over 100 million seniors in the US and more than a million centenarians, the key challenge will be to improve mental well being as effectively as we have improved physical health. The most precious resource will be the time of caregivers: professionals and family that will almost be “outnumbered” by seniors. Patients in hospitals and residents at home will be hungry for the human connection. A key objective for medtech in 2030 will be to optimize human interaction. Sensors and analytics will communicate the need for interaction and provide caregivers with the best time to connect / intervene most efficiently, with the right data. All of this will be focused on optimizing the “ROM” (Return On every Minute) of caregiver time.”