“Art changes all the time, but it never “improves.” It may go down, or up, but it never improves as technology and medicine improve.”— Alfred Kazin, Writer
Table of contents
- What is Medical Technology (MedTech)?
- Medical Technology (MedTech) Devices
- Why is Medical Technology Important?
- Process of Medical Technology (MedTech)
- How MedTech is Changing Future Healthcare
- Advantages of Medical Technology (MedTech)
- Benefits of Medical Technology (MedTech)
- Top 5 Medical Technology Innovations
What is Medical Technology (MedTech)?
MedTech, or Medical Technology, is a broad discipline. Defined as a field that calculates technologies, i.e., equipment in healthcare systems for diagnosing, caring for, treating, and improving a person’s health.
This sector in the healthcare industry is used to link patient care to technology. MedTech offers all the equipment, tools and equipment used to diagnose and treat a patient. Medical equipment is included in diagnostics, in vitro diagnostics (IVD) i.e., laboratories and pharmaceutical / biotechnical level.
Medical devices range from a simple bandage, dental floss, thermometer, catheter and wheelchair to complex MRI scanning machines, CT scanners, PET scanners and laser machines.
Medical technology can be defined as technologies that diagnose, treat, or improve a person’s health and well-being, including low- and high-risk medical device products that can range from painkillers, surgical gloves, and medical thermometers to pumps. . of insulin, pacemakers and in vitro diagnostics and is used to save the lives of patients everywhere
Medical devices help healthcare professionals diagnose and treat patients with a higher level of accuracy and timeliness, and help patients overcome illness or disease, improving their quality of life.
While a global definition of what is defined as medical devices is difficult to establish due to the various regulatory bodies around the world that oversee the use and categorization of medical devices, there is a very high probability that people will be surrounded. from medical devices without realizing it at all.
Medical Technology (MedTech) Devices
A medical device can be an instrument, apparatus, appliance, software, implant, reagent, material or other articles. From syringes and wheelchairs to cardiac pacemakers and medical imaging technologies (such as MRI, CT and X-ray machines), medical devices can play a range of roles in maintaining and restoring health.
Medical devices are used, either alone or in combination, for individuals for one or more medical purposes:
- Diagnosis, prevention, monitoring, treatment, or alleviation of disease
- Diagnosis, monitoring, treatment, alleviation, or compensation for an injury or handicap
- Investigation, replacement, or modification of the anatomy or of a physiological process
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique that uses a magnetic field and computer-generated radio waves to create detailed images of the organs and tissues in your body.
Most MRI machines are large tubular magnets. When lying inside an MRI machine, the magnetic field temporarily rearranges water molecules in your body. Radio waves cause these lined atoms to produce faint signals, which are used to create sliced MRI images of a piece of bread.
A Computerized Tomography (CT) scan combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles around your body and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images (slices) of the bones, blood vessels and soft tissues inside your body. CT scan images provide more-detailed information than plain X-rays do.
A CT scan has many uses, but it’s particularly well-suited to quickly examine people who may have internal injuries from car accidents or other types of trauma. A CT scan can be used to visualize nearly all parts of the body and is used to diagnose disease or injury as well as to plan medical, surgical or radiation treatment.
X-rays are a type of radiation called electromagnetic waves. X-ray imaging creates pictures of the inside of your body. The images show the parts of your body in different shades of black and white. This is because different tissues absorb different amounts of radiation. Calcium in bones absorbs x-rays the most, so bones look white. Fat and other soft tissues absorb less and look gray. Air absorbs the least, so lungs look black.
Medical thermometers are an important diagnostic tool for nurses and healthcare professionals and the body’s core temperature can provide a lot of information about the health of a patient.
Understanding body temperature is particularly important when dealing with babies and toddlers.
Medical thermometers allow healthcare professionals to provide accurate diagnosis. Temperature can be measured in various locations on the body which maintain a stable temperature. These include oral, axillary(armpit), rectal, tympanic(ear), or temporal(forehead).
Pulse oximetry is a noninvasive test that measures the oxygen saturation level of your blood. It can rapidly detect even small changes in oxygen levels. These levels show how efficiently blood is carrying oxygen to the extremities furthest from your heart, including your arms and legs. The pulse oximeter is a small, clip-like device. It attaches to a body part, most commonly to a finger.
Cardio exercise, which is sometimes referred to as aerobic exercise, is any rhythmic activity that raises your heart rate into your target heart rate zone. This is the zone where you burn the most fat and calories.
Cardiovascular exercise challenges both your cardiovascular and respiratory systems to increase the heart’s ability to pump blood and the lungs’ and heart’s ability to move oxygen throughout the body.
Strength training is exercise that uses resistance to contract muscles in order to increase strength, boost anaerobic endurance, and build skeletal muscles. Examples include weight training, yoga, and bodyweight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups.
A weight scale is any device used to determine the weight of an object; it normally includes a scale that indicates the weight or compares the object to calibrated known weights. Scales of many types have been in existence since prehistoric times, and may have been as simple as comparing an item to be purchased in one hand with a stone in the other hand.
Blood pressure is a measure of the force that your heart uses to pump blood around your body. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps blood. When a healthcare professional measures your blood pressure, they use a blood pressure cuff around your arm that gradually tightens. The results are given in two numbers. The first number, called systolic blood pressure, is the pressure caused by your heart contracting and pushing out blood. The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, is the pressure when your heart relaxes and fills with blood.
Peak flow is a simple measurement of how quickly you can blow air out of your lungs. It’s often used to help diagnose and monitor asthma. A peak flow test involves blowing as hard as you can into a small handheld device called a peak flow meter. These are available on prescription or can be bought from most pharmacies.
Adherence monitoring is an integral part of treating a chronic pain patient. There are several approaches for monitoring a chronic pain patient’s adherence to a drug regimen. Simply asking a patient how many pills he or she has left is a traditional, albeit imperfect, method of adherence monitoring. Random pill counts to assess overuse or diversion is a better objective measure of adherence and should be a stipulation in the controlled substance agreement. Screening tools, such as detailed questionnaires, that are usually employed at the beginning of a treatment process can be used again at some point during treatment.
Physical activity as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. Physical activity refers to all movement including during leisure time, for transport to get to and from places, or as part of a person’s work. Both moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity improve health.
Popular ways to be active include walking, cycling, wheeling, sports, active recreation and play, and can be done at any level of skill and for enjoyment by everybody.
Regular physical activity is proven to help prevent and manage noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and several cancers. It also helps prevent hypertension, maintain healthy body weight and can improve mental health, quality of life and well-being.
Insulin pumps can help people with diabetes conveniently manage their blood sugar. These small devices deliver doses of insulin at specific times. Many people find that insulin pumps are a more flexible option than insulin pen injections. Insulin pumps don’t have to be permanent, and you can switch to another insulin management method at any time.
Insulin pumps are small, computerized devices. They are about the size of a small cell phone. Insulin pumps deliver doses of insulin on a pre-programmed schedule. Insulin is the hormone that regulates your blood sugar.
A blood glucose meter is a small, portable machine that’s used to measure how much glucose (a type of sugar) is in the blood (also known as the blood glucose level). People with diabetes often use a blood glucose meter to help them manage their condition.
Testing your blood sugar level is one of the best ways to understand your diabetes and how different foods, medications and activities affect your diabetes. Keeping track of your blood glucose can help you and your doctor make a plan to manage this condition.
People use portable blood glucose meters, called glucometers, to check their blood sugar levels. These work by analyzing a small amount of blood, usually from the tip of a finger. A lancet easily pierces your skin to get blood. The gauges tell you your current blood sugar. But since blood sugar levels vary, you need to test your levels often and record them.
Why is Medical Technology Important?
The medical technology industry is a very important part of the healthcare sector. It includes medical devices which simplify the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Medical technology product that are the most know to people are pacemakers, imaging instruments, dialysis machines and implants.
Medical technology from the most severe case to the simplest medical case, like breaking a bone. From plaster to robotic surgery, technological advancement is always present and undisputable. Nevertheless, behind every medical technology, there is the patient in mind.
In recent years there have been many groundbreaking advancements in technology in healthcare:
- 3-D printing: 3-D printing has been around for some years in many fields. When it comes to medicine, it creates implants or even joints for surgery. It is also prevalent in prosthetics as it can create perfect matching limbs allowing extra comfort and mobility.
- Artificial organs: Like 3-D printing, but for actual and operational organs, the patient’s immune system will not be rejected. Else called bio-printing is an up-and-coming area in technology in healthcare that could save millions of patients every year.
- Robotic surgery: Adds control, precision, and flexibility to a surgeon’s hands to operate as non-invasively as possible to a patient. It has allowed making certain operations easier or even possible.
- Health wearables: They Began as a fitness tracker to track heart rate and pace, and they highlighted healthcare potential. Health wearables can detect cardiovascular anomalies earlier and prevent severe conditions.
- Virtual reality (VR): VR is being used heavily in recent years but mainly for entertainment purposes. However, virtual reality can help medical students have “real life” experiences in procedures and a visual understanding of human anatomy.
- Telehealth: It is a very up-and-coming market that allows patients receive medical care through digital devices. Patients can easily have access to their doctor while they can receive a diagnosis and medical advice. You’ll need the right platforms for this; such as a website builder and CRM.
Process of Medical Technology (MedTech)
- Diagnosis. Medical diagnostic technologies can save lives, improve health and contribute to cost-effective, sustainable healthcare. The research topic aims to bring together collaborative research on innovative medical technologies to help healthcare systems move towards a more cost-effective and sustainable path for disease diagnosis. The research finding published in the journal will deliver value to patients, healthcare professionals, healthcare systems, and society through innovative devices and diagnostics.
- Prevention. The use of new technologies makes the patient feel engaged in the prevention of various types of diseases. More and more we see the human being worrying about his well being, in this way, exercising more and eating better. And where does technology come in? Nowadays, we see several applications for smartphones and computers that help people better control their food and practice physical activities. Besides, there are so called wearable devices: they monitor, in real time, the needs of each individual so that future problems are avoided.
- Treatment. Diagnostic medical equipment and supplies help clinicians measure and observe various aspects of a patient’s health so that they can make a diagnosis. Once a diagnosis is made, the clinician can prescribe an appropriate treatment plan. Medical diagnostic equipment is found in outpatient care centers for adults and pediatrics, in emergency rooms, as well as in hospital ward rooms and intensive care units.
- Care. Community care is generally seen as treatment and care outside of an acute care environment, such as a hospital. Usually includes primary care (provided by general practitioners, nurses, pharmacists and other health professionals), outpatient clinics, home care, nursing homes, inns, treatment centers, outpatient care (such as intravenous chemotherapy) and providers of medical technologies such as such as pharmacies, medical device stores, equipment contractors, and home care companies.
- Monitoring. In medicine, monitoring is the observation of a disease, condition, or one or more medical parameters over time. It can be performed by continuously measuring certain parameters using a medical monitor (for example, by continuously measuring vital signs from a monitor near the bed) and / or by continuously performing medical tests (such as monitoring blood glucose with a human glucose meter). with diabetes mellitus).
How MedTech is Changing Future Healthcare
Technology Enabled Healthcare
This generation of Medtech will be driving a push towards technology-enabled healthcare as seen in three related developments:
- Early diagnostics: Thanks to technologies like wearables (external), sensor technology (internal), implants and big data management, we will know instantly when there is a problem and when action is needed. Indeed, the growth in big data can help link genetic profiles to specific diseases, or reveal how patients will respond to a drug. This ability will help shift the focus towards asymptomatic disease identification, where early intervention can lead to lower healthcare costs;
- Quicker and significantly less invasive intervention: Patients can expect much faster responses thanks to collaboration amongst disciplines, like nanotech engineers working with surgeons, radiologists, physiologists and pharmacists leading to quick and minimal invasive solutions.
- Patient monitoring after intervention, and disease management: the largest healthcare costs are incurred in patients with chronic diseases that need hospitalization multiple times per year. Many of the hospitalizations are triggered by sub optimal management of the patients at home, bad drug compliance and behavioral challenges. Medtech will play a crucial role in allowing to have patients leave the hospital earlier while ensuring patient compliance (for example, by reminding them to take medication in the right dose and at the right time), supporting them on dietary aspects and monitoring their vital life functions on a continues basis. Patients can be supported to self-manage their condition, so they will minimise the chance of adverse events and related cost increases.
Paying Based on Outcomes Rather than Interventions
The long-term impact will be incredibly positive for patients, professionals, health systems and society at large, with efficiency savings throughout the sector. This is especially pertinent as payers are increasingly insisting on paying for outcomes rather than delivery of services: Medtech will help create a feedback loop that reinforces the most appropriate care. It ultimately means:
- Better care, more tailored to individual patients;
- A more treatable patient population;
- Lower healthcare costs through better prevention;
- Treatments directed at patients who really need it;
- Care shared by industry, government and payers through risk sharing models.
However, to meet current and future healthcare needs, and to better respond to governments more and more paying based on outcome rather than intervention, it is clear that many of the traditional “walls” between healthcare delivery models needs to be torn down.
Advantages of Medical Technology (MedTech)
1. Electronic Health Records of Patients in Hospitals
The patient’s health records are now stored in computers. Mostly In the hospitals or also with the specialists the complete health records of patients are stored on a computer. The patient’s health records are stored in the database or on the cloud servers, keeping records in the computerized system is faster than the paper works. It takes less time instead of paper records.
2. Communication Systems in Healthcare Hospitals
There is a lot of devices made for the patients contacting the doctors or nurse. These kinds of digital devices are made for patients who are placed in the patient’s rooms or wards in hospitals. In case of emergency, the patients can click the button of these devices. It informs the doctors or nurses on time to come for the patient. This is one of the main advantages of technology for patients and doctors. With this kind of device, without wasting time the doctor can reach the patients and save their lives.
3. Technology Improving Healthcare in Hospitals
There is a lot of technological devices and equipment which improved the healthcare or treatment of the patients. The portable defibrillator, drug management technology, MR system, electronic IV monitors are the new technological devices that improved the healthcare of the patients.
4. Reduction in Medical Errors
Before the advancement in medical technology, it was very difficult to know the exact disease and condition of the patient. But after the advancements in medical technology the errors in medical reports and treatments reduce.
5. Wearable Technology
Modern technology introduced wearable medical technology tools in the market. Those devices are a kind of electronic sensible devices which people can wear and know his/her body condition. Smartwatches, blood pressure machines and many more medical gadgets, which can where and it shows the current state of the body of the patients. Those devices have different kind of sensors which can detect the condition of the body and show the data on screen to the patients.
Benefits of Medical Technology (MedTech)
MedTech is quite beneficial for healthcare providers. The prime aim of advancement in MedTech is to improve the overall quality of patient care in a medical setting. These devices aid them by producing accurate results. This allows the clinicians to structure a better and more improvement-oriented treatment plan for the patient. Since the initial results i.e. laboratory results and scans are free of errors, therefore, it is likely for the patient to improve at a much faster pace. Moreover, MedTech devices and procedures save time for both clinicians and patients. Today, the procedures are made much less complicated. MedTech also creates better, advanced, and less invasive treatment options. MedTech favors reducing the duration of hospital stay as well as the requirements for rehabilitation. The accurate, time-savvy, and less complicated nature of MedTech makes it a discipline of ease and comfort for the healthcare providers.
As discussed, MedTech is a combination of technology and medical interventions. This is the most significant combination as it has provided numerous significant contributions to improve the overall medical care. Clinicians and patients exclusively use tablets, smartphones, and mobile apps which access the Electronic Health Records (EHR) to bring benefit to both ends.
MedTech holds credit for introducing the very successful concept of telehealth services. Today patients and healthcare providers have the facility to discuss their disease over a video call instead of traveling to a location hundreds of miles away to another city or the country. This facility nullifies the traveling expenses.
Moreover accessing all kinds of health information by the healthcare providers is only a click away. Healthcare providers carry smartphones and tablets throughout their duty. They can look for drug information, medical history of patient/EHR and even research papers is an effortless job.
Top 5 Medical Technology Innovations
1. Cutting Back on Melanoma Biopsies
With the most deadly form of skin cancer, melanoma, a huge number of dangerous-looking moles are actually harmless, but has always been impossible to know for sure without an invasive surgical biopsy. Today dermatologists have new help in making the right call a handheld tool approved by the FDA for multispectral analysis of tissue morphology.
Optical scanner is not for definitive diagnosis but rather to provide additional information a doctor can use in determining whether or not to order a biopsy. The goal is to reduce the number of patients left with unnecessary biopsy scars, with the added benefit of eliminating the cost of unnecessary procedures.
2. Electronic Aspirin
For people who suffer from migraines, cluster headaches, and other causes of chronic, excruciating head or facial pain, the “take two aspirins and call me in the morning” method is useless. Doctors have long associated the most severe, chronic forms of headache with the sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG), a facial nerve bundle, but haven’t yet found a treatment that works on the SPG long-term.
The system involves the permanent implant of a small nerve stimulating device in the upper gum on the side of the head normally affected by headache. The lead tip of the implant connects with the SPG bundle, and when a patient senses the onset of a headache, he or she places a handheld remote controller on the cheek nearest the implant. The resulting signals stimulate the SPG nerves and block the pain-causing neurotransmitters.
3. Needle Free Diabetes Care
Diabetes self-care is a pain—literally. It brings the constant need to draw blood for glucose testing, the need for daily insulin shots and the heightened risk of infection from all that poking. Continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps are today’s best options for automating most of the complicated daily process of blood sugar management – but they don’t completely remove the need for skin pricks and shots. But there’s new skin in this game.
The company is working on a transdermal biosensor that reads blood analytes through the skin without drawing blood. The technology involves a handheld electric-toothbrush-like device that removes just enough top-layer skin cells to put the patient’s blood chemistry within signal range of a patch-borne biosensor. The sensor collects one reading per minute and sends the data wirelessly to a remote monitor, triggering audible alarms when levels go out of the patient’s optimal range and tracking glucose levels over time.
4. Robotic Check-Ups
A pillar of health reform is improving access to the best healthcare for more people. Technology is a cost-effective and increasingly potent means to connect clinics in the vast and medically underserved rural regions of the United States with big city medical centers and their specialists. Telemedicine is well established as a tool for triage and assessment in emergencies, but new medical robots go one step further they can now patrol hospital hallways on more routine rounds, checking on patients in different rooms and managing their individual charts and vital signs without direct human intervention.
5. A Valve Job with Heart
The transcatheter aortic valve is a life-saving alternative to open heart surgery for patients who need a new valve but cannot tolerate the severity of the operation. The valve is guided through the catheter femoral artery by a small incision near the adult cage or chest. The valve material is made of bovine tissue glued to a stainless steel stent, which expands by inflating a small balloon when placed correctly in the valve space. A simpler procedure that promises dramatically shorter hospital stays will have a positive effect on the cost of care.