Can you imagine a world without any medical devices starting from medical imaging and radiology to accessible home healthcare? Quite hard to imagine, right? Medical devices have played an important role in the healthcare sector for a long time. This won’t be possible without medical devices technology. The COVID-19 pandemic was no exception, starting from pulse oximeters, thermometers to CT scanners. We, at Swayam Care, have come up with the highest accuracy pulse oximeter that not only measures SpO2 level but also fulfills the purpose of thermometers manufactured in India.
What is medical technology?
Technology is the application of knowledge for practical purposes, whether in the home or industry or anywhere else. As the name suggests, Medical technology or MedTech is technology related to medical devices. It broadly includes medical devices, healthcare services, information technology, biotechnology, and many other fields. Additionally, this technology intends to raise the quality of healthcare products, for earlier diagnosis, minimally invasive treatment, prevent disease, and for a better experience. The effect of medical technology involves social as well as ethical issues.
Types of recent medical technology and advances:
Medical technology has evolved a lot from the invention of the very first stethoscope over the past. Starting from startup companies to many renowned well-established companies, everyone is focusing on the further advancement of medical technology, and thus the development of innovative medical devices. As technology is striding forward at a good pace, biomedical research and healthcare is going hand-in-hand with it. Subsequently, the COVID-19 crisis is one of those times when the whole world confronted its hard-learned lesson that there is definitely a need for improvement.
To begin with, precision medicines is a relatively new concept that has come to focus now, however, it has been part of the healthcare sector for a long time. This is an emerging approach for developing treatment, cure, and prevention considering variation in genes, environment, and it is becoming personalized according to the patient’s need. Another name given to it is ‘genomic medicine’. Furthermore, these are more effective than conventional treatment. This finds application in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. As many of you might be aware that arthritis is an auto-immune disease, in this case, precision medicine uses the mechanism of attacking vulnerable genes and subsequently, making them weak. This reduces symptoms and joint damage. Biomarkers are a key focus of precision medicine and more research is still going on in this field.
3D printing is an additive manufacturing technique that creates physical objects from a digital design. The printing market will be worth US$ 3.5 billion by the year 2025. Furthermore, through research and innovation, currently, it has been identified that there are mainly four core uses of 3D printing in the medical field – surgical tools, creating tissues and organs, surgical models, and prosthetics. 3D printing has applications in hearing aid manufacturing, other implants, surgery, and dentistry purposes. Researchers from the University of Newcastle developed 3D-printed artificial corneas in 2019.
Robot-assisted surgery or Robotic surgery combines the skills of doctors and advanced computer technology. It enables the doctor to perform the procedure with precision, and flexibility with better control. These provide a 10x magnified image, the high-resolution, 3D image of the body’s complex anatomy. In this procedure, small incisions are made, therefore further reducing the pain and relatively less time for recovery. However, the success rate of robotic surgery ranges from 94% to 100%. The global market of robotic surgery is estimated to grow from US$ 5.46 billion in 2020 to US$ 16.77 billion by the year 2031. It will grow with a CAGR of 10.2% from 2020 through 2031.
Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) is the most developed genome editing technology yet. It is a tool that aids researchers in editing DNA. Using CRISPR, researchers are trying to find cures for some diseases, for instance, cancer, HIV, hemophilia, sickle cell anemia, and many other ailments. Additionally, it is used for producing designer babies. The CRISPR global market size has a CAGR of 25% from 2018 to 2021. In 2018, the genome editing market was US$ 562 million and it is estimated to grow to US$ 1715 million by 2023.
There is a consistent advancement of medical technology with every passing day. Some other fields which are consistently evolving are artificial intelligence, telehealth, virtual reality, and the one we discussed in our earlier blog thoroughly- wearable healthcare devices and biosensors. Hence, medical technology has a bright future as its consumer market is increasing tremendously.