In a return to our popular industry spotlight series, we’re focusing on the global MedTech industry. During COVID-19, the MedTech industry has found itself both trying to detect the virus and supply frontline emergency workers with equipment to fight it. But here we look beyond the world of vaccines, Hazmat suits and ventilators, to review a selection of stories from international trade media outlets covering how MedTech industries are innovating our whole approach to medicine and healthcare:
- First, we kick off with developments in personalized medicine. 3D-printing technology is pushing the development of medication that can be tailored to the specific needs of patients. Ideal for patients with epilepsy or those who struggle swallowing pills, this personalized approach to medication can make it easier to ingest, while also enabling doctors to schedule release of drugs, making it possible for patients to ingest fewer pills while maintaining effectiveness.
- Here come the robots. We’ve heard a lot about robotic surgery with kit like the Da Vinci system and Cyber Knives , but now they are being used for target delivery of drugs to internal organs. Traditionally, delivery of medication to internal organs was achieved through ingestion, which often results in medications diluting or being otherwise intercepted. While targeted delivery is preferred, it can be difficult to accomplish for some organs. Researchers at Purdue University however, have developed tiny robots that are controlled by an external magnetic field and that can tumble through the colon to deliver medication directly where its needed.
- More on personalized medications– A team at the university of California has developed a wearable patch that uses ultrasonic waves to penetrate the skin and reflect off the wearer’s tissues and blood. The long-term goal is for the patch to monitor patients for heart conditions, and other vital organs from home and because it’s not invasive, with no risk of infection.
- Healing help – In Europe, the first human clinical trials are getting underway for a new post-operative liver and pancreas sealant patch. The 100% synthetic device is designed to adhere to, and seal treated tissue throughout the critical healing process before safely biodegrading within the body.
- Collecting accurate COVID data through clinical trials: At the start of the pandemic, IBA client Pivotal provided specialized clinical research services for trials examining the safety of hyperimmune plasma taken from recovered COVID-19 patients. Pivotal’s vast experience in clinical research has helped expedite and continues to aid in the development of medication for hospitalized patients admitted during the acute stage of the virus.
- And now smart inhalers – Around 339 million people live with asthma globally and new smart inhalers are being developed to combat this problem. Capable of Bluetooth connection across multiple devices, the inhalers can keep users on track in terms of taking medication and use sensors to advise patients about areas of high pollution and pollen.
Harry Spicer-Jones is PR Executive at IBA International.