December 14-15, 2017

MedTech Impact 2017

Venetian/Palazzo Resort

Las Vegas, NV

(561) 893-8633

info@medtechimpact.com

News & Insights

MEDTECH IMPACT MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY NEWS

Linking Life Expectancy & Medical Innovation

Recent data and statistics demonstrate that overall American life expectancy has dropped for the first time in a decade, spurring an urgent and pressing need for the advent and proliferation of medical technology—coupled with scientific progress and laws to encourage innovation.

While the research points to specific factors that have lowered rates of mortality, including increased obesity, long-term unemployment, and a resurgence of chronic diseases, the studies incontrovertibly suggest the critical need to provide enhanced ‘life-saving and life-prolonging’ therapies and treatments.

There is no specific way to address the divergence of issues regarding lowered life expectancy, but there are particular measures that must be undertaken. These include enacting evidence-based policies that spur innovation, and further eliminating any roadblocks to America’s inventors.

By spearheading research that targets the most grave and life-threatening challenges in our medical and healthcare system, new resources will grow and develop, ultimately allowing for patients to access breakthrough therapies. The need for medical-technology innovation is steadily increasing, while removing obstacles to improving patient outcomes and creating high-tech manufacturing jobs remains a challenge.

We must collectively and cooperatively tackle the persistent healthcare problems that our country faces, while boosting innovation in the technological sector in order to further address medical challenges.

A Miracle Medical Chip: Devices that Heal

Researchers at Ohio State University have taken the first step in creating a medical chip that could ultimately heal almost any injury or disease.

The development of a small, dime-sized silicone device—known as Tissue Nanotransfection (TNT)—uses nanotechnology to actively reprogram a person’s cellular makeup. By simply placing the chip on a wound, the device sends an electrical pulse designed to convert living cells into whatever necessary cells the body requires. The pulse “opens a small window into the cell,” allowing the chip to transmit an entirely new genetic code. Moreover, the entire process takes less than one second.

The findings, published last week in the journal Nature, discuss lab tests during which mice with injured legs were completely repaired with a single touch of TNT: by turning skin cells into vascular cells, within the timespan of three weeks. This breakthrough technology does not only work on skin cells, but can also restore any type of tissue. The device was also able to restore brain function in a mouse who had suffered a stroke, by growing brain cells on its skin.

The future potential and implications of such a device are clearly limitless, but some of the researchers’ ideas include reprogramming the brain cells of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or stroke patients, regenerating injured limbs, or helping victims of car crashes or combat at the scene of the accident.

Director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine and Cell-Based Therapies, Chandan Sen, says, “This technology does not require a laboratory or hospital, and can actually be excited in the field. It’s less than 100 grams to carry and will have a long shelf life.” Additionally, while current cell methods of cell therapy carry high risks—like introducing a virus—TNT treatment has no known side effects, and requires almost no time to carry out.

While the technology is currently waiting for approval from the FDA, Sen states that the device is expected to enter human trials within the next year, and he is currently in communications with Walter Reed National Medical Center. “We are proposing the use of skin as an agricultural land where you can essentially grow any cell of interest,” says Sen.

CMO School: How to Become a Medical Advisor

MedTech Impact is excited to announce a new workshop: “CMO School: How to Become a Medical Advisor,” developed, designed, and presented by Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA. As President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, in addition to professor emeritus at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health, Modern Healthcare named Dr. Meyers one of the ‘50 Most Influential Physician Executives’ of 2011, with subsequent nominations in both 2012 and 2013.

Dr. Meyers will host the session from 8:30-9:30 a.m. on December 14, 2017, the first day of the conference. During the interactive Q&A session, attendees will learn the various aspects of how to become an operative and successful medical advisor to companies at all levels of product development. With extensive experience in consultations for companies, governments, and universities around the globe, Dr. Meyers brings valued perspective and insight surrounding entrepreneurship and commercialization.

The mission of this session is to deliver information regarding the ways in which healthcare practitioners and professionals can effectively collaborate with industries. In the sphere of healthcare, there is a necessity for companies to understand what physicians require in terms of new products and/or services: more importantly, how a physician will integrate tools into practice. Yet there is no formal continuing education focused on ways to become a Chief Medical Officer, or a physician adviser.

Dr. Meyers will discuss where to find opportunities, in addition to what resources and networking opportunities are currently available. He will further delve into strategic ways to outline expectations concerning time, resources, and compensation. Dr. Meyers will also emphasize potential pitfalls and drawbacks, coupled with ways to avoid problematic obstacles.

About MedTech Impact:

The goal of MedTech Impact is to help healthcare practitioners and professionals better serve their patients through the use of technology, by utilizing devices and products that help track progress, assist with diagnoses, and ultimately support injury and disease prevention. By connecting attendees with the most recent and innovative scientific research and clinical education, MedTech Impact envisions helping clinics, hospitals, and private practitioners protect and build the infrastructure of their practices through the most recently developed and cutting-edge devices, equipment, and technology. For more information, visit http://www.medtechimpact.com/.

PRESS CONTACT:

Heather Johnson
MedTech Impact Expo & Conference
561-997-0112 x7902
heather@medtechimpact.com

Fighting Pain Without Painkillers

Statistics indicate that 140 people die each day from drug overdoses in the United States—most of them linked to opioids and painkillers. Due to the increasingly severe public health crisis, companies are now manufacturing new devices to replace addictive painkillers, and innovators are looking to technology for groundbreaking, inventive ways to tackle the increasingly critical opioid crisis.

A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have founded Biobot Labs, merging a research collaboration between the departments of biological engineering and urban studies and planning. The ultimate goal was to design technology that “analyzes human waste flowing through the sewers at various points throughout the system,” and to test the wastewater systems for metabolized traces of various substances in order to isolate the places with the highest concentrations of opioid—or any drug—users. Co-founder and CEO of Biobot Labs Newsha Ghaeli has stated that the goal is to shift data collection away from overdose and death, and instead focus on overdose prevention and early detection.

New clinical trials have demonstrated considerable success for a device known as a spinal cord stimulator, engineered to alleviate back pain. After implanting the experimental device under the skin at the spine base, the technology sends a mild electric current to the spinal cord’s nerve fibers. Scientists believe that the therapy, known as neuromodulation or neurostimulation, interrupts the pain signals that are carried from the nerves to the brain. While the idea was originally conceived in the 1960s, recent years have seen the technology expand and grow.

Other less-invasive devices that can be used outside the body, and do not require surgery, stimulate the peripheral nerves: the network of nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord. Cleveland-based SPR Therapeutics, which received FDA clearance last year for its device, involves a simple nonsurgical procedure in which a tiny wire is placed under the skin—near the nerves—and connected externally to the stimulator, which can be worn anywhere on the body.

As opioid use and abuse in the United States has skyrocketed, these new medical devices could offer drug-free alternatives for some patients. Michael Leong, a pain specialist at the Stanford University School of Medicine, states that the benefit of these devices is that when patients use them, they are able to fake fewer or no pharmaceuticals. “People are afraid of opioids right now. There’s a stigma. Patients don’t want to be on opioids,” he says.

Wireless Wearables: Potential to Predict Disease 

A recent study at the 2016 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons confirms the burgeoning theory that wearable health technology, an innovation that has progressively gained traction in medical and consumer arenas, can positively affect healthcare and patients’ wellness. Moreover, researchers have found that data from smartwatches have the capabilities to both detect—and even predict—the onset of disease.

Because a large segment of the population utilizes smartwatches, an enormous amount of data and metrics portray a more comprehensive overview of health, as opposed to a solitary visit to the doctor. Researchers from Stanford University conducted a study during which they gave participants smartwatches, and subsequently analyzed almost a year of the data. Measurements included skin temperature, heart rate, and data collected from sleep.

When analyzing the data, the team found that ‘out-of-the-ordinary measurements’—specifically heart rate—had strong correlations with health issues like the common cold. Additionally, more detailed data was collected from several participants, for two years. Researchers evaluated this data, and chose the four dates during which measurements were out of the ordinary: the heart rate and skin temperature were specifically elevated. During a period when the measurements were abnormal, the participant had developed Lyme disease; during the other periods, he had a fever, or the common cold.

These measurements have strong correlations with inflammation, suggesting that the data was able to pinpoint and pick up on signs of inflammation. Other participants who were ill during the period they used smartwatches demonstrated measurements of elevated heart rate and skin temperatures. Moreover, in a separate experiment, the team found that insulin resistance had a connection to body mass index and heart rate—the latter of which was measured by a smartwatch.

The simplicity behind wearing a fitness wristband, and any wearable health technology, can more easily help surgeons detect which patients are at risk for complications. Evidence-based studies have demonstrated that the integration of wireless technology strongly correlates with ‘postoperative quality-of-life data,’ and reinforces research that surgeons should consistently track their patients’ results and quality of life.

These findings reaffirm the belief that surgeons have the capability to routinely measure patient-centered results–including anxiety, postoperative pain, and the ease with which patients can perform daily tasks and activities. While surgeons do not regularly practice this type of aftercare, and follow up on patients’ recovery, this monitoring system establishes an exciting and inventive kind of versatility, portability, and ultimate healthcare awareness that should be incorporated and put into practice.

The idea that smartwatches can predict and detect disease could become a widespread phenomenon, which would ultimately become an accessible and convenient tool for diagnosis. Wearables may have the potential to eliminate doctor visits, particularly for people who have geographical or monetary difficulties.

FDA Encourages Development of Medical Technology

The Food and Drug Administration has recently announced a program that actively encourages the development of medical digital technology, including wireless wearables and applications that can monitor blood pressure and heart rate, track intake of calories, and measure physical activity.

The program is designed to give pre-clearance to developers working on digital health products, as the approval process for apps sometimes includes burdensome regulations, which can increase costs and limit innovation: the FDA hopes to reduce development costs and give entrepreneurs increased opportunities to develop products.

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Investing in Digital Health

Several of the world’s largest and most successful companies are investing in digital health, including Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. Amazon is heavily investing in health, across a number of different areas, and Google is likewise “ramping up its health cloud business.” Apple and Nokia recently announced a partnership on digital health, designed to advance medical support.

Amazon has also recently landed a health-tech hire from the company Box, a cloud content management and file sharing service for businesses. Missy Krasner, who previously helped build the cloud storage company’s health product, will transition to Amazon. Krasner was also a founding member of Google Health, the company’s online medical records and wellness platform.

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How Virtual Reality Can Change Medical Technology

Extensive research and data indicate that Virtual and Augmented Reality have the potential to change the face of medical technology: more importantly, the ways in which medical device designers operate, innovative, and create.

Yet the technologies have inevitable hurdles to overcome, despite the enormous progresses and successes in the past decade. While patients are incontrovertibly benefiting from the experience of virtual reality in certain areas, experts agree that in order for AR and VR to “disrupt” medical technology, the intrinsic challenges must be explained, understood, and faced.

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Announcement of NHS Funding

An announcement from the government has recently stated that the National Health Service–the publicly funded national healthcare system for England, and the largest, oldest single-payer healthcare system in the world–will receive £86 million worth of funding over the next three years.

This effort is designed to spur innovation, and help firms further develop medical advancements and technology. The release states that businesses will have the opportunity to ‘bid for funding’ in order to aid developments, which could potentially run the gamut from digital technologies to new inventive medications.

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