December 13-15, 2018

MedTech Impact 2018

Venetian/Palazzo Resort

Las Vegas, NV

(561) 893-8633

info@medtechimpact.com

Tag Archives: medical technology

Second MedTech Impact Expo & Conference reinforced critical connection between technology and healthcare

The second MedTech Impact Expo and Conference took place from December 15-16, co-located with the A4M/MMI 25th Annual World Congress. The event focused on assisting healthcare practitioners and professionals to better serve their patients through the use of medical technology and devices, while understanding the transformative effects of newly developed products and equipment. Speakers and sessions educated attendees on groundbreaking scientific research and education, supplemented by the most progressive equipment and medical technology.

The conference agenda included keynote speakers who discussed the multitude of ways to leverage data, manage patient privacy and security, understand legal implications, and gain insight into care collaboration software and collaborative health teams. Pablos Holman, self-described ‘futurist and inventor’ discussed “Inventing the Future of Food,” describing the revolutionary shift in the way food is prepared through the advent of 3-D printing. Holman has consulted worldwide on invention and design projects that assimilate the newest technological advancements. Entrepreneur, innovator, professional speaker, and author Robin Farmanfarmaian explained how to utilize and apply technology in order to empower patients and consumers. Chief Medical Officer and Head of Healthcare and Fitness for Samsung Electronics of America Dr. David Rhew focused on the applications of technology to improve and expand the landscape of healthcare.

Other lecturers included Reenita Das, Partner and SVP of Healthcare and Life Sciences at Frost & Sullivan, and Dr. Michael Nova, Chief Innovation Officer of Pathways Genomics, discussed the ways in which health technology wearables and machine learning can be integrated into modern medicine and healthcare. Bryan Boda, Head of Business Development at Fitbit Health Solutions, described his work regarding population health and consumer activation, while Dr. Arlen Meyers held an interactive workshop session that focused on how to become a medical advisor to companies, at all levels of product development.

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 education, MedTech Impact envisions helping clinics, hospitals, and private practitioners protect and build the infrastructure of their practices by utilizing the most recently developed and cutting-edge devices, equipment, and technology. For more information, visit www.medtechimpact.com.

The Cost of Chronic Disease

The primary issue that consumes the majority of the burden of healthcare costs in the United States is preventable chronic disease: while the most prevalent health conditions are simultaneously the most avoidable, they continue to cost the country’s budget billions of dollars. While overall numbers have decreased since 2010, when chronic disease cost the U.S. a total of $315 billion, morbid obesity rates have continued to rapidly spike—a condition that leads to a range of critical health issues including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

Primary care providers have long faced the struggle of determining how to implement best practice care for patients diagnosed with chronic diseases. Recent studies indicate that almost half of the entire U.S. population has at least one chronic health condition—including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, or arthritis. Statistics designate these health care treatments costs to account for 86% of cumulative national healthcare spending, and the CDC reports that chronic conditions are the leading causes of death and disability in the country.

Yet the past decade has seen the advent and proliferation of digital health technology, spurring the generation of new techniques and strategies for healthcare professionals to utilize in chronic disease management. These types of technology vary in terms of accessibility and usability, but include remote monitoring, mobile health apps installable on phones, and wireless wearables—which serve as activity trackers.

A series of interviews conducted by Medical News Today demonstrate a bright future for the potential of new technology, and its ability to spur and provide high-quality care. Suzanne Falck, MD, an associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, noted that a highly successful digital tool is currently in use for the management of heart failure: an implanted sensor immediately transmits data to a healthcare practitioner, who then analyzes the data in order to make medical recommendations. Further clinical trials and studies indicate that remote monitoring is more cost-effective than traditional, conventional management.

Moreover, the burgeoning popularity of medical apps signifies that mobile technology can make a hugely positive impact on chronic disease management. There are currently approximately 259,000 medical health apps available to purchase; over half are aimed at targeting consumers with chronic conditions. Clinical trials have repeatedly shown that patients with type 2 diabetes who utilized an app to monitor their blood glucose levels showed greater benefits than those who did not. A recent article in Diabetes Technology& Therapeutics states that the prognosis in patients with diabetes is ‘strongly influenced by the degree of control of their disease,’ which reinforces the effectiveness of self-management support through mobile apps.

Another innovative and exciting development is wearable technology and devices, which are currently being studied in a variety of clinical research settings. Many healthcare providers believe that the ‘potential of this technology is endless,’ as they can improve access to care while simultaneously enhancing convenience—and likely patient compliance.

Most importantly, being conscious of medicinal needs and treatments requires a consistently high level of responsibility and awareness. Healthcare experts urge patients to take active, informed roles in managing their health: online workshops have been developed to offer chronic disease self-management programs, which have been proven to significantly improve health statuses. Moreover, healthcare practitioners and professionals must collectively work together and utilize the new landscape of digital medical technology to their patients’ benefits.

Healthcare in the Home: Technology & Patient Care

The increase in human lifespan—currently at an average of 80 years in developed countries—is often attributed to improved medical treatments and technologies, including innovations like the discovery of antibiotics and enhanced care for once-fatal occurrences like heart attacks. Yet advancements in medical technology also impact quality of life, particularly as people age. Many recent breakthroughs have improved seniors’ ability to remain healthy throughout the aging process, while simultaneously improving home care and challenges like overcrowded hospitals and remote populations.

The ways in which technology facilitates aging in place and patient care at home include wearable health devices, the concept of telehealth, and mobile apps. Wireless and wearable devices like Fitbits, smartwatches, and other technologies can provide useful data surrounding heart rate, calories, steps walked, sleep hygiene, and stress experienced. While these devices provide information to patients, they also can be configured to automatically deliver data to physicians—who can more accurately monitor patient health and continually screen for potential risk factors or new health issues. Moreover, in addition to devices that specifically monitor health, there are now wearable devices that can remind patients to take pills or perform other necessary medical tasks. Some predict that by 2018 over 81 million Americans will use some form of wearable technology.

The technological breakthroughs in communication and connectedness have also made it possible to provide healthcare services to remote places and populations. In 2016, approximately 74% of employers offered a ‘telehealth’ option as part of their medical service benefits. Through these services, a simple video chat with a clinician serves as a bridge for patient recommendations for treatment or further care. Because those who live in remote areas cannot easily access doctors’ offices—reports indicate that the physician-to-patient ratio in rural areas is 39 per 100,000, whereas in urban areas it is 53 per 100,000—telehealth technologies allow patients to easily access quality healthcare.

Finally, the ability to easily and rapidly connect customers with workers through mobile apps helps the healthcare industry by providing on-demand services to patients in need. These services include visiting patients’ homes, helping to set up smart devices, delivering medical products and equipment, and assisting with routine tasks. Not only does the need for on-demand professional services foster and create an entirely new industry, but it also dramatically improves home patient care.

Because the constant breakthroughs in technology are consistently increasing the human lifespan, the quality of our lives gains even more importance. Wearable medical devices, telehealth, and app-enabled, on-demand services can collectively help enhance the quality of healthcare in the home.

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.

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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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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New Adherence Technology for Opioid Addiction

A startup company based in Baltimore has recently been awarded research funding by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), through a Small Business Innovation grant. emocha Mobile Health, a company focused on medication adherence, will receive $225,000 through the NIH Fast-Track mechanism, with an additional $1.5 million tied to achieving specific milestones.

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New Adherence Technology for Opioid Addiction

Announcing New Partnership with the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs

MedTech Impact is excited to announce a new partnership with the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, a nonprofit that functions as a community-based platform for biomedical and healthcare entrepreneurs to connect and collaborate. The partnership brings SoPE and its president Alren Meyers, MD, MBA into an advisory board position, designed to assist with development of the 2017 conference program focused on innovation in medical technology. SoPE will also host a breakout session during the two-day conference that highlights innovative ways in which to advance and further develop the ever-changing field of healthcare.  For more information about the 2017 conference agenda, visit www.medtechimpact.com