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is a concept that means engineered advances in medical knowledge and technique that have resulted in improved diagnostic, therapeutic, and rehabilitative procedures.
10 High-Tech Health Breakthroughs Coming Soon to Your Body
Health care has come a long way since whole-body bloodletting. But medicine of the future will make even today's broad-based therapies obsolete. Breakthroughs such as cancer-hunting nanoparticles, virus-busting lasers and featherweight heart monitors have begun to usher in a new era of targeted treatment—one in which drugs go directly where they're needed, leaving healthy body tissues intact, and the slightest sign of illness is detected in real time.
Top 5 Medical Technology Innovations
Against the backdrop of health care reform and a controversial medical device tax, medical technology companies are focusing more than ever on products that deliver cheaper, faster, more efficient patient care. They are also making inroads with U.S. Food & Drug Administration regulators to re-engineer the complex review and approval process for new medical devices.
Many in the industry have long felt overly burdened by what they consider to be an unnecessarily complex approval process. Critics claim it impedes innovation and delays the availability of better health care. To change that perception, the FDA last year announced a new Medical Device Innovation Consortium (MDIC) charged with simplifying the process of designing and testing new technologies. With input from industry, government, and other nonprofit organizations, public-private MDIC will prioritize the regulatory science needs of the medical device community and fund projects to streamline the process.
"By sharing and leveraging resources, MDIC may help industry to be better equipped to bring safe and effective medical devices to market more quickly and at a lower cost," says Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., J.D., director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health.
As the regulators, politicians, and corporate executives hash out these details, industry engineers and scientists continue to push through new ideas for improving and managing human health. Every year, industry observers like the Cleveland Clinic and the medical device trade press single out their favorite technology trends. These thought leaders agree that today's best technologies strike a balance between reducing the overall cost of medical care and increasing safety and survival rates—and isn't that what health care reform is all about?
The future of medicine means part human, part computer
by technology reporter
Cadie Thompson, CNBC.com
Forget wearable technology. It may not be too much longer before sensors are actually put inside your body.
It may sound a little bit futuristic and far-fetched, but the reality is that ingestible sensors and implantable chips are already in use and growing.
"We are going to see more sensors everywhere. It's only a matter of time before those migrate under our skin into our bodies," said Peter Eckersley, the lead technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Much like wearable devices, which can capture data about a person's activity levels, sensors inside the body can be used to collect information about what is going on inside a person's body.
"There's going to be a ubiquitous data collection. Right now, the data is coming from the phone and wearable devices, but eventually some will be within our bodies. And having that data available can mean enormous health benefits," Eckersley said.
One of the biggest health advantages of these devices is using the machines to help treat chronic illnesses, said Arna Ionescu, director of product development and user experience at Proteus Biomedical, which is working to make digital medicines.
"The thing about chronic illness it's not something that can be solved at one appointment, it's something that you have to manage and deal with every single day of your life," Ionescu said. "So we are creating tools that can go in peoples' hands and help them deal with those chronic illness."
Proteus, is working with Novartis and Otsuka Pharmaceutical—which have both also invested in the company—to make ingestible digital pills mainstream. The company has already developed ingestible sensors that are FDA approved. The goal is for drug-makers to include the sensors in medicine to collect data that enables physicians to better monitor their patients.
Some information that can be collected from these sensors include how the patient's body reacts to the drug, the patient's dose timing and other physiologic responses like heart rate, activity levels and skin temperature.
While this sort of technology may play a big role in the future of how patients are monitored, it's going to impact how drugs are brought to market more in the near-term.
Ingestible sensors can enable pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs more quickly and cost-efficiently because the devices can provide real-time data about how the medications are working.
"Growth in this area means more devices on the network and with that means there is going to be the risk of hacking and we have to be ahead of that to keep it from happening," Dishman said. "We are going to save lives, but we need to protect that data first."
Intel is focusing on developing an end-to end solution to ensure that the data is safe and reliable as it travels from the machine inside the body to the cloud and then to a trusted physician, Dishman said.
Eckersley, though, said even protected, encrypted data still always seems to find its way into the hands of those who it isn't intended for and information collected by sensors inside our body probably won't be any different.
"Unfortunately, there just isn't much we can do in today's world to protect ourselves from corporations or governments having access to all of this information like where we go, who we meet with, what we think and what we read. In a connected world, all of this is an open book," Eckersley said. "Sensors in our bodies may just turn into the next phase of this transition."
EMD Serono Innovation Cup
Combining bright young talent with proven industry experience
The EMD Serono Innovation Cup is your chance to gain in-depth knowledge about pharmaceutical research and development, to network with top students from around the world, to build a business case together with experienced professionals and win the 20.000€ prize with your team.
INNOVATION CUP 2016
Deadline: January 31st, 2016
July 3rd – July 8th, 2016
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