How many times has our healthcare system helped you throughout your life?
Chances are, many of us can count several occasions where we’ve received medical treatment that has significantly improved our quality of life or even saved our lives!
Due to the innovation and diligence of scientists who’ve worked tirelessly to produce the next ground-breaking solution, we now have an abundance of life changing, medical treatments readily available.
However, we’re not done yet! With the journey of treatment development far from over, scientists and engineers alike are continuously working on the production of life changing medical solutions.
As the year draws to a close, we’ve compiled an aspiring list of celebratory medical device breakthroughs stemming from this year, to give light to ground-breaking work from 2022!
Wearable technology has continuously advanced over recent years, with the current market value expected to almost triple from 2020 to 2024, boasting an annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.6%.
Wearables are commonly used for fitness and sleep trackers, but newer technology developments have enabled measurements in blood oxygen, echocardiogram (ECG) and ovulation cycles. Further developments also include seizure detection, as well as wearables for chronic pain relief.
2022 brought advancements within the management of type 1 diabetes, providing painless, concise management of blood sugar levels with the mass rollout of non-invasive Remote Glucose Monitoring wearables.
Further wearable technology advancements of 2022 include Bioheart, a continuous heart monitoring device that provides ‘clinical grade data,’ producing valuable information for cardiology diagnoses.
Wearable technology is a hot topic with MedTech companies, with talk of developments in smart accessories including glasses, clothing and jewellery. We’re excited for what’s to come!
One significant medical milestone in 2022 was a development in paralysis treatment. The revolutionary results were published in early 2022, stating the success of a new implantable device technology found to reverse paralysis in those with spinal cord injuries. The study involved the implantation of a spinal cord stimulator, placed into the spinal cords of three paralysed men who were then able to stand, walk and cycle within a short time period.
Following this triumph, there are further ambitions for a 50-100 patient clinical trial within a few years, followed by a much larger scale trial if further success is achieved. With no current cure for spinal-injury paralysis, this is ground-breaking work that offers new hope for thousands of paralyzed people globally.
With the market predicted to grow at 17.6% CAGR, 2022 was a triumphant year for surgical robotics, with Medtronic's Hugo™ robotic-assisted surgery (RAS) system winning MedTech’s Medical Device Innovation Award’ this year.
Although only currently available in limited areas, countries throughout the world are now beginning to utilize this new technology, with the first procedure using Medtronic's Hugo technology conducted in Europe early this year.
The increased use of robotics is slowly making its way into UK healthcare, with a small number of UK hospitals now utilizing robotic technology for urologic surgery. Given the extreme precision of this technology, robot assisted surgeries have demonstrated significant benefits, such as reduced recovery time, reduction in blood clot prevalence and reduced readmission when compared to open surgery.
With only around 3% of surgeries currently using robot technology, we are at the very beginning of a transformative journey for surgical procedures!
Vital for the rapid diagnoses and treatment of patients, POC testing is set to grow rapidly within the next few years, with a predicted CAGR of 5.2%. Rapid diagnostic instrumentation tools used in POC testing provide an easier route to diagnosis, which is essential in alleviating healthcare pressure.
Highlighted by the pandemic, the recent success of lateral flow testing for the diagnosis of COVID-19 marked a significant milestone for diagnostic instrument development. The success has led to the further development of POC testing, with current ongoing and anticipated clinical trials for the detection of lung diseases such as lung fibrosis, as well as infections such as sepsis and sinusitis.
Neuromodulation treatment consists of direct nerve stimulation through the use of an electrical or magnetic field. Treatments are done using either invasive or non-invasive devices, with both showing success in the treatment of psychiatric disorders and chronic pain relief.
The exciting developments in neuromodulation have provided promising results, with the neuromodulation global market expected to grow exponentially.
There was a huge focus in 2022 on the spinal cord stimulator (SCS), an invasive device to treat those with movement disorders and unmanageable chronic pain. We’ve also seen further advancements with companies such as Magnus Medical, who are developing non-invasive treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders. With their Technology SAINT Neuromodulation System now FDA cleared in the US for the treatment of severe major depressive disorder, it marks a significant milestone in the advancement of neuromodulation treatments for psychiatric disorders.
The continuous development of neuromodulation treatments is exciting news for those who’ve seen little results from traditional treatments.
Medical research is continuously uncovering new processes for treatment. Given the substantial growth of technology, along with the tremendous ongoing efforts within medical research worldwide, we’re excited to uncover new medical advancements in 2023!
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