In a previous blog article, I have discussed the topic of HealthTech – what it is, some examples and big opportunities within the sector.
As part of this article, I briefly introduced MedTech. In this article, we will briefly cover what MedTech is, examples of businesses within the industry and up-and-coming trends and opportunities.
What is MedTech?
MedTech – short for ‘Medical Technology’ – is the general term used to describe the use of a device or application to treat a condition, often in a healthcare environment, such as a hospital.
The Advanced Medical Technology Association – Advamed, similarly defines MedTech as “a wide range of health care products and, in one form or another, is used to diagnose, monitor or treat every disease or condition that affects humans”.
It goes on to explain that MedTech innovations aim at transforming the health care landscape; providing new solutions to existing problems and revolutionising how treatments are provided to patients.
Crucially, MedTech implements connectivity functionality – IT and internet. This allows MedTech devices to perform functions and collect and process data.
MedTech Versus Medical Device
From the above definition, you might have some questions about how MedTech and Medical Devices are actually different.
A Medical Device, as defined by WHO, is “a medical device can be any instrument, apparatus, implement, machine, appliance, implant, reagent for in vitro use, software, material or other similar or related article, intended by the manufacturer to be used, alone or in combination for a medical purpose.”
We therefore think of medical devices being items such as syringes, bandages, catheters. However, some medical devices have the potential for connectivity, such as insulin pumps, pacemakers or hearing aids.
MedTech offers the ability to medical devices to utilise connectivity to improve their functionality. Examples of this include using sensors, secure connectivity, algorithms, artificial intelligence or machine learning.
This therefore allows better data collection and processing, ultimately resulting in better patient knowledge and end-user treatment.
MedTech versus HealthTech
In the past article I have already referenced, I have written a comprehensive MedTech vs HealthTech comparison.
Generally speaking, HealthTech is the term used to describe devices or applications that consumers can use for themselves, where MedTech is the use devices or applications to treat a condition, often in a healthcare environment, such as a hospital.
Examples of MedTech
There are many different examples of MedTech that already exist, and the industry continues to grow. Here are some examples that are already in use or development.
3D printers made a name for themselves as devices that let people print 3D dimensional objects, usually from a plastic-type material.
The technology and implementation of 3D printing has quickly advanced, and the medical and health industry quickly found a way to utilise this technology to print custom instruments or even prosthetics.
It is now possible to print prosthetics such as heart valves, implants and even retinas using man made materials, but the possibility to incorporate living cells into custom designs is also becoming widely possible.
As transplant medicine gets more advanced, the potential for more transplants becomes limited by the number of human donors available. But MedTech advancements is making it possible for artificial organs to be created, transplanted and function as well – if not better – than what nature intended.
To date, scientists have already had success with creating artificial blood vessels, ovaries and even a pancreas ready for humans!
A relatively new field of medicine and neuroscience is the field of neuromodulation and neuroenhancement. This technology has the potential to be used on patients to improve ‘mental states’ – the state of mind of a person.
Although the concept seems farfetched, there are real possibilities to improve the medical aspects of patients, such as insomnia, depression and drug addiction.
This works by using brainwaves to improve mental states of patients; a technology being investigated by companies such as Neuroenhancement Labs.
Opportunities Within The MedTech Industry
The MedTech industry has real potential to grow rapidly. But like with most developing industries, there are hurdles and opportunities present.
AI and Machine Learning
The increased demand for generation, capture and processing of data is another industry that is booming, with overlap between this and MedTech.
Finding ways to utilise artificial intelligence and machine learning allows for medicine to be ‘hands-off’ and provide better data for better results.
Regulatory & Privacy
Dealing with patient data and / or big data opens up many pitfalls for MedTech businesses. Finding ways to manage data, in line with local legislation, is a challenge that many companies will have to face at some point.
The potential is so great that many businesses are being created that will solely manage and implement the aspect of data management on your behalf.
As MedTech businesses prove themselves as viable solutions for patients and other businesses, finding a way to scale to meet demand is vital. Whether that be finding the right staff, the infrastructure to grow or having a supply chain to build and distribute devices are all challenges that MedTech businesses are likely to face.
Digital Marketing For MedTech
With great opportunity, comes great competition.
Even if you have the best possible product, if you cannot market your business successfully then all the potential goes to waste.
If you are looking to start or improve your digital marketing for your MedTech business, then let me help you. Whether you are looking to dominate organic search with SEO, want to implement a successful content marketing plan, or you need a digital marketing strategy to devise a plan of action, then let me help.
Get in contact with me, to see how I can help dominate with science or health marketing.