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Welcome to the new and improved Medical Technology. While the design may be a little different to our previous editions, rest assured that we are still hard at work to bring you the same high-quality content that you have come to expect from us.
As we begin to look to the year ahead, it’s hard to ignore the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the medical device market. There are new rules to adhere to and new challenges to overcome in order to bring concepts to market and keep companies afloat in the coming months. But while this may sound like an intimidating prospect, it opens up the playing field for innovative and exciting developments.
This changing norm can be seen in a recent consensus paper exploring the concept of brain death by neurologic criteria. To find out why the common standard of brain death is being bought into question, we speak to the academics behind the paper to get up-to-date on the best ways to measure the exact arrival time at every patient’s final destination, and how this tricky area can be standardised.
Artificial intelligence (AI) in medicine is also becoming a hot topic for debate. In a growing number of clinical settings AI is being used to inform treatment plans, but should patients be made aware of the fact that technology is being used to determine their care? We find out. Plus, we examine the use of AI in IVF, as researchers test whether the technology can improve the odds of a successful fertilisation.
In this issue
Check-Cap: rethinking the colonoscopy Colonoscopies are time consuming and unpleasant to go through, leading to low adherence rates among patients – but Check-Cap is working to make non-invasive colonoscopy a reality. The firm is developing an ingestible capsule that uses a series of x-rays as it moves through the digestive tract to identify abnormalities. Chloe Kent speaks to Check-Cap CEO Alex Ovadia about the innovative project. Read the article here.
Blood collection anytime, anywhere No one enjoys a blood test, but a visit to the phlebotomist is often necessary if you want to find out what’s wrong. However, this could be set to change. A device from Seattle start-up Tasso helps patients painlessly collect their blood at home. Natalie Healey talks to CEO Ben Casavant about why at-home blood collection might be particularly vital in the age of social distancing. Read the article here.
A matter of life and death: building a consensus on brain death The diagnosis of brain death is a vital means of delineating between life and death in patients whose brains have no hope of recovery. But with the legal, ethical and religious complexities surrounding this practice, the World Brain Death Project is aiming to promote a global consensus on this incredibly sensitive issue and build trust in the wider community. Chris Lo reports Read the article here.
Artificial consent: should doctors be telling patients more about AI? The use of AI is becoming increasingly prevalent in hospitals, helping practitioners to make informed decisions about patient care. But while staff may be fully aware of the role AI systems play in healthcare, few patients have any idea how the technology is being used to manage their treatment. Chloe Kent finds out how AI is challenging the boundaries of medical consent, and questions whether practitioners should be obliged to disclose its use. Read the article here.
Fertile ground for artificial intelligence in IVF IVF is a physically and emotionally draining process and success isn’t guaranteed. But machine learning technology could improve the odds for couples trying to conceive. Natalie Healey talks to Life Whisperer’s Michelle Perugini to find out more. Read the article here.
From M&A freezes to delayed procedures, how disruptive has 2020 been for med tech? A drop in M&A values and an abrupt halt to ‘elective’ procedures have taken their toll on the med tech industry in 2020. However, it is not all doom and gloom. The signing of two megadeals in August, unprecedented acceleration in digital health services and a huge focus on fields like diagnostics suggest the industry is primed to bounce back in 2021. Allie Nawrat reports. Read the article here.
Five ways we can ensure patient data anonymity is preserved As a result of the current pandemic, the need to collect and use patient data has become a heated topic in healthcare. Senior vice-president of quality regulatory and information governance compliance at Sensyne Health, Dr Roberto Liddi, explores how companies can ensure that patient data is protected, and anonymity is maintained. Read the article here.
Laurent Vandebrouck: can a t-shirt provide continuous patient monitoring? French start-up Chronolife has a unique take on non-invasive, remote continuous monitoring devices for chronic patients. The firm has developed a machine-washable smart t-shirt that integrates multiple sensors to monitor six different physiological parameters. Chloe Kent talks to Chronolife CEO Laurent Vandebrouck about how this innovation could improve the patient experience. Read the article here.
Q&A: a ‘Zoom for medics’ with Visionable Dubbed ‘Zoom for medics’, UK-based Visionable is a video collaboration platform designed for hospital teams. Abi Millar talks to CEO and co-founder Alan Lowe about why this technology has been a useful tool to drive efficiency, and what the future holds for the company in a post-Covid-19 world. Read the article here.
Next issue preview
Respiratory devices have been thrown into the spotlight over the past few months. But, while mainstream attention is directed at ventilators, asthma inhalers have also been the subject of controversy after new research uncovered a link between reliver inhalers and asthma attacks. We track the history of asthma inhalers to find out what went wrong. Plus, we find out how technology is helping to improve communication in clinical settings.
Also, our writers go head to head to debate whether biobanks should release data to patients, find out how roboticist Dr Peter Scott-Morgan is using technology to overcome the physical setbacks of motor neuron disease, and ask if med tech needs a materials revolution.
Plus, we speak to Novartis Foundation head Dr Ann Aerts about developing medical AI capabilities around the world, take a look at LexaGene’s new genetic testing platform, and find out how technology is helping doctors to treat syncope.