What is medtech?

What is medtech?

in Mar 20, 2019

Today, our medical industry is the best it has ever been in history and this is largely due to the advancements in technology, allowing the development of ‘MedTech’. ‘Medtech’ is a term not commonly hear in our everyday lives.  But for some people, their lives are heavily dependent and reliant on medtech.

Defining medtech

So, what does this term ‘medtech” actually mean? Derived from the two words “medical” and “technology”, according to MedTech Europe, medtech refers technological healthcare products, services or solutions used to save or improve people’s lives. Let us take a look at how these medical technologies are playing a role around the world.

With more than 500,00 medical technologies existing in the world, medical technologies can come in a huge range of products, from “small” innovations to more complicated and complex ones.

MedTech helping the patients

For example, from adhesive bandages and ankle braces to MRI machines and robotic prosthetic limbs (Healthcare Business & Technology, 2016). Some of these medical technologies are able to provide early yet accurate diagnosis of health problems and medical conditions to ensure timely intervention for the best outcomes while others are also used to repair, replace and sustain body functions.

Other innovative products such as a prosthesis is used to replace a body part that may be missing, malfunctioning or partially or completely damaged. By accelerating recovery and keeping people healthy, modern medical technologies support people in living full and active lives.

MedTech supporting healthcare professionals

Not only are medical technologies helping patients, but they are also supporting healthcare professionals. By providing accurate diagnostic information efficiently, it allows medical professionals to provide their patients with the best treatment options to better improve their condition.

With electronic documentation platforms, frontline doctors and nurses are able to record their patient’s needs and information in a handheld tablet, increasing efficiency and accuracy with a better quality of patient care. Other examples such as a portable defibrillator will also replace the practice of manual CPR to equip even school nurses to save the life of a person with heart failure as it allows for immediate resuscitative action (Rush University Medical Center, 2019).

A handheld tablet helps frontline nurses and doctors record their patient’s needs and information

Without a doubt, medical technology is definitely playing a huge role across the different countries, making significant contributions not only to the medical industry, but also impacting the lives of many people. Based on Statista, MedTech has generated a global revenue of USD 433.7 billion in the year of 2018 alone!

Not all have access to MedTech

Unfortunately, the same medical technologies being used in developed countries can hardly be used in many developing countries (The Popular Mechanics, 2010). These technologies being used in state-of-the-art medical facilities are too costly to build, develop and repair for many developing countries to afford. This results in the need for new and low-costing technology that can be manufactured in developing countries locally.

Some MedTech are just out of this world, such as making sanitary pads from banana fiber.

From “The  Komea”, a machine that makes sanitary pads from banana pulp, developed by the recent MIT graduate Katie Smyth, to 3D-printed modular prosthetics for amputees, from Vulcan Augmetics based in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Thankfully, there are a few organisations and businesses that are stepping up to improve this situation.  

By simplifying existing products and technologies, these organisations have upgraded and developed new innovations that will benefit many different communities in the developing countries.

MedTech in Vietnam

Looking closely at the market of Vietnam, a developing country, in specifics, the medical device market of Vietnam is one of the fastest growing in the Asian region due to the recent hospital improvement efforts. According to MedTech Intelligence (2016), BMI Consulting predicts that the medical device market will surpass $1billion by 2019, up from $748.9 million in 2014.  The sectors experiencing the most growth include prosthetics.

If you are a part of the prosthetics industry in Vietnam, you might have heard of Vulcan Augmetics. Becoming the winner of Vietnam’s first Blue Venture Award and Vietnam’s only representative to compete in the international competition, The Venture, it is no surprise that Vulcan Augmetics is taking the social enterprise and medtech scene in Vietnam by storm!

Vulcan makes affordable, modular, and stylish arms for amputees in developing countries.

Using 3D printing technology, Vulcan Augmetics has a mission to provide amputees with affordable, effective and stylish bionic limbs. With their upcoming UpLift campaign, not only do they want amputees with their prosthetics to carry out their daily activities, but Vulcan Augmetics also wants to take the extra step to empower them.

By providing training and job-specific modules to their detachable prosthetic, Vulcan Augmetics aims to find job placements for these amputees alongside their partnering organisations and businesses.

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