From thermometers to stethoscopes, and MRIs to robotic surgery, MedTech has become an increasingly integral part of our medical system over the past 100 years. But could it also be a catalyst to redefine the role of patient and doctor?
We’re taking a deep dive into how advancements in the industry are revolutionising the way doctors interact with and treat their patients, asking the question…
Could MedTech create more empathetic and better practiced doctors?
Patient Led Care
Medicine has always been a patient-led industry with doctors taking the Hippocratic oath since 275 AD, and advancements in MedTech are tucking this ideology firmly under their wing. With its combination of technology and medical interventions. MedTech developments like robotic surgery and health-centred wearables have created more accurate, time efficient and less complicated procedures for healthcare providers.
Take for example contact lenses… yes, the things that help many of us see. Well, if their original function wasn’t incredible enough, clinical trials are showing that newly developed lenses could also be able to detect glucose levels in your tear ducts that could show signs of early onset diabetes and other glucose regulation disorders. While this is still a long way off, MedTech wearables such as this could give medical professionals the information they need to diagnose patients more accurately without the need for invasive exams.
Advanced in MedTech could also eliminate the need for patients in specific areas of healthcare. No, we don’t mean eradicate disease and injury, although that would be a lovely thought, we’re talking about the need for wet specimens when training doctors.
Cadavers are still a large part of medical training in 2023, with anatomy class being a rite of passage for many doctors. But with less than 20,000 Americans donating their bodies to science every year, and even less in Europe, medical professionals are seeing the level of these essential learning tools shrink significantly.
Thankfully there could be a solution. Introducing… 3D printed tissue.
While this might seem to be in the realm of science fiction, 3D printed tissue is already being used in dental implants, prosthetics and in some surgeon training grounds. But many industry experts are now proposing that living tissue is the next step in MedTech innovation. This could present a game changer for doctor training as the cadaver count continues to decrease, many doctors are getting less and less opportunity to practice lifesaving procedures on life-like samples, opening the door to errors in the surgical suite. By using 3D printed tissue, we could actually train better doctors by increasing opportunities for training and even make it more available in a wider range of locations.
But 3D printed tissue isn’t the only pioneering advancement in medical training, thanks to haptic feedback solutions doctors can now experience what it’s like to be their patient. Opening up a valuable shared experience that could be the catalyst to creating more empathetic doctors.
Currently, many doctors and patients can feel a disconnect during treatment as a result of a lack of communication and shared experience. Emerging reports show patients often report feeling unheard by their doctors, while doctors overestimate their communication levels with their patients.
Innovative brand, TESLASUIT, could bridge that gap. TESLASUIT’s haptic feedback suits are a breakthrough in human performance training with motion capture, and a biometry system to create a human-to-digital interface that allows the wearer to feel the sensations of recorded stimulants. This suit is already being used by over 50 research institutions worldwide, so is a technology of the now rather than the future and presents a plethora of incredible opportunities for learning.
A key example of these opportunities is with patients who have experienced limb amputation. So much is still unknown about amputations due to their unique nature. From nerve damage to phantom limb pains, much of the patient’s experience is hard to grasp or accurately monitor. Innovations such as haptic feedback could allow doctors to feel the amputees’ sensations, therefore leading to more effective treatment and a better level of understanding between patient and doctor.
At Halston Group we believe that MedTech could be the answer to providing better healthcare and could revolutionise surgical and clinical training. As pressures on healthcare systems increase, advancements in MedTech could create game changing advancements in patient care but only if we embrace it. With the industry moving at break-neck speed, the future of innovation is endless.
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MedTech & HealthTech: The New Realm of Patient Care is our investigation into the ground-breaking innovations that are overcoming the industry’s most complex challenges.
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