Having an entire society spend less money on one good that’s required for maintaining a lifestyle inevitably means that there’s more money to be spent on other things. While some will spend their new found funds on electronics or smartphones, some will decide to finally visit a doctor about something that’s been bothering them. This means more revenue for health care providers.
While doctors have been using ultrasound systems since the 1970s, recent technological improvements are opening up this diagnostic medical device to a wider range of uses.
Humans are frail creatures that are easily broken and at times living with chronic conditions. Advances in medical equipment and devices can help restore injured parties and promote a better quality of life. Here are 7 astounding developments that can change lives.
A recent report by the American Medical Association reports that many of the nation’s physicians have major concerns about Electronic Health Records (EHR). What concerns are prompting so many of the nation’s health care professional prganizations to resist transitioning to EHR, even when threatened with fines and other sanctions? Privacy and the ability to safeguard patient information top the list, according to the AMA.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently awarded a Breakthrough Therapy Designation to research company Genetech for its work with small cell lung cancer. This is the second designation for Genetech, a member of the Roche Group, and was granted for the company’s investigational cancer immunotherapy MPDL3280A (anti-PDL1). The treatment for people with Programmed Death Ligand 1 (PD-L1) positive non-small cell cancer of the lung (NSCLC) and used as a targeted therapy for patients with progressed stages of the disease who have already had chemotherapy.
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Each year, approximately 12,500 people suffer spinal cord damage as a result of a fall, sports injury, car accident or another grave trauma. That leaves almost 300,000 individuals in the U.S. alone living with some form of disability or paralysis, according to the. Many researchers focus on stimulating regrowth of the damaged area with hopes of triggering the body to heal itself. A recent medical breakthrough is using a different approach to mend the central nervous system.
Is e-Dura a cure for paralysis? Time will tell, but the data looks promising. The spine is really just a biological cabling system, not that different than what you see in computers or other electrical equipment. These researchers are offering a mechanical way to fix the cord and restore function. It is a therapeutic approach that offers hope to those who suffer from a spinal injury.
A decade ago, when the word "ultrasound" entered into the conversation, it was generally because of a discussion about pregnancy. Ultrasounds were the go-to diagnostic tool for pregnancy confirmation and examination. Today, however, the 3d ultrasound machine is used for so much more. In fact, the the ultrasonic market will reach $26.6 billion this year--a record high on its way to even higher numbers. Because of this statistic, the value of used ultrasound machines is also increasing.
Specifically, the medical equipment will be used in more settings for more reasons because of the following:
In the cardiac department, for instance, the use of ultrasounds in cardiology is not new. Echocardiography has been used for years to make 3d images, measure blood flow, and observe cardiac problems. Ultrasounds have and will continue to play an important role in observing cardiac valves and heart abnormalities--a great alternative to cutting into the patient to obtain this information. As often as possible, medical professionals prefer to avoid needless surgery, and ultrasounds make this possible.
In the musculoskeletal department, for instance, relying on ultrasounds to check bones, tissues, nerves, and muscles, etc., is a great decision because of the type and level of pain that often presents itself in musculoskeletal abnormalities. Looking 3d imaging is advantageous for people who are already in pain because 3d ultrasound machines do not cause further discomfort. As often as possible, patients prefer pain-free procedures, and ultrasounds make this possible.
As the medical community's understanding of x-rays and other medical procedures continues to evolve and expand, so does the desire to avoid radiation as often as possible. Sometimes medical events make radiation necessary. At other times--even in the case of radiology, for instance--medical ultrasound devices are ideal because they offer some of the same benefits without the added radiation. In surgical settings, the improved image quality provided by ultrasound technology offers flexibility and advanced GPS positioning. As often as possible, patients and professionals like to avoid radiation, and ultrasounds make this possible.
As if the lack of cutting, pain, and radiation were not enough reasons to favor ultrasound technology, it should be noted that the 3d ultrasound machine is also an effective cost-saving strategy for medical practices and hospital settings. Generally speaking, ultrasounds--and especially used ultrasound machines--are widely accessible and less expensive than other medical equipment and diagnostic tools.
An injury or medical condition that results in paralysis is an unfortunate reality for many individuals. However, a solution could be on the horizon with a new medical device breakthrough.
A soft and malleable device has been tested in rats and proven to help the animals walk again. This new flexible device was not rejected by the rats’ bodies and does not contribute to any discomfort.
These new stretchy implants that reverse paralysis are called e-Dura and were created by French scientists. Each implant, which is a low-profile prosthetic ribbon, includes electrodes. The implant runs parallel with the spine.
The implant mimics the living tissue (i.e. dura mater) around the spine that controls movements. It sends electric impulses and drugs that can stimulate cells.
Furthermore, researchers believe the device won’t need replacing for approximately 10 years. It’s the first study to demonstrate that a device, not rejected by the body, can create movement in rats with paralysis.
This is fantastic news for spinal cord injury patients or those with neurological conditions. Researchers believe this device could be beneficial not only for spinal cord injury patients but also for those with Parkinson’s, epilepsy and for pain management.
Clinical trials in humans should begin within three years, according to researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne.
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Industry analysts continue to project strong growth for medtech industries, with the Department of Health and Human Services reporting that the U.S. medical device market will reach $133 billion by 2016. As U.S. companies represent 38% of the global medtech market, the year is poised to result in record industry growth. Several notable medtech trends for 2015 include:
1. Elimination of the medical device tax. With a general Congressional focus on tax reform, the 2.3% medical device tax is expected to be repealed this year. Elimination of the tax has bipartisan support, with several key Democratic lawmakers joining Republicans in support of tax repeal.
2. Widespread adoption of PEEK to replace metal parts. Although PEEK has been around for decades, experts anticipate that 2015 will usher in a boom in its use in medical technology. R&D teams continue to investigate ways to combine PEEK’s bio-inert properties with compounds designed to promote tissue regeneration.
3. Consolidation of big players in the medtech world. Mergers are the name of the game for 2015, with Stryker rumored to be seeking to acquire Smith & Nephew. Dozens of innovative start-ups are also poised to be bought out by medtech industry giants.
4. Generation of chemical-resistant polymers. Although the CDC reports that life-threatening MRSA infections continue to decline, there is growing interest in hospital equipment treated with chemical-resistant polymers. 2015 is expected to bring a renewed focus on production and delivery of chemical-resistant equipment.
5. Mobile apps grabbing a large segment of the market. Mobile health is here to stay. Nearly 1 in 5 smartphone owners have downloaded a health tracking app, and that number is expected to expand in 2015. Industry observers are keen to note whether mHealth can tap into the desirable youth demographic.
6. 3D printing boom poised to revolutionize medical care delivery. With 2014 bringing 3D-printed vertebrae and knee cartilage, some predict that 2015 will be “the year of medical 3D printing.” An expansion of available materials for printing is predicted to spur innovation and improve access to life-saving medical equipment.
7. Large newcomers entering the playing field. No longer content to sit on the sidelines of the lucrative medical market, Google is poised to use its vast resources to solve medical problems (Apple may be close behind). Google’s new R&D firm Calico intends to develop technologies that combat neurodegeneration, cancer, and other age-related diseases.
What will be the most exciting thing to happen in the healthcare industry this year? It could be the widespread use of telemedicine, as more and more embrace new norms thanks to healthcare advances.
With these telehealth advances, more and more patients are conversing with their physicians online via video-based visits. This offers patients convenient accessibility to their doctors when needed.
Optimizing care outside of the traditional doctor’s office is the pursuit of many patients and healthcare professionals. Finding ways to bring preemptive and accessible care to homes is a priority. Delivering services remotely will see greater interest this year. In addition to patient benefits, it helps physicians expand their reach and increase their number of patients.
Telemedicine means that patients can get immediate care in case of an emergency and don’t have to bother with transportation issues. With everyone’s busy schedules, teleconferencing with a physician helps save time and can be less of a stressful event for many.
There is software available to help you experiment with telemedicine before fully integrating the strategy in your private practice. Health monitoring devices also are available to complement such software.
Invite your patients to try out the telemedicine offerings. Studies have proven that physicians who personally invite patients to test out telehealth options see adoption increase quite soon.
Telemedicine is a safety and efficient offering. It also is a secure way to discuss your concerns with your physician within the comfort of your living room.
Absolute Medical provides reconditioned and new equipment for interested parties, like hospitals, technicians, private practice doctors and clinics. For a list of our available high-quality products, please visit our website here. If you have a pressing need, call us today at 1-888-267-2966 to speak with one of our specialists.
During a speech in early December last year, Bill Maisel, the deputy director for science at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, expressed a positive outlook for the new medical device industry.
The center supervises medical device approval. Maisel said that the center had made great strides with fixing how long it takes to approval trials and yet-to-be-approved medical devices.
The comments regarding this topic were made at FDA Update, which is an event for MassMEDIC members. MassMEDIC is a medical equipment industry advocacy group. FDA Update provided members a snapshot of important issues regarding regulatory approval.
An MIT and Harvard graduate, Maisel addressed various advances the center has made in getting new medical devices to the American public. He said the agency will match or improve upon its own deadlines for approvals. And in the past few years, they have halved its long list of pending medical device approvals.
He said the agency cut the average time frame between an application’s submission and possible approval by 75 percent in three years. It took around 400 days to process applications in 2011, whereas it only too around 101 days in 2014.
He also said the agency tried to analyze whether a new piece of medical equipment should be reclassified from high-risk to less-demanding devices to help expedite the decision-making process.
Additionally, a new “Expedited Access PMA” program will create more communication avenues between high-risk product companies and the agency. Maisel hopes also to better its level of customer service. They will collect feedback and eventually hope to achieve a 70 percent satisfaction rate with government agencies who work with the FDA and industry representatives.
He said the Center for Devices and Radiological Health reached an 84 percent approval rating, which surpassed their goal.
Ultimately, he wants U.S. patients to have first access to the latest and best technology to hit the market – a goal for 2015.
Absolute Medical Equipment provides FDA-approved-refurbished and new medical devices. If you have questions about acquiring a specific piece of medical equipment, please call us today at 888-267-2966. Learn more about our available medical devices on our website.