The healthcare industry is evolving at a rapid pace, but not as quickly as one would like. The year 2017 ended on a less eventful note than anticipated and now the MedTech industry is turning its attention to disruptive healthcare technologies. Healthcare acquisitions and mergers with IT is starting to catch up. Case in point- by the end of last year alone, there were 43 acquisitions. Internet Brands acquiring WebMD is leading the bunch at $2.8B.
Disruptors can be found in any field and are usually linked with advancing technology and innovation. With advancements in the MedTech industry, the healthcare sector is on the doorsteps of implementing new healthcare disruptors as well. They serve an important purpose and their acceptance will decide the fate of healthcare advances for years to come. Here is our pick of top 5 new healthcare disruptors, some of which have been mentioned in the prestigious Cleveland Clinic’s top 10 medical innovations of 2018.
Note: In order to be listed as a healthcare disruptor, it has to be innovative and could potentially propel healthcare advances in the next few years.
Granted, there is going to be no list of any industry’s disruptors without AI. The scope of AI in healthcare technology is very promising, albeit in its early stages.
Here are a few potential healthcare disruptors on the field now:
Kore.ai makes smart bots platforms for integrating with healthcare facilities. It can-
SafedrugBot is an AI-powered chatbot that acts as a virtual assistant connected through the Telegram messaging app. It gives timely suggestions and appropriate information about the use of drugs during breastfeeding, to doctors working with pregnant or breastfeeding women
Some of the healthcare advances to look forward to involving IoT:
A transition from subjective reporting on disease progression and treatment efficacy based on patient reports to a more objective evaluation using data from devices.
Noteworth is a company pioneering in healthcare IoT with its end-to-end connected virtual platforms to prescribe virtual care models using patient data.
Popularly known as the artificial pancreas, it is one of the most anticipated healthcare disruptors of this decade. Understandably so, as Type-1 diabetes has long been an Achilles heel in the MedTech industry’s stride towards medicinal perfection.
The FDA approved the first of such devices in 2006, and since then, the race to make the first mass-produced artificial pancreas is on.
Jim Young, chair of the Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute at the Cleveland Clinic suggests that “the reason it has taken so long to get to market because of a “fear of failure” – too much or too little insulin could be a problem.”
An artificial pancreas is a fully automated insulin delivery system. It connects a continuous glucose monitor with an insulin pump, making the arduous task of testing and managing insulin levels personally, redundant. This system has proved to steady the blood glucose levels and has even reduced A1C levels by up to 0.5%.
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and restarts. More than 21 million Americans are said to be suffering from sleep apnea and CPAP is the gold-standard treatment.
With refusing devices for reasons ranging from noise to claustrophobia, neuromodulation is predicted to be the next healthcare disruptor. It promises a better night’s sleep to patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea.
Companies have started marketing an implant that delivers stimulation to open key airway muscles during sleep. The system is a simple remote and a wearable patch that measures and senses breathing patterns to deliver mild stimulation to the tongue and throat if needed, to keep the airway open. They can be inserted through minimally-invasive surgery.
The road to commercializing gene therapy has been kind of a rough one. 2018 is expected to be the time for turnarounds, with a number of therapies expected to get FDA approvals.
is found to be the cause of inherited retinal diseases, which still has no known treatments. Untreated, it can result in progressive vision loss and blindness. The only plausible solution so far, a gene therapy that uses a recombinant AAV2 vector encoding a functional copy of the RPE65 gene, is anticipated to get FDA approved. source
According to Dr. Aleksandra Rachitskaya of the Cleveland Clinic’s Cole Eye Institute, “the gene therapy won’t cure blindness completely, but will instead preserve the vision that is already there.” She also added that “a new methodology called optogenetics, which involves modifying cells to function as nerve cells, could bring new hope to treating the diseases.”
It is important to note that in 2017, orphan drug status to RPE65 gene therapy. Experts believe an approval could open the floodgates, inspiring more gene therapies and newer healthcare advances.
Healthcare disruptors are the result of constant innovation and technological growth. These 5 disruptors have the potential to disrupt the healthcare industry with change, possibly on a grand scale. A change that can bring about competitive innovation.