The medical technology field is one that is in a constant state of flux, with new ideas and innovations filling the pages of medical journals month after month. In the post-WW2 world, the field of medicine has become increasingly intertwined with that of technology. Recent notable developments in medical technology include specially designed 3D printers that can print artificial organs for use in transplant, as well as increasingly sophisticated artificial limbs, which are gaining the ability to simulate sensations like touch and pain. Advances in medical technology not only represent the forefront of our efforts to combat disease and injury; they also represent fantastic investment opportunities for entrepreneurs hoping to expand their portfolios.
It is hard to overstate just how important syringes are to global healthcare efforts. As well as allowing the collection of fluid and tissue samples from precise locations in the body, syringes also allow doctors to deliver drugs directly into a patient’s bloodstream for maximum effect in the shortest possible space of time. Unfortunately, the use of syringe carries some inherent risks that we can mitigate but can never eliminate entirely. Hypodermic needles must physically pierce the skin to deliver drugs to the bloodstream. Most injections are intravenous and most blood draws are taken from the same veins in the arm that are the preferred site for injections. Because of this, if hygiene is an issue or best practices aren’t followed, dirty needles can introduce bacteria directly into the bloodstream, with disastrous consequences for patients.
Needleless injectors come in two forms. One uses a thin stream of pressurized water or another carrier liquid, which penetrates the skin and delivers the medicine into the body. Another execution of the same concept trialed by scientists in Korea uses pressurized air to push the molecules through the skin.
3D printing is a technology that, while still in its infancy, is becoming more and more sophisticated. The first generation of 3D printers heated and shaped plastic, which allowed them to construct a variety of useful objects and sculptures. Newer models allow for more than one material to be incorporated into the final product, opening the possibility of adding internal circuitry.
One of the most impressive applications of the technology, however, is in the 3D organ printers currently in use in hospitals around the world. The organ printer works by constructing the scaffolding of an organ from a material designed to behave like human tissue. It prints these structures layer by layer and once they are finished they are infused with cells harvested from the recipient. They are then ready for transplant.
Sonography, commonly known as ultrasound imaging, uses sound waves to look inside the body. Sonography is a crucial part of diagnostic medicine and an area that draws a lot of interest. Many medical students are looking to an online medical sonography program to learn about the craft. A bachelor of medical sonography degree is a great way for an existing medical practitioner to expand their skillset.
Medical technology is fertile ground for new and old investors alike, and as a major sector of the technology market, it is a constant source of new inspiration and opportunities.