The healthcare industry has been massively benefiting from many innovations in modern medical technology in the past decade. Medical companies are focusing more on products that offer cheaper, faster, more efficient patient care. Aside from this most welcome development, they are likewise working with U.S. Food & Drug Administration regulators for complex reviewing and approval of novel medical devices. Here are some manifestations of these innovations.
A new technology that’s now being closely investigated is this patient-powered tool for blocking the sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG), a facial nerve bundle that’s the source of chronic headaches. It involves the implanting of a small-nerve stimulating device on the side of the head normally affected by the headache. When a patient senses the beginning of a headache, they can place a handheld remote controller on the cheek nearest the implant to block the pain-causing neurotransmitters.
This sounds like stuff straight out of a science fiction novel, but beyond telemedicine, new medical robots can now patrol hospital hallways for routine rounds to check on patients and manage individual charts in lieu of actual nurses. The RP-VITA Remote Presence Robot produced jointly by iRobot Corp., and InTouch Health is the first of such. It has already received FDA clearance for hospital use.
Needle-Free Diabetes Care
Dealing with diabetes has been associated with the constant pain of having insulin shots, which if done recklessly can heighten the risk of infection. Also, while continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps are prevalent options nowadays to semi-automate blood-sugar management among diabetes patients, they don’t completely remove the need for skin pricks and shots. The company Echo Therapeutics is developing technologies that would replace the poke with a patch, a transdermal biosensor that reads blood analytes through the skin without drawing blood.
Steven Rindner is a business and corporate development executive with experience in media, technology, real estate services, and healthcare businesses. For more on his work and interests, visit this Twitter page.