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These technologies could drive medtech innovation in 2024

Cool new tech developments are totally changing up the medtech scene. Over in Europe, companies and research outfits are teaming up to tackle genetic info, diseases that affect loads of folks, and those sudden health crises.

What’s the plan to keep the ball rolling in 2024? Any specific tech that’s gonna keep driving medtech innovation forward?

Also Read: You might soon see AI health coaches on your devices

AI in healthcare

AI has already shown its worth in healthcare, from foreseeing genetic diseases to enhancing cancer treatments and crafting vaccines that stand up to different variants. It’s a game-changer for tackling major healthcare hurdles.

“In 2024, we will see significant strides made in the field of techbio, particularly in the promising area of generative AI for drug discovery,” Dr Diana Rottger, Principal at APEX Ventures, tells TNW. Dr. Röttger thinks more companies in the field will be diving into clinical development soon, using both computer-based and real-life approaches.

The push for better diagnostics is set to keep going strong, especially with the help of big language models that can handle massive amounts of info.

“AI algorithms can analyse vast amounts of medical data, including patient records, genetic information, and imaging results,” says Dag Larsson, CEO and founder of Doccla, a healthtech startup providing a virtual hospital ward. “By identifying subtle patterns and correlations that may not be visible with smaller datasets, AI can therefore assist in the early detection of diseases. This can lead to more accurate predictions and insights, particularly in complex and heterogeneous patient populations.”

Julia Hawkins, a big shot at VC firm LocalGlobe, says another trend is all about easing the strain on the healthcare system.

The quantum revolution

Even though the quantum revolution is still a bit down the road, industries and states are already getting on board with this potentially game-changing tech. In healthcare, quantum computing is predicted to hit a whopping global market size of $1 billion (€0.9 billion) by 2030, highlighting its growing significance in the future of medicine.

Quantum’s effect on healthcare could be huge, no doubt. Quantum computers can handle trillions of units of information simultaneously, making them way faster than their regular counterparts.

One cool thing is quantum simulation, where top-notch qubits in quantum computers can mimic molecules and run chemistry simulations. According to Wisby, this quantum simulation could really shake things up in drug discovery and dealing with diseases we can’t cure yet.

There’s another upside to this quantum game: the muscle of quantum machine learning. It can pull off “faster and more accurate data pattern identification, classification, data compression, and image classification.” That could amp up diagnostic tools and even cook up models that predict diseases.

VR and remote monitoring

According to Dr. Hughes, founder and CEO of Cinapsis, the next year will see more people getting on board with solutions like virtual hospital setups and remote monitoring gadgets such as wearables. The global market value for these goodies hit a whopping $30.06 billion (€27.3 billion) in 2023.

Amanda Philpott, the brains behind the hearing training app eargym, predicts that the continued rise of wearables and health apps will offer another perk: shedding light on health conditions that often fly under the radar but can seriously impact both individuals and resources.

Meanwhile, with waiting times for surgeries hitting all-time highs in Europe, Alison Sundset, CEO of Holocare in Oslo, anticipates that the spotlight will be on virtual and mixed reality next year. Holocare, her company, offers a 3D surgical planning holographic toolkit.

She explains that the tech’s knack for providing a collective spatial view of a patient’s anatomy will be a game-changer for surgical planning and facilitate communication among teams, both in person and virtually. This opens the door for collaboration even across geographical boundaries.

Beyond the surgical suite, VR and MR can act as a “game-changer for the future workforce” by letting healthcare pros practice in safe virtual spaces, fast-tracking their learning, and even lowering the risk of burnout. Sundset suggests that in the coming year, these advancements will define what will be the fresh standard in surgical procedures.

Also Read: UK doesn’t want AI to invent things; Wants it only for humans

The promise of AI in cancer care

AI is a major upgrade compared to the old stuff in many ways. It gets sharper as it gobbles up more data, making it more accurate and able to notice even the tiniest variations between various groups, such as ages or races. Moreover, it’s easy to set up, kicks into gear right away, and can be deployed on the cloud, which is pretty much everywhere people reside.

With all these advantages, AI can be applied everywhere, ensuring that everyone receives top-notch treatment regardless of their location. It’s like turbocharging personalized care for a much larger group of people than ever before.

A fascinating advancement involves the use of AI in new tests to anticipate tumor growth and treatment effectiveness. These tests utilize intelligent programs to analyze patient tissue sample images alongside their medical data. Subsequently, doctors can leverage this information to formulate a customized treatment plan for each person, sometimes even steering clear of treatments that could potentially do more harm than good.

Vishal Kawadkar
About author

With over 8 years of experience in tech journalism, Vishal is someone with an innate passion for exploring and delivering fresh takes. Embracing curiosity and innovation, he strives to provide an informed and unique outlook on the ever-evolving world of technology.