Today, MedTech innovations are harnessing the power of technology and helping the healthcare industry in newer and innovative ways – We all know that AI/ML has made its way into surgical rooms! Connected technologies are turning out to be a true blessing for the healthcare communities. Advances in chip design and integration of wireless and AI at the edge technologies are driving MedTech innovations.
With the help of a growing network of connected medical devices, apps, and sensors, the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is playing a key role in the evolution of healthcare from volume-based to value-based healthcare. IoMT devices include connected medical and health-monitoring devices, diagnostic, surgical assistance, surgical-first equipment, remote patient monitoring systems, clinical and health care-centric wearables, remote sensors, and telehealth devices.
Faster Communication and Flexibility are the Keys
Effective and faster communication is the key in healthcare – be it high-quality audio/video appointments from nursing call stations or other hospital communication from collaboration devices. It is ultimately going to benefit the patients if the doctor knows a patient’s real-time medical data. It will help the doctor in providing the right treatment at the right time.
The lightning speed of 5G plays a vital role here. 5G can make much-needed information exchange easier and faster than ever before with robust security and hence changing the relationship between doctors and patients.
Earlier, MedTech hardware was of higher form factor, not developed with portability in mind, hence, consumed high power and generated more heat. Nowadays, low-powered, highly integrated mobile compute platforms, having smaller form factors, offer much-needed flexibility ensuring portability.
Patients put on remote medical sensors and send vital signs to their physicians from the comfort of their homes. This data helps out healthcare professionals to examine those vitals, manage treatment plans accordingly, and provide online consultation if required.
The design and development of IoMT devices that offer faster real-time communication along with flexibility, can be challenging and needs extra effort that fulfills the unique needs of healthcare standards. Security can’t be overlooked while developing these HIPAA-compliant solutions. Developers need to continuously work on eliminating vulnerabilities by tracking device behavior. Let’s look at some of the applications where MedTech devices are making a difference.
Robotic surgical systems are great companions for surgeons, nurses, and patients in an operation theatre. Robotic-assisted surgeries reduce the risk of infection, shorten the hospitalization span, and provide faster recovery for patients. On the other side, for surgeons, the advancement in minimally invasive surgical technology offers advantages of 3D visualization and improved, and precision control of surgical instruments. High-framerate UHD video streams are required with real-time insights from computer vision AI models for robotic-assisted surgery.
Smart hospitals enhance patient satisfaction by enabling staff to work efficiently with higher productivity, reducing infection risk, and effective asset tracking with superior security. MedTech solutions can automate hospital auxiliary and back-office activities, which further can save time and money. Robots can provide much-needed flexibility to surgeons and other healthcare professionals by doing certain tasks – both, planned and unplanned on real-time triggers – such as delivering drugs, transferring blood and other samples, and gathering diagnostic data. Automation can also benefit accounting and finance tasks such as claim processing and settlement.
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)
Enough is written on this – Remote Patient Monitoring now needs no explanation. It can be greatly benefited from video streaming and video collaboration solutions. Physicians can provide remote care to patients through video streaming or telepresence. This can remove time, distance, and place barriers.
VR in Surgical Training and Other Medical Education
The use of Virtual Reality (VR) in surgical training and other medical education has exponentially increased. VR in the medical market is forecasted to reach USD 3.98 billion by 2028 with a 31.1% CAGR growth.
Medical institutions no longer need cadavers to train medical students on human anatomy. Medical service providers can develop VR experiences to train the fellow practitioners that can help them to cope with real critical medical cases in a better way.
Qualcomm started to focus on powering the IoMT long ago. It is connecting patients and health care providers with next-gen, chip-to-cloud MedTech solutions. Qualcomm’s small-form-factor platforms – QCS8250 and QRB5165 – can do wonders for developing next-gen healthcare applications as these platforms support multiple camera streams, 5G, WiFi6, Bluetooth 5.1, and AI at the edge with heterogeneous low-power compute.
With Qualcomm Neural Processing SDK, one can also optimize and improve multimedia outputs. These SoCs inspire healthcare device manufacturers and solution providers to take on some real-world, future-looking use-cases and build consumer and business-focused HIPAA-compliant IoT solutions around them.
eInfochips, in collaboration with Arrow and Qualcomm, has established “Edge Labs”, a center of excellence (CoE) to accelerate the development of connected intelligent AI-enabled edge devices including IoMT devices. Under “Aikri” portfolio, we have off-the-shelf system-on-modules (SoMs) based on QCS8250 and QRB5165 to kickstart early development, prototyping, and parallel software development of IoMT devices. They can drive the aforementioned and so many other medical use cases including real-time automation and see-what-I-see solutions requiring multiple cameras, and 5G cellular connectivity with edge compute. Start thinking about what you can invent around these processors. Let’s make patients always connected with their doctors and families!