With tech reaching new heights each year, it’s no wonder that the medical field has experienced an explosion of innovative tech and tools to better serve their patients. So, where will tech and healthcare go next? From focusing on delivering comprehensive consultations via video chat to delivering patient lab testing by drone, it seems that not even the sky is the limit. We’ve gathered some of the most exciting startups that are solving healthcare problems with the power of tech.
Medopad is a London-based healthcare startup supported by the pharmaceutical company, Bayer. The company has developed an app that compiles and analyzes health data from patient wearables, mobile devices, and medical bodies to predict chronic diseases. Medopad also utilizes artificial intelligence to examine an array of data from wearable and mobile devices. The startup’s app tracks biomarkers in patients that can predict the development of diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. A good example of Medopad at work would be a conventional Parkinson’s test that typically requires a 30-minute assessment in a doctor’s office now being conducted digitally, using biomarkers collected from mobile devices. Moreover, Medopad wants to use AI to analyze how patients progress in their treatment to minimize trips to doctors’ offices or clinics.
At the core of Medopad’s operations is an app that integrates health data from medical bodies, mobile devices, and patient wearables. By applying AI to large data sets, Medopad says it can generate predictive insights that may detect medical conditions. With the use of both big data and machine learning, the startup wants to “understand, treat, and ultimately prevent ill health.” Medopad recently acquired rival Sherbit, another startup that also uses personal data collected from sensors, apps, and devices in uncovering health insights.
More real-world data is being captured and shared than ever before, which is a great thing when it comes to healthcare. Why? Because the more information healthcare providers have about us, the more accurate their predictability capability becomes, and the more big data companies can start using this knowledge to predict when people will get sick.
2020 will be an interesting year when it comes to healthcare trends. Of course, healthcare technology will continue to influence the industry, but the real healthcare trend to watch is the inevitable change in consumer and patient behavior. In the old days, doctors would make house calls regularly, but as our medical system has modernized, the logistics of in-home medical consultation is just less feasible.
However, the Swiss company, Eedoctors, plans to change all that. The company has created the first virtual doctor’s office using smartphones. The company established this app to enable formal diagnoses through virtual consultations, which had been a challenge for previous telemedicine companies because of bandwidth issues and other limitations. This remote consultation service is quickly becoming a prominent healthcare trend in Switzerland and facilitates online visits with general practitioners and emergency physicians.
Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles used as a solution to logistical problems in healthcare is one of the healthcare trends in the US to watch. Matternet is revolutionizing healthcare logistics in the US and internationally by establishing a new mode of on-demand transportation. Through the use of drone delivery networks, Matternet’s technology allows hospital systems to transport medical items at an unprecedented level of speed and predictability, resulting in improved patient care and strong operational savings.
It was in 2015 in Zurich, Switzerland, that Matternet first tested a drone delivery system for transporting pathology and blood samples. Since then, Matternet has significantly expanded its Swiss operations and has conducted over 1,700 drone flights to execute over 850 deliveries. In March 2017, Matternet became the first company in the world to be authorized for full operations of drone logistics networks over densely populated areas in Switzerland. In May 2018, Matternet was selected to carry out drone logistics operations for US hospitals under the FAA’s drone integration program.
The latest news on medical drone delivery is that UPS has partnered with the California-based drone technology startup to work on the delivery of medical samples across WakeMed Health & Hospitals’ campus in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Matternet M2 system is capable of transporting packages of up to 5 lbs across distances of up to 12.5 miles in operations beyond visual line of sight and over people. Earlier this year, Matternet and UPS’s healthcare delivery service at WakeMed completed more than 1,000 deliveries of patient samples.
The expectation is that with drone delivery, same-day and on-demand delivery of medical specimens and samples will be possible. Consequently, hospital costs will be reduced, and the patient experience will improve.
AIME, which stands for “Artificial Intelligence in Medical Epidemiology”, is a US-based startup that uses machine learning and big data analytics to predict in real-time where and when infectious disease outbreaks will occur. The end goal is to detect outbreaks in advance and keep them in check. AIME has the goal of applying artificial intelligence and mathematical algorithms to predict disease outbreaks. By taking into account a variety of physical and environmental factors, the program has been able to accurately predict dengue outbreaks within 400 meters and up to three months in advance, with 88.7% accuracy. So far the technology has been deployed in Rio de Janeiro, Singapore, and two different states in Malaysia, with the potential to reach over 13 million people worldwide.
AIME has a bot named REDINT that scours over 40 databases of epidemiological data. The system developed by AIME analyzes not only public health data, but data from other sources. These include: weather, wind speed, previous outbreaks and a location’s proximity to large bodies of water – anything that might influence the behavior of the mosquitoes that carry the disease. They also look at things like population density in the area, peoples’ health records, and their income level.
According to AIME’s CEO, Dr. Helmi Zakariah, AIME’s use throughout the healthcare sector is crucial to its success. The system will be ineffective if it does not have “a continuous stream of new disease incidence data” that it can use to continue learning.
The Future of Healthcare and Tech
With all this new and exciting tech making its way into mainstream healthcare, the future looks bright for both doctors and their patients. Receiving quality care has become a hurdle to over in the modern era of medicine. However, with innovation making its way into the industry, we are coming closer than ever to delivering medical assistance to all corners of the globe.
What do you think about tech’s increasing presence in healthcare? Let us know!