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From pregnancy tests to ultrasound examinations, medical technology is with us even before we are born. When someone is feeling sick, diagnostics and medical devices help health professionals restore their health as quickly as possible. Medtech is such an integral part of our lives that it can be surprising to learn that some of its aspects have not changed at all and for longer than some might think.
That is starting to change as medtech entrepreneurs identify the gaps and work towards closing them. From artificial intelligence to 5G functions and robotics, medtech has now begun to transform the most delicate bastion of healthcare: medical procedures.
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One country in particular has turned medical heads in recent years. Israel, whose health technology market is valued at $ 6.2 billion, according to the International Trade Administration, has used its tech-driven entrepreneurship to find solutions to health care gaps and technology that are literally saving lives. Much of his success is due to his interdisciplinary skills. This is where medicine, clinical expertise, software expertise and technical knowledge are successfully brought together to optimize the pursuit of innovations in healthcare.
Cleaning up the feeding
With hospital medical errors cited as the third leading cause of death in the United States according to the BMJ, the problem of effective enteral feeding protocols has become an increasingly worrying issue in recent years, especially in the treatment of critical care patients. Worldwide, 22 million feeding tubes are placed each year, often by nurses using traditional blind insertion techniques. Incorrect placement of the tube in the lungs can be fatal, but these losses have slowly become the accepted safety for intensive care procedures in the ICU.
Unsurprisingly, feeding tubes can be dangerous, as the system used to place them has not changed much since the 1980s. ENvizion Medical, a pioneering company based in Tel Aviv, is addressing this issue with the development of the next generation of electromagnetic feeding tube placement devices.
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The company's system, referred to as the "feeding tube waze", uses multiple sensors and known anatomical landmarks to image each patient's anatomy up to the upper GI tract to accurately track the feeding tube and avoid misplacement. By providing bedside vision, ensuring accurate placement, and reducing feeding times to combat malnutrition, the ENvizion system is helping to reshape our approach to patient safety. Not only can technology turn conventional enteral feeding on its head, but the way medical practices, some of which have been widely accepted for decades, can be refined through technological ingenuity.
The early bird catches the worm
Medical imaging technology pioneer Nanox made its Wall Street debut in 2020 with Israel's largest IPO of a young medical company in history. The Neve Ilan-based company plans to help revolutionize early detection in healthcare. When ready, it will provide global medical imaging infrastructure at an affordable price-per-scan service model that is subject to regulatory approvals. The system aims to improve the accessibility and affordability of early detection services through Medical Screening as a Service (MSaaS) and to increase the availability of imaging as the standard of care.
Early detection and preoperative analysis through AI are becoming an increasingly effective method for optimizing medical procedures. The area of automation in health technology enables imaging to be used in medical facilities that may not have the resources or access to high-performance scanners.
A breath of fresh air
In recent years, the country's medtech minds have placed great emphasis on improving elements of medical procedures that have for too long been considered the best available method. Mechanical ventilation (MV) is one of the last steps in the treatment of patients in intensive care units. However, it can and has exposed patients to certain high risk complications.
Here Inspira Medical has been brought to its knees and has developed a technology to support the airways that can be used as an alternative to mechanical ventilation. The company's intravascular oxygenation device, OXSPIRA, safely increases oxygen levels and reduces carbon dioxide in the patient's venous blood so clinicians can manage the primary ventilatory condition without the complications associated with MV. Patients are left awake and alert so that their lungs can rehabilitate without the intrusive process of intubation. The burdens and risks associated with conventional methods are slowly being reduced by innovations like these, and it is these advances that are completely changing our confidence in medical procedures.
There's just no denying that medtech is a rising force forever, and Israel's medtech scene is as promising as the country's nickname, Startup Nation. Israel's digital health ecosystem is able to assess gaps in traditional medical processes and how these can be addressed through available technologies. It is becoming increasingly clear that medical technology in Israel has now matured to a stage where it now permeates the most precarious and risky elements of the medical process: procedures. The timing for such an innovation couldn't be better.