The total healthcare expenditure by the United States population is expected to grow to almost $6.0 trillion by 2027. The fast-paced nature of technological research in the medical field is increasing every year, and 2023 will be no different. There are a few medical technologies topping the charts, and it appears that they will continue advancing in 2023. From advances in the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) to digitized communication methods, these top four trending medical technologies in 2023 have great potential to enhance healthcare and research, improve patient experiences, and increase staffing efficiency.
1. Wearable Medical Devices
There have been recent advances in the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), which refers to a network of medical devices, healthcare software, and information technology which all speak to each other to share data seamlessly. Though wearable medical devices aren’t necessarily “new,” the enhanced technological improvements on these devices are. Rapid improvements in the sensitivity of wearable medical devices are promoting the daily monitoring of health markers, such as blood pressure or heart rate, by health consumers. Wearable devices like smartwatches (Apple Watch, Fitbit) allow people to monitor their own health and wellness activities, allowing them to be alerted to serious risk indicators and to improve and take control of their overall health.
Advances have even led to a study on wearable devices being able to detect mental illnesses through activity levels, sleep patterns, and heart rate. The rise of accompanying Android/iOS apps are also creating the opportunity for physicians to access these readings through remote syncing to better detect physical abnormalities. In 2023, we predict wearable medical devices will be capable of acting as network entry/exit points (edge devices), meaning they will be equipped with processors and capable of utilizing in-device analytics. This would eliminate the need for data to be sent back and forth between the device and the cloud to be processed, increasing patient privacy and speed.
2. Machine Learning/ Artificial Intelligence (AI)
The constant search for new molecules and innovative drugs is time-consuming and resource intensive. According to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, only about 5 in 5000 candidate drugs enter clinical testing in humans; furthermore, only 10% of those that reach Phase I are safe enough to become marketed. Machine learning (ML) algorithms can far outpace human-led drug discovery medical research, and the market for AI/ML tools in healthcare is forecast to reach $20 million in 2023.
In fact, in January 2020, a British start-up named Exscientia created the first-ever drug engineered solely by machine learning to enter clinical trials for the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). This was completed in only 12 months, whereas the typical drug development time is about 5 years. Using these state-of-the-art AI models to simulate chemical reactions, the biotech industry can significantly enhance their laboratory testing efficiency to increase the discovery of valuable medications. Though AI/ML technologies are already deeply embedded in the healthcare and clinical research ecosystem, we predict that new AI/ML technologies will continue to be developed to assist with drug development in 2023.
Although still relatively recent, the existence of nanotechnology is well within our reach as of 2023. A study out of Harvard University, Tufts University, and the University of Vermont was successfully able to create small self-replicating organisms, termed “xenobots,” using stem cells from Xenopus laevis embryos; using AI-driven computer simulation, the researchers were able to manipulate the shapes of these organisms. Such an invention opens the possibility for significant advances in cancer research to mitigate cancer cells in the human body, or in environmental research to collect damaging microplastics present in the ocean. In 2023, we may have a clearer picture as to how the role of nanomedicine will play into the diagnosis and treatment of devastating genetic, oncologic, and autoimmune diseases.
When the global COVID-19 pandemic was declared officially in 2020, the world faced a steep learning curve to suddenly shift online and embrace digital communication. Within the year, these remote methods for delivering medical care using the internet, video conferencing tools, and even streaming services, became standard practice. Today, internet hospitals are becoming increasingly common in China, and there is ongoing research to integrate more telehealth communications into China’s medical industry.
With the availability of 5G wireless, remote medical services are becoming more widespread in the US as well, helping to reduce physician burden, reduce facility costs, and improve healthcare accessibility for more patients. These remote resources show promise in a number of medical fields, particularly in mental healthcare with telepsychiatry, but they can also improve patient pain points, such as frequent travel, for clinical trial participants as well. With the cost burden of delivering in-person healthcare continuing to rise and ongoing global shortages of medical and clinical workers, we predict that all varieties of telemedicine and remote healthcare will be a growing trend in 2023.
Use a Trusted CRO to Keep Up with Medical Technology Trends for Your Clinical Trials
Medical technology innovations can often be unpredictable as to exactly what impact they will have on the world of healthcare and clinical research. Although these five trending technologies hold significant promise of impact for patients in 2023, they are only a snapshot of the endless advances in development now. Healthcare technology is moving more rapidly each year, and the biopharma/biotech industry must be sure to keep up using one or many of these upcoming innovations.
One way biotech/biopharma companies are doing this is by enlisting the help of leading contract research organizations (CROs) like Vial, PPD, IQVIA, Innovaderm, Syneos, and Medpace. A CRO’s main priority is to provide broad to niche clinical trial management services for biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical device manufacturers. CROs are a resource to the biotech industry for expertise in streamlining clinical trial processes and increasing the speed at which new medications, devices, and technology are brought to market.
Furthermore, although healthcare technology has recently seen massive advances, the clinical trial industry has been slower to adopt them into practice. Selecting a CRO that is up-to-date with technological advances is critical for successful and efficient clinical trials. A tech-forward CRO should also use digital tools such as EDC, eSource, EMR, and ePRO to enable easy file management, streamlined data collection, and greater patient recruitment
Whether you’re looking to produce AI/ML-led or human-led drug development, it’s important to know you have a trusted partner providing the most efficient and cost-effective clinical trial management services. Vial Health Technology is a next-generation, tech-enabled contract research organization (CRO) providing better, faster, and cheaper clinical trial services.
Vial has established specialized CRO services across multiple therapeutic areas, including ophthalmology, oncology, neurology, cardiology, dermatology, and gastroenterology. Our CRO is supported by a team of scientific advisors, technology experts, and ClinOps leaders who review and provide input on strategy and direction. Vial has built on over 150 cumulative years of experience in managing best-in-class research sites. To remain competitive and offer clients a full range of value-added solutions, Vial invests heavily in tech products and keeps up to date on the latest technologies, techniques, and tools in clinical research.
Vial has one seamlessly connected system that ensures trials are run with maximum efficiency:
- Vial Electronic Source (eSource) – a digital system that allows for initial data capture in an electronic source.
- Vial Electronic Data Capture (EDC) – an electronic system used to record and maintain subject data.
- Vial Electronic Patient-Reported Outcome (ePRO) – a consumer-grade, mobile patient experience that is compliant and customizable for patients in a trial.