The Fast Paced World Of
Medical Device Technology
Technology is a fast moving industries on the planet!
It is only in the last one hundred years or so that we humans learns how to fly. What is particularly interesting to me is that the rate new medical device technology is moving.
Medicine as we know it today came about in three different ways. Initially new vaccines tackled epidemic diseases as far back as the early 1900’s. Antibiotics arrived fifty years later, (around 1950).
These developments came after significant advances in most therapeutic areas of medicine. Biotechnology was was discovered and development in mid 1980’s. (Biotechnology, creates medicines from biological substances such as DNA and monoclonal antibodies). We have more than 200 biotechnology therapies in medical practice already and more are on the horizon. Our immediate medical future is in today’s pipeline. It holds in excess over 9600 drug agents, more than 2000 for cancer, 500 for diabetes, and 300 for heart disease and 400 vaccines.
I predict that medicines of the future will be derived from the convergence of bio-technology and the rapid advancements in genetics we seem to be having presently.
Shortly we’ll be swept into the 21st century medicine that uses genetic information to understand and disrupt life threatening disease processes. The completed map of the human genome was like a big neon sign pointing the way to our medical future. This was only fifteen years ago so it’s exciting to think what the next fifteen years hold.
This genetic footprint of the complete set of human genes will help us to unlock the puzzle of how genetics can influence diseases and how different drugs perform in our bodies. It is hoped that this knowledge will lead us beyond today’s rather sloppy, “one size fits all” approach, and will be the next big step towards the medical industries long-term goal of individually personalized medicine and treatment.
What in Future?
It is hoped that doctors of the future will be able to analyses their patient’s DNA sequence to target a specific medicine to achieve the most benefits and the fewest side-effects.
Genetic information will also help towards streamlining chemical-trials to get new medicines to patients faster. I believe that the tools we need to build this future informatics and medical technology information.
Informatics will help to create huge databases of genetic data for clinical research. Medical IT will help us to track medicines as they are used in real world medical practitioners.
These advances will help to develop new therapies that help to improve people’s everyday lives. DNA-base vaccines will prevent forms of cancer hepatitis C, new flu strains, as well as the dreaded West Nile virus. Stem cells and other agents are used to help encourage new tissue growth in the body, such as bone and nerve cells. Looking farther into the future it is hoped that we may be able to grow organs in the laboratory for transplanting to humans and animals. Advancements in gene therapy will allow us to insert new genes or correct faulty genes. The future looks very exciting indeed.
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