From innovative diagnostic methods and cutting-edge imaging techniques to mobile apps for monitoring health and wellbeing, the digital age has given way to a new era in healthcare. Thanks to vast developments in the field of medical science and technology coupled with an influx of funding from eager investors, MedTech has quickly become one of the fastest growing sectors worldwide and shows no signs of slowing down.
Today, hundreds of scientists and techies are creating telemedicine apps, diagnostic AIs and wearable health-tech that are revolutionising the way we view our health and improving patient outcomes across the globe. To celebrate the accomplishments of the sector, we’re concentrating on some of the key pioneers of the industry who laid down the groundwork for innovation in medical technology.
Boasting a reputation for achieving the impossible, Stanton Rowe has been instrumental to innovation in the medical technology sphere. Until recently, Rowe held the position of chief scientific officer at Edwards Lifesciences since joining in 2004, when Edwards acquired Percutaneous Valve Technologies, a company he helped to found in 1999.
This company played a key role in two major developments that fast became success stories in the healthcare sector: cardiac stents and transcatheter valve replacements. If that wasn’t enough, Rowe is leading the development of the next generation of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) technology – projected to be a $5 billion market by 2021.
A true industry pioneer, Michael Friedrich is the CEO of DistalMotion, a medical device venture and the developer of the DEXTER surgical robot. Their revolutionary, low-cost robot brings precision and dexterity to laparoscopic surgery and has already proven capable of reducing the costs for surgeries for hospitals by more than 90% compared to traditional robotic solutions. Prior to DistalMotion, Mr. Friedrich was the Founder and CEO of Aimago SA, a medical device company developing cameras to noninvasively visualize skin blood flow in real time.
Alongside Martin Hirsch and Daniel Nathrath, Clare Novorol founded Ada Health in 2012, an AI-powered platform which aims to give patients greater understanding about their health and navigate to appropriate care. What initially began as a platform service for doctors was soon adapted to help patients check their symptoms in a jargon-free way.
Designed to give better information than you would get from a panicked Google search, the Ada Health chatbot works very simply: after collecting information from a patient, it takes reported symptoms, matches them with symptoms of patients of similar age and gender, and reports the statistical likelihood that the patient has a certain condition. Novorol hope the tool can quell unnecessary health anxieties and help people avoid doctors’ visits when they aren’t needed.
Fabien Beckers is one of the MedTech masterminds behind Arterys, a medical imaging company founded with the intention of creating more intelligent, accessible and powerful tools for improved patient care. In 2012, Arterys first product, Arterys Cardio AI, was the first to receive FDA clearance for a medical device combining cloud computing and deep learning. The solution itself is revolutionary by nature, enabling comprehensive, quantitiative and repeatable imaging of the blood flow in the heart. The company has since received FDA clearance for another cutting-edge product, Oncology AI, a solution that can measure and track solid tumours.
Having recently been confirmed as the new interim chief digital officer (CDO) at NHS England, Tara Donnelly has been pivotal to the spread of digital innovation in the National Health Service in her role as a founding partner of DigitalHealth.London.
Her work includes supporting such innovations as DrDoctor, a solution that successfully reduced missed appointments at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust by 40 per cent and has saved hospitals up to £3 million a year. The company further enabled the roll out of digital services in the NHS such as Perfect Kit Prep, an app which eliminates paperwork and improves auditing and has now been adopted across 70 London Ambulance Service stations.