​During the recent MTAA MedTech20 annual conference we heard how Medical Technology is delivering transformational innovation that ultimately improves the health outcomes of so many patients, families and communities.

The conference was opened by the Hon Greg Hunt who thanked everyone for working tirelessly throughout the COVID pandemic to ensure the safety of all Australians was maintained and enhanced through the delivery of critically needed medtech products and the comprehensive roll out of many tele-health initiatives.

Healthcare leaders then shared their insights on the impact of COVID and how COVID has been the catalyst for driving many innovations.

For example,

  • COVID resulted in the rapid adoption of tele-health this is bringing benefits to patients all across Australia.

  • COVID has accelerated the digital transformation of the training and education needed to remotely support healthcare professionals.

  • There’s been major advances in how clinical trials are being managed and how new medicines and technologies are being reviewed for registration.

  • COVID has been the catalyst for reviewing and increasing Australian manufacturing capabilities, focusing on innovation eg production lines were re-purposed; and 3D printers were used to produce low-cost ventilators.

  • The core focus of the TGA during COVID has been to facilitate access to PPE, medical devices and ventilators and to ensure continuity of operations for non-COVID related products.

 

 Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Healthcare was the topic of Session 3, Day 2 MedTech20.

Key topics covered include:

  • It was highlighted that healthcare data is doubling every 73 days, and AI has the ability to drive insights from the complex arrays of data and this is influencing the way patients are treated.

  • Examples of AI applications include: the earlier detection of Alzheimer's Disease through the analysis of speech patterns; image analytics (eg for melanoma).

 

 Working in high pressure and risky situations, in rural and remote locations was a key topic of discussion during Session 5, Day 2 of MedTech20:
“To Infinity and Beyond - MedTech Outside Hospital Walls”.

Case studies incorporating the use of medical devices used in remote and challenging environments included:

  • Micro-wearables to detect biomarkers for instant diagnosis and monitoring of a range of disorders.

  • Patient alerts and monitoring.

  • 3D printing to produce medical consumables, surgical instruments and prosthetics.

  • AI to assist in assessment and diagnosis, increasing specialist medical access into remote and challenging environments.

  • "Real-time' remote sensing medical devices (eg heart rate monitoring)

  • IoT applications in remote areas

  • Contact tracing technology for Public Health scenarios (eg Smart Badge).

  • During the session many excellent examples were provided where medical devices are being used in remote Australian environments, in isolated conflict situations and in space.

 

Session 5, Day 3 MedTech20 covered “Digital Health & the Future of Learning”. Key points:

  • The future of medical education will involve more virtual training incorporating VR and augmented reality was the main topic of discussion during this session. Case studies from Immertec were presented of real-time virtual surgical training. Live surgical training platforms allows doctors to observe, communicate and collaborate remotely in 3D virtual reality.

  • Advantages include: shorter training cycles; enhanced adoption of new surgical techniques and devices; improved learning (providing trainees with immersive, distraction free learning environments).

  • Virtual learning and experiences will be an integral part surgical training in the future.

 

 For the full summary notes from MedTech20 go to: https://www.paperturn-view.com/healthcare-professionals-group/mtaa-medtech-round-up-1?pid=MTI122936