中国国际医疗器械设计与制造技术展览会(Medtec China)2021

专注于为医疗器械研发与生产服务

2022年12月7-9日 | 苏州国际博览中心B1-E1号馆

How 5G could affect medtech

2021-04-16

Wireless tech companies such as Qualcomm are predicting download speeds as high as 10 gigabits per second as next-generation 5G cellular networks roll out worldwide.

The open question in medtech is how quickly companies will take advantage of the super-speedy connectivity for their own products.

“5G is about bringing more capacity and speed to the pipes,” said Don Jones, a member of the advisory council at BrightInsight and a veteran of the digital healthcare space. Jones spent more than 11 years building Qualcomm’s healthcare group.

“What you have to analyze is, ‘Can healthcare take advantage of what essentially amounts to these bigger pipes?’ Because more data can be shoved through them with more speed,” Jones said during a recent interview with Medical Design & Outsourcing.

Put into practice, those increased speeds and “pipe” sizes can bring data together to enable everything from robotic telesurgery to better decision-making on vital therapies such as drug delivery.

An evolution toward 5G

For now, 4G technology adequately supports telehealth, according to Philips connected care connectivity leader Phil Raymond. But Raymond expects new medical technologies to develop as 5G lowers latency and download delays, plus high bandwidth and high numbers of connected devices.

“The road to 5G will be an evolutionary process that will follow technology rollout and accompanying new care paradigms that drive innovative disruption in existing care models,” Raymond said.

Some 5G-based applications have already made their way into medtech as the COVID-19 pandemic sped up the adoption of telehealth and remote monitoring. Wearable biosensor patches and other wireless technologies, along with the 5G-powered Internet of Things (IoT) have benefitted from the scale of cloud storage and computing power enabled by 5G already, Raymond noted.

“Wireless connectivity is pervasive today in healthcare, but with the advanced capabilities and features within 5G, it will be a foundational component of delivering on the promise of the ‘quadruple aim’ of enhancing the patient experience, improving health outcomes, lowering the cost of care and improving the work life of care providers,” he said.

Jones pointed out that ResMed and Philips each have 25 million CPAP machines wirelessly connected through cell phone chips on the market today, indicating that the structure for a higher level of connectivity is already in place.

“The interesting part is beginning to figure out ways that [medtech companies] can use the communications capabilities to add more services,” Jones said. “It’s a question of how far they want to go with the capabilities.”

Ushering in robotic telesurgery

Robotic telesurgery could be one of the most obvious areas that could benefit from 5G. Simply put, there’s a lot of data involved when surgeons are controlling a robot from a remote location.

AVRA Medical Robotics CEO Barry Cohen in an end-of-2020 letter wrote that, as the company looks to meet modern requirements of robotic-assisted healthcare, 5G may be a game-changer.

“The company is exploring remote operations for its intelligent robotic system for medical procedures using the new 5G mobile network at a time when social distancing, even in the spaces reserved for surgical and medical work, has never been more important,” Cohen said. “The effectiveness of 5G has reduced the latency issue encountered in the early days of remote robotic surgery operations, a significant and potentially life-saving improvement.”

Corindus, which Siemens Healthineers acquired for $1 billion in 2019, has been a pioneer in the robotic telesurgery space. Former Corindus COO and current innovation advisor Doug Teany sees 5G enabling the movement of large data packages with edge computing between a Siemens imaging system and a Corindus robotic system.

This would allow robotic telesurgery system users to pull information for a patient, preprocess that information (with images of the heart or arteries or other areas) and deliver it in a way that offers warnings of potential complications or specifications for a patient’s anatomy.

“Technologies and advancements in image-guided robotics that are enabled by 5G will truly change the quality of care you get,” Teany said. “Then we move to safer, targeted options that are more prescriptive to the patient themselves, and the risk of remote care will be removed. We’re excited about those possibilities.”

Teany acknowledged that cybersecurity poses a hurdle. Higher levels of security tend to slow networks down, somewhat negating the impact of 5G. But as advances continue, Teany is optimistic that security snags will be overcome.

“The world is evolving to maneuver around these continual threats and these continual considerations for cybersecurity and it’s getting better,” Teany said. “So, I think we’ll all benefit from that. There’s only a path forward, not a path backward for the issue of cybersecurity.”

Enabling more automated insulin delivery

Jones recalls how major diabetes technology developer Dexcom brought him in years ago to help move them toward developing connected devices. The networkable continuous glucose monitor (CGM) developed by Dexcom, currently the G6 (with a G7 in development), can connect with a number of other insulin- or diabetes-related devices, like a Bluetooth-connected pen from Novo Nordisk or a pump from Tandem Diabetes Care.

Faster communications through 5G could help companies overcome some of the safety challenges involved in what has been a holy grail for the diabetes tech space: automated insulin delivery.

“We’re going to have a more complex world of sensors that are intercommunicating and that’s where 5G will start to be of help, for two reasons,” Jones said. “First, in a local area, the 5G allows a lot of computing and interconnectivity to not clog the cellular network. Then, when it needs to go to the cloud, it can go much faster.”

Other major medtech companies including Medtronic anticipate that 5G will make a big difference and are keeping a close eye on technology developments.

“From our perspective, the increased bandwidth, faster speeds and lower power associated with 5G cellular networks offer interesting possibilities for improved connectivity between pumps, sensors, peripherals, digital health devices and cloud services,” said Ali Dianaty, VP of product innovation for Medtronic’s diabetes business.

Dianaty told MDO in a statement: “We continue to monitor technologies like 5G for the potential impact they can have on the way we can help make living with diabetes easier while producing better outcomes.”

Article source: Medical Design & Outsourcing By Sean Whooley

 

伴随着人工智能兴起,起步较晚的国产医疗机器人正在加快发展,逐步扩大应用场景。5月26日,第十一届中国生物产业大会在武汉光谷发布本土健康企业的7项最新成果,首先推介的便是武汉兰丁公司的宫颈癌检测智能机器人。

 

《每日经济新闻》记者在大会现场了解到,多家企业正在推广医疗机器人,应用范围涵盖胃镜检查、腹腔手术、美容抗衰等,并且已有成熟产品进入国内医院,打破进口机器人在医院应用的垄断局面。

 

 

据主办方介绍,“LANDING”机器人通过筛查样本拨片进行自动化诊断,每月有108万例的样本检测能力,效率远远超过人工。目前,武汉兰丁公司与阿里巴巴的合作,使“LANDING”机器人在中国各地基层终端收集的大量细胞特征参数及数据,在云平台上完成分析诊断工作。

 

 

科技颠覆想象力,机器人在医疗领域的应用范围更加广泛。《每日经济新闻》记者注意到,多家企业在生物产业大会上重点推介医疗机器人产品。

 

患者吞下一粒胶囊,在胃里变成机器人进行螺旋式扫描,将检查图像实时传输至医生电脑,这便是安翰光电技术(武汉)有限公司研制的磁控胶囊胃镜机器人。该公司展位负责人程先生介绍,目前全国已有1000多家医疗机构应用了胶囊胃镜机器人,包括三甲医院、大型体检中心等,涵盖专业医疗和常规健康体检领域,年消耗量达50万粒。

 

据了解,这粒胶囊仅重5G,但包含了80多项科技创新专利,集成400多个精密元器件。上述负责人表示,在检查方面,胃镜机器人可以替代传统的电子胃镜,不过电子胃镜可以做小型的腔镜手术、切片等,胶囊机器人还不具备这些功能,但在进一步研发中。

 

苏州康多机器人有限公司则在大会上重点推介腹腔镜手术机器人系统,该公司展位负责人张辉介绍,这款手术机器人由医生控制台、支撑臂、手术器械三部分组成,通过机器人操作可以起到防止手抖、放大病灶视野等精确治疗的效果。

 

其实,在“机器换人”升级过程中,国产医疗机器人起步虽晚,但发展很快,不少上市公司将其作为下一风口进行布局。

 

2015年,制造装备公司楚天科技(行情300358,诊股)(300358,SZ)表示正在研发医药机器人和医疗机器人,一年后,首台医药无菌生产智能机器人下线,步入医药装备4.0时代;2017年11月,科大讯飞(行情002230,诊股)(002230,SZ)研发的医疗机器人“智医助理”通过临床执业医师综合笔试,目前已进入合肥基层卫生中心,辅助全科医生进行诊疗;2017年,埃斯顿(行情002747,诊股)(002747,SZ)收购美国Barrett 30%股权,全面进军康复医疗机器人市场,并计划与Barrett共同出资在中国境内成立一家新的合公司。

 

国产机器人拥有成本优势 在多家企业布局的背后,是医疗机器人巨大的市场潜力。普华永道中国发布的《医疗机器人宏观应用趋势与研究方向》显示,2014年,全球医疗机器人的市场价值是26亿美元,到2020年预计会达到76亿美元。

 

人均可支配收入的增加会促使高质量医疗需求的增长,而医疗机器人正好有出血少、精准度更高,恢复快的优势。整个发展趋势显示医疗机器人市场潜力巨大。

 

目前,国内医院的医疗机器人仍依赖进口,最为广泛应用的就是美国直觉外科公司制造的达芬奇手术机器人,2016年国内手术量突破1.5万台。

 

但是,进口医疗机器人价格昂贵,使得医疗费用也居高不下,如一台达芬奇机器人在国内售价2000万元左右,附带长期的耗材费用。

 

“进口机器人就算不用,一年的保养费都得80~100万元,每天开机费用就达1万元左右。”张辉表示,国外的机器人设备,主要包括维修费、保养费、耗材费等费用,所以价格居高不下。

 

随着国产医疗机器人发力,这一局面有望打破。此前,楚天科技研发的医药无菌生产机器人定价500万~600万元,而国际同类机器人定价800万~1000万元左右。

 

张辉告诉《每日经济新闻》记者,国产医疗机器人的优势是小型化、便捷化,还有国内的服务体系,针对三甲医院、县级医院等机构,可以实现分级应用,因此价格应该会比进口设备低一半左右,降低医疗成本。

 

来源:每日经济新闻

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