Wearables and AI to revolutionise medtech in 2018

Thorsten Lubinski, chief executive and co-founder of DiaMonTech, looks at the upcoming trends for 2018 in the medical technology sector

Thorsten Lubinski

Health and fitness trackers will continue to evolve.

With wearables reaching a certain degree of maturity, brands of all shapes and sizes are producing health and fitness bands that now assess more than just your heart rate.

I am confident we will see a broader and deeper range of data being harnessed in 2018.

For example, one of the most-innovative fitness trackers this year, the Fitbit Alta HR, has the ability to track your sleep cycle, heart rate and steps within a compact form factor linked to your smartphone.

AI will provide you specific and tangible feedback relating to your health in a meaningful and actionable way

This is a two-fold benefit: not only are we seeing, the form factor of wearables becoming much smaller; the computational power of these is increasing rapidly. They are now capturing hundreds of data points on a persons’ body and relaying the information to them in real time.

The benefits for medtech are also very promising, with an increasing amount of processing power available in smaller sizes and at a commercial level.

Thus I expect to see many companies leveraging these improvements in their own technology for end users.

At DiaMonTech, we are developing a wearable version of our non-invasive blood glucose monitoring device for release in 2021 and these trends are helping to fuel our progress massively.

AI will observe collected data from wearable tech and can give you recommendations regarding your health

AI and machine learning is a significant boost to medical technology and, again, something I expect to see have further application in 2018.

Utilising AI and machine learning for data analysis will massively increase the type and depth of feedback possible for end users.

Instead of solely identifying your heart rate, it will be able to create a holistic picture of your routine, perhaps recommending that you change the route you take on your commute, or the meal you have at lunch as a specific response to your heart rate, mood or state of health.

We already have apps which provide dietary recommendations, but these are not based upon actual feedback from your health in real time.

AI will provide you specific and tangible feedback relating to your health in a meaningful and actionable way.

The benefits for medtech are very promising, with an increasing amount of processing power available in smaller sizes and at a commercial level

And, if you get sick, doctors can give you better treatment because of the data collected from devices and the effects of medication can also be monitored.

With advances in AI; hospitals, doctors and medical professionals will be able to greatly improve their diagnosis and treatment of patients as the information obtained prior to even having an appointment will preclude requiring certain scans or diagnostics. We are already seeing hospitals employing AI technology in some interesting ways.

One in Silicon Valley has used AI to capture data from health records, assessing them for risk factors and then combining this data with that provided from real-time tracking. The result meant they could predict which patients were likely to suffer falling over and, in turn, meant they reduced falls for patients by 39%.

The effects of drugs will also be able to be monitored in a highly-accurate way, with large amounts of data obtained in real time from patients providing a clear picture of how and where drugs are affecting them; something only possible through the scale and depth of AI.

Continuous monitoring alongside lifestyle advice supported by AI will allow much better management of diabetes.

With advances in AI; hospitals, doctors and medical professionals will be able to greatly improve their diagnosis and treatment of patients as the information obtained prior to even having an appointment will preclude requiring certain scans or diagnostics

For people suffering from diabetes, the developments I've talked about will mean they will be able to manage their condition far more effectively than in the past.

Real-time tracking, data obtained through more-powerful, more-convenient devices and the analysis enabled from AI will be able to give someone with diabetes continuous monitoring of their blood sugar levels.

With their fitness and health being directly reflected, rather than represented, it will allow diabetes to be managed with significantly less effort and hassle.

All of this in one device, akin to a wearable fitness tracker, accessible at any time in a compact form.

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