Technology Predictions: Personalized Medicine

We asked industry experts to weigh in on what medical technologies will be big in 2017. Here's what to expect in the field of personalized medicine.

Tor Alden

From expanded indications for transcatheter aortic valve replacement systems to bioresorbable stents, medical technology took some big leaps forward in 2016. So what might 2017 have in store? We asked industry experts for some predictions. Here, in their own words, are the medical technologies they expect to see making headlines in 2017. 

Personalized Medicine

We are seeing a trend in personalization in every sector. One area that has seen a lot of progress is in the mapping of the human genome and the understanding of how individuals react to specific drug treatments. Increased technical power and understanding of the human genome is now allowing targeted therapy to become a reality. 

Learn about "Creating Devices that Generate Data for Evidence-Based Medicine" at MD&M West in Anaheim, CA, February 7-9.

Additionally, 3-D printing is now being utilized to tailor medical treatment to individual characteristics or needs of the patient. Technology has allowed the mapping of internal organs or implants that can be  translated to 3-D printed objects. Organs and tissues fabricated by 3-D printers are on the horizon. And, to a lesser impact, we are even seeing connectivity and the Internet of Things creating ways to track and report individual behaviors and treatment leading to personalized healthcare.

For 3-D printing, look to the radiological community to be able to capture computed tomography and magnetic resonance images into stereolithography files compatible with 3-D printers. The 2016 Radiological Society of North America annual meeting’s exhibit floor had multiple sections dedicated to the collaboration of radiological companies partnering with 3-D printing companies.

On a more long-term view, look at stem cell research and therapeutic companies to make breakthrough discoveries. For example, Celprogen just announced they successfully finished printing a 3-D pancreas from a flexible polylactic acid material scaffold that was populated with adult human pancreatic stem cells.

Tor Alden, MS, is principal at HS Design. 

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