Medical Technology Suppliers Offer Smart Technologies
for Great Leaps in Medical Care
For some time now, two essential trends have been dominating the field of medical technology and are ensuring short innovation cycles: dematerialization and digitalization. Accordingly, products are increasingly becoming more compact whilst their performance remains the same or is improved, they are increasingly easy to use and as a whole, innovations are driven by software and less by hardware. Intelligent prosthetics capture their surroundings using sensors and by doing so their function is tailored more ideally to the patient. Plasters are able to monitor the wound healing process or act as an early warning system and signal increased risk of an imminent asthma attack. Bracelets functioning as a "mini-hospital on the upper arm" have started appearing on the market. They are able to determine various body parameters such as heart rate, oxygen in the blood, stress levels or sleep rhythms. Even measuring blood pressure durably beat by beat no longer requires an inflatable cuff, as modern optical biosensors are now able to take care of this.
Innovations like these require close cooperation between medical technological manufacturers and their suppliers during development. Often, suppliers are the ones that give the decisive impulses for development leaps, and once again, visitors can see this for themselves at COMPAMED in Düsseldorf from November 12 to 15, 2018. With 800 exhibitors from almost 40 countries, COMPAMED is the international leading specialist trade fair for the supplier market for the medical technology industry and takes place alongside the world's leading medical trade fair MEDICA (5,000 exhibitors). The scope of products, solutions and services presented and addressed at COMPAMED ranges from parts and components such as sensors, chips, wireless modules, energy and data storage to coating technology, packaging solutions and even complete made-to-order production. The list of exciting innovations is a long one, as numerous examples illustrate.
Blue light helps heal chronic wounds
Chronic wounds are notoriously difficult to treat, as they do not follow a typical healing process or healing time frame. The resulting strain is considerable, as over 40 million people are affected every year, causing costs of around 40 million Euros, which must be carried by the health care systems. Blue light is known for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effect during the healing process's initial phase and in addition does not damage tissue, in contrast to dangerous UV light. However, there was no evidence of the positive effect of blue light exposure in the later stages of wound healing, which has previously complicated the development of effective solutions for a complete therapy.
Together with six other partners, CSEM has contributed to closing this gap with the EU project MEDILIGHT. This cooperation has proven that exposure to blue light has far more than just an antibacterial effect. The antiproliferative effect has now been clearly proven and shows that blue light prevents the epidermis on the wound surface from closing prematurely in the early healing phase. In addition, the consortium of European research laboratories has proven for the first time that, with a further suitable dose, blue light can efficiently activate vital skin cells, namely keratinocytes and fibroblasts, thus accelerating the final wound healing process. The developed prototype is the ideal solution for an intelligent, mobile system for treating chronic wounds with blue light, for example diabetic ulcers. In addition, the project created the prerequisites for a future commercialisation of devices based on light therapy and to monitor wound healing.
"By discovering and demonstrating the effectiveness of blue light both for antibacterial application as well as for activating vital skin cells, MEDILIGHT allowed us to apply for two patents," explains Marielle Bouschbacher, project manager at URGO, the participating industry partner and project leader. "MEDILIGHT is also paving the way for further important possible applications such as disinfecting medical instruments and operating environments."