Across the globe medical researchers continue to forge new ground, meet and exceed targets that were once a long way off or seemed to be impossible. The pace at which discovery and medical advancement occurs is exponential. A primary goal of the work carried out by medical researchers is to extend the life and quality for people.
A significant challenge researchers face is getting access to sufficient funding – which plays a vital role enabling them to continue their fantastic work of discovering innovative new ways of making a big impact in people’s lives everywhere.
With a number of different organisations competing for research funding from the same pots of money, the battle for medical device companies to access a fair proportion of funding is as closely contested as it’s ever been.
Medical research is the main driver behind the development of important new treatments that can prevent disease and help people who are ill or injured. Providing the right treatment to patients requires the correct knowledge of a variety of biological, behavioural and social factors. Medical research enables doctors, physicians and medical professionals have a deeper understanding of how our bodies work, what makes us sick and most importantly what can be done to make us better and to live full and healthy lives.
Medical research has thankfully eradicated a significant number conditions that were at one point life threatening however, much work can still to be done to tackle current issues.
In Ireland, where Trulife is headquartered, the Health Research Board (HRB) provides a large amount of funding. In 2017, 115 funds were awarded to a variety of research projects that yielded some wonderful results. An example of this is a project related to tackling heart failure in people. More than 3,000 Irish patients benefited from this project which aimed to prevent heart failure and in doing so significantly reduce hospital admissions by over 17,000 per year.
Another excellent example of how funding is so important came through an announcement whereby Irish scientists had made a big breakthrough in breast cancer research. A research team from NUIG found a drug that can potentially reduce cancer and improve treatment by increasing the level of effectiveness of the initial chemotherapy rounds and reducing relapse rates.
The SFI CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices also provides a significant amount of funding in Ireland. They support research into innovative new smart medical devices that are able to help patients with problems including musculoskeletal, neural, cardiovascular, soft tissue, renal and urology and respiratory health problems.
Horizon 2020 is a very large EU wide research programme. It began back in 2014 and runs right through until 2020. Nearly €80 billion was set aside by the EU to provide research funding during this period and it has helped drive a number of significant major breakthroughs and discoveries.
In the United States the government plays a key role in providing funding medical research through the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH is a part of the Department of Health and Human Services and is made up of 27 different institutes and centres which have their own unique manifesto. Each institute will often focus on one particular area of medicine or research.
The funding provided through the NIH is invaluable for medical researchers throughout the US.
Medical Device organisations have a distinct advantage in a number of areas when competing for funding in that there is at times less rigorous FDA approval requirements for devices as opposed to drugs. There is also lower cost for trials, lower pricing and increased profitability of products. There is also a more predictable influence of new technology due to a limited number of competitors.
Medical devices manufacturers will need to continue developing ground-breaking innovative products that create a positive change in people’s lives to ensure they stay top of mind when applying for research funding.
Medical devices play a pivotal role in the lives of millions of people as they greatly enhance the quality of life for that person. In the US the FDA has recently announced a Medical Device Safety Action Plan which aims to increase patients safety and drive forward innovation so that new products are safer, more effective and address the unmet needs of patients.
The FDA is also investigating more efficient ways that medical devices can reach the people who need them, so we are hoping that the level of investment continues to expand over the coming months and years to realise this goal.
Wearable medical devices are starting to go through rapid growth. Several leading technology companies and medical device manufacturers have invested heavily into research and development of wearable tech and continue push the boundaries.
High profile organisations such as Apple have radically increased the level of interest in wearable devices and describe their new Apply Watch 4 as “an intelligent guardian for your health”. Their latest device has a few interesting health monitoring features….. It is able alert the wearer of a prolonged elevated heart rate, spot low heart rates and check for an irregular heart rhythm, if found will notifying the wearer of a potential atrial fibrillation. Later in the year Apple will be releasing a new App for the Watch 4 that will be able to run an FDA-approved electrocardiogram (ECG) test. A recent study revealed that the smartwatch could accurately predict atrial fibrillation (AFib) more than 98% of the time.
Wearable device research is something that Trulife has also heavily invested in. Earlier on this year we launched TruCare – A range of pressurecare that you can wear. The range of pressurecare is extremely innovative and it represents a sea-change in pressurecare products.
The complete Trucare range include 4 products:
The TruCare pressurecare range has been developed to add protection for the skin and to help prevent pressure injuries from occurring in the first place. This new TruCare range greatly enhances a patient’s lives by reducing the risk of injury.
Trulife will continue to drive innovation as it achieves our ultimate goal – improving the life of the patient.
Do you have a question about our products or services? Our dedicated staff is always here to help. Get in touch and we will revert to you as soon as possible. Thank you.
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