-As shared by Hannah Altman
Medical innovations can be transformative. As such, since the onset of COVID-19, there has been a renewed interest in public health technology. Here at govmates, we have hundreds of members on the cutting edge of medical technology. Let’s talk about three emerging innovations and what they can do for the warfighter and the DOD as a whole.
- TBI Research and Treatment
Service members are one of the most at-risk groups for suffering long-term mental or physical health effects due to a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). While the majority are mild – a concussion – a TBI of any severity will increase a person’s risk of health complications. TBIs are also linked to a higher risk of death by suicide, and more long-term effects are being discovered at present. The U.S. government is investing in research and treatment that can prevent, treat, or mitigate the impacts of a TBI. They are investing in companies like InfraScan, whose Near-Infrared (NIR) technology screens patients for intracranial bleeding, identifying those who would most benefit from immediate referral to a CT scan and neurosurgical intervention. Or non-profits like The Invictus Project, whose personalized treatment protocols aim to target symptoms of TBIs as well as PTSD. Prevention and treatment of traumatic brain injuries is a top priority for the DOD; we will hopefully see more potential solutions come to fruition as the government continues funding its TBI research.
- Drug Production and Delivery
Pharmaceutical science is expanding and developing as fast as any field. Scientists are figuring out ways to make drugs last longer, produce fewer side effects, and further improve patient outcomes. Like Consegna Pharma, a specialty pharmaceutical company that reformulates known, safe drugs, and creates long-acting injectable (LAI) medications that can last from days to months. Or TFF Pharmaceuticals, whose proprietary Thin Film Freezing technology can safely turn medicines into powder, eliminating the need for injections. There are also companies working to create entirely new solutions. BrYet Pharma is developing drugs for the prevention, treatment, and cure of metastatic cancers using nanoporous silicon microparticles. Whether it is creating something new or improving an existing product, the advancements in drug production and delivery cannot be understated.
- Next-Gen Devices and Therapeutics
Innovations in technology have changed the way we use medical devices and therapeutics. Emerging technology makes medicine less invasive, easier to use, and more cost-effective. For example, Qidni Labs has created a process for dialysis that can operate without a power outlet and without purified water. NuShores Biosciences is using their patented technology to regenerate tissue and compensate for major bone loss while reducing the need for autografts and allografts. Sonix Medical Device’s technology can help prevent bacterial infections and combat Antimicrobial Resistance without the use of antibiotics. With the right R&D, these technologies can help the warfighter perform necessary procedures in an austere environment, reduce recovery time, and improve recovery times.
The above represent just a few of the priorities we have seen in the defense space over the past few years. I personally look forward to seeing where medical technology investments are being made in the future, as it will positively impact civilians and the general public for years and years to come.