The medical devices that could transform healthcare

Many companies are embracing medical research and advanced technologies to develop medical devices that will transform healthcare. Here, Ramya Sriram, digital content manager of online platform for freelance scientists Kolabtree, highlights three new medical devices that are expected to improve the lives of patients around the world.

The X-ray was invented in 1895 when German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen was experimenting with electrical currents through cathode-ray tubes. The technology had an instant impact on healthcare and the following year, the world’s first radiology department was opened in Glasgow.

Despite the revolutionary medical devices and technologies that have been developed in the last few centuries, there is still an unmet need to improve the way many diseases are treated.

Implantable System for Remodulin (ISR)

Remodulin is a drug used to treat pulmonary hypertension, a disease characterised by high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries. The drug is traditionally administered intravenously, using external infusion pumps. However, this treatment method places a significant burden on the patient, interferes with their daily activity and creates a high risk of infection.

Medical device company Medtronic developed the ISR to provide a Remodulin administration method with lower burden for patients. The ISR, which achieved FDA approval in 2018, comprises an implantable drug infusion pump and an intravascular catheter, so is less of a hindrance on the patient’s daily activity and considerably reduces the risk of infection.

FoundationOne CDx

Many cancer patients do not receive biomarker or genomic testing to support clinicians in therapy decisions. The FoundationOne CDx is an FDA-approved diagnostic device that sequences the genome of isolated tumour specimens.

A single test analyses all 324 guideline-recommended genes in solid tumours, as well as reporting on genomic biomarkers of cancerous tumours, such as microsatellite instability and tumour mutational burden. The platform will continuously be updated as more genetic mutations are identified as potential markers of cancer. The results of these tests can be used to make better clinical decisions about the most appropriate way to treat an individual patient’s cancer, paving the way for personalised medicine.

Ice Cold Mouthpiece

The new Ice Cold Mouthpiece can be used to cool the mouth of oncology patients suffering from oral mucositis as a result of chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Oral mucositis is characterised as painful inflammation and ulceration of the mucous membranes in the mouth. It causes scarring of the mucosal tissue, which leads to further pain and swelling and can also lead to infections such as candidiasis.

Prevention and treatment of mucositis in oncology patients focusses on cooling the mouth using ice chips, but this is poorly tolerated by patients with sensitive teeth and is not possible for patients receiving oxygen.

The Ice Cold Mouthpiece consists of a rubber mouthpiece filled with salt water and an outer chamber filled with pure water. The device is cooled so the pure water freezes but the salt water does not, providing a mouthpiece that fits snugly to the patient’s gum surface. The ice in the outer chamber cools the patient’s mouth, helping to relieve the symptoms of mucositis.

The Ice Cold Mouthpiece has revolutionised the treatment of mucositis, but you may not know that its invention was facilitated by Kolabtree. Jon P. Mendelson, the company’s chief operating officer, needed supporting documentation for his product before its launch, including a compilation of all relevant research articles, clinical trials and a summary of outcomes. He posted his requirement on Kolabtree’s website and received two proposals from freelancers in 24 hours.

Mendelson chose to work with Dr. Kiranam Chatti, a highly experienced scientific writer from India. Dr. Chatti produced a comprehensive report, which Mendelson used to effectively position the product in the market. He also rehired the writer for another project.

Over a century since its discovery, the X-ray is still a crucial technology for healthcare diagnosis. Many medical devices being developed today are specific for certain conditions, but they still have the potential to change the way diseases are diagnosed and treated for centuries to come.

To find out how Kolabtree can help you find a freelancer with the skills required to support the development of your medical devices, visit the company’s website


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