Frequently Asked Questions


Top Asked Questions

What is precison medicine?

Precision medicine (PM), sometimes known as “personalized medicine” is an innovative approach to tailoring disease prevention and treatment that takes into account differences in people’s genes, environments, and lifestyles. The goal of precision medicine is to target the right treatments to the right patients at the right time (FDA definition).

PM combines the knowledge of the patient’s characteristics with traditional medical records and environmental information to optimize health.

PM does not only rely on genomic medicine but also integrates any other relevant information such as non-genomic biological data, clinical data, environmental parameters and patient’s lifestyle.

Healthtech vs Medtech vs Biotech

Healthtech is a technology for better delivery, payment, and/or consumption of care. It is mostly about personal health, meaning patients engage with their personal health, and everything that happens outside of the hospital, like telehealth and remote monitoring. Healthtech is about prevention and monitoring rather than treatment. Healthtech operates with databases, applications, mobile devices, and wearables.

Medtech is commonly used for diagnosis, patient care, treatment, and improvement of a person’s health. It is mostly used inside the hospital and is oriented toward diagnosing and treatment rather than prevention. Medtech includes equipment, devices, machines, software, and tools.

Biotech is a technology based on biology, meaning that living organisms and biological processes are used in the production of biotech.

What promising advancements do you see in point-of-care treatments?

I see exciting portable diagnostic devices that help make patients the point-of-care. I’m especially excited about mobile ECGs that have more and more studies backing their use and portable ultrasound devices. Such devices work by being attached to a smartphone and doing an ultrasound examination on a smartphone does feel like science fiction. I also look forward to testing ultrasound devices with A.I. guidance where the examiner will not even need to be a specialist.

Which technology will reshape the capability to care for patients remotely and from home?

Telemedical services, sensors used at home by patients and portable diagnostic devices used by medical professionals are the basic technologies that can augment remote care. All these had already been available, but, especially telemedicine, got a boost during the pandemic and I expect them to keep on rising. With patients using reliable sensors for managing health/fitness and diseases; with physicians using ECG sensors and portable ultrasound devices, patients can really become the point-of-care. And telemedicine is the bridge that connects data measured by these devices and the medical expertise needed to make decisions based on them.

Are there any guidelines when virtual care is more appropriate and when face to face is the better option?

This is an excellent question that raises important issues here. There are minor health issues which could be handled easily only by having access to the knowledge and experience of a medical professional without the need for travelling and waiting. No matter how efficient virtual care services can be, there will always be medical issues from mental health to sensitive topics such as an HIV infection or cancer, where the face-to-face meeting is crucial for the sake of the doctor-patient relationship. Also, when physicians need to examine the patient in a way that cannot be performed through data (measuring an ECG or taking a photo of a skin lesion are possible at the point of care) or have to use big machines, then in-person meetings are the only viable option.

Top Asked Questions

Who is going to bring about the most changes in healthcare: small start-ups with new technology or the Amazons/Google of the world?

Big technology companies have been marching into healthcare for years and we can expect them to either launch their own healthcare services (e.g. Amazon) or to contribute to care with technologies patients and physicians like to use (Apple or Google). Their future role in care is undeniable, however, their experience in regulations and the way the medical community works is very limited. Thus, small companies could address issues specific to a patient population, medical issue or patient need that tech giants have no resources for. This could be a healthy balance between leveraging the power of both.

If you were to do a HealthTech startup today, what area would you choose to focus on and why?

I’d definitely choose a really specific medical or patient need. There are a myriad of companies trying to solve many broad issues of healthcare, but I’d prefer focusing on either a specified patient population or a very specific medical problem.

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