In the past decade, funding for patient-focused medical technology has gained the spotlight. REAC is a company that has taken those values and transformed them into their own business mission.
REAC is a company that specialises in electric linear actuator technology for the medical and rehabilitation market. Their motion systems aid in the production of effective and smooth electric and manual wheelchairs in order to create “an extension of the user’s body”. Their line of products shows a large variety to lift and tilt for a wide range of needs. Apart from actuators, they also specialise in control systems and seating modules, which together make for a holistically patient-focused end-product.
The company has an impressive history and has dealt with electromechanical engineering for over a hundred years. Today, they maintain “caring” and “joy” as just a few of their guiding pillars towards the goal of creating a safer and happier everyday life for people with disabilities.
Continental shift to patient-focused R&D
During the past decade, the European continent has worked hard to develop its medical sector in order to become globally competitive. Medical innovations, such as electric linear actuator-based rehabilitation devices or 3D-printed medical equipment, are gaining larger funds from both governmental and non-governmental organisations in order to increase patient-focused output.
Europe has produced several initiatives in order to achieve these goals. For example, the TBMED is a test bed for development of high-risk medical devices in order to lessen the time-to-market process. In another instance, the European Union has paired up with Innovative Health Initiative (IHI) to sponsor and support cross-sectoral collaborative projects in a pre-competitive space that maintains the patient-centred ethic.
The future of European medical technologies
The purpose of these types of data and initiatives is to give inspiration for the future. A Times article published at the turn of the decade made some interesting claims regarding what type of medical technology developments we could be seeing in the 2020s.
Similarly to most technology-based markets, the article brought up the potential of Artificial Intelligence, or AI. Some researchers argued that AI computers that could read every single medical research paper could help researchers not to overlook important arguments and “uncurable” diseases. Another researcher, Shravya Shetty, ran AI through a program to help diagnose lung cancer, which turned out to produce 11% fewer false positives than human radiologists.
Another patient-focused developing device is Thomas Reardon’s CTRL-kit armband. The wristwatch reads and translates signals directly from the brain and connects those wills to a machine or technological device – like playing video games effectively without a remote control that you have to physically touch. The device could be crucial in the rehabilitation of patients who have suffered a stroke or amputation, or who struggle with Parkinson’s disease, etc.