From 2010 to present (Oct 2015), as included in the Medtech Startups Database, MedMarket Diligence identified 442 new (under one year old) medical technology startups whose businesses encompass, alone or in combination, medical devices, diagnostics, biomaterials, and the subset of both biotech and pharma that is in direct competition with medical devices, including tissue engineering and cell therapy. Of these, 74% were founded in the U.S., 5% were founded in Israel, and the rest were founded in 18 other countries.
Companies in the database have been categorized by clinical and/or technology area of focus, with multiple categories possible (e.g., minimally invasive and orthomusculoskeletal and surgery). Below is the composition of the companies identified from Jan. 2010 to Oct. 2015.
New medical technologies under development at recently identified startups span ophthalmology, gastroenterology, cardiology, spine surgery, orthopedics, patient monitoring and surgical instrumentation. Below are the technologies at the recently identified medtech startups that have been included in the Medtech Startups Database.
Intraocular lens for presbyopia.
Portable, wireless EKG device.
Tissue engineering in peripheral and central nervous system injury.
Micro transtympanic drug delivery to the ear.
Diagnosis of functional GI disorders.
Spinal implants and instrumentation systems.
Surgical suction devices.
Calcium phosphate bioceramic implants for bone defects.
Intervertebral fusion cage.
Monitoring of neural activity during sedation.
Surgical instrument positioning systems for minimally invasive and robotic surgery.
Critical care monitoring technologies.
For a historical listing of medical technologies under development at startups, see link.
If I had a nickel for every headline like this that ultimately failed, like the technology, to actually achieve the promise, I would be on a tropical beach sipping pina coladas:
“Glucose monitoring for diabetes made easy with a blood-less method” (link)
Technologies in development for less-invasive or non-invasive glucose monitoring are legion, and many are very promising, but you can’t fill out a deposit slip with these promises. Frequently, such alternatives are based on the premise of quantifying blood glucose by sensitively detecting glucose in other fluids (interstitial fluid, tears, saliva, urine, etc.) that do not require the use of lancets to draw blood. However, despite their sensitivity and other sophistication in detecting minute quantities of glucose, their “arm’s length” to actual blood glucose compounds the challenge by requiring that the test reproducibly correlate the sample values with actual, current blood glucose levels.
The challenge stands unanswered, while the burgeoning population of endlessly finger-pricked diabetics remains painfully unsatisfied.
As a practical reality, continuous blood glucose monitors like those from Dexcom and Medtronic offer far more to the diabetic population, not only by avoiding finger pricks but also by revealing the patterns in blood glucose levels over time as a result of activity, carbohydrate intake, insulin bolus, insulin basal rate, stress and countless other patient-specific determinants.