Biotech innovations dominate the life science news cycle — think CRISPR for gene editing or CAR-T for cancer immunotherapy. Medical technologies, encompassing the broad swath of devices and interventional technologies, diagnostics, imaging, and digital medicine, tend to make their marks out of the limelight, yet have an enormous impact on public health and offer significant investment opportunities.
Take, for example, the trajectory of interventional cardiology. Open-heart surgery was long considered the only way to restore blood flow limited by a blockage in a coronary artery. The invention of artery-opening angioplasty not only changed that but, along with significant improvements in surgery overall, contributed to a steep decline in deaths due to cardiac disease. Abetting this decline were advances in engineering minimally invasive techniques, better diagnostic stratification of patients for surgery or interventional approaches, and a rise in improvements in anesthetic monitoring and critical care support. The result is good news for people with acute and chronic cardiac conditions.