On October 8, 2013, in London, England, a 3D prosthetic arm was displayed at the Science Museum.
There’s no question that the healthcare and medical sectors are in the midst of fast-moving change. It isn’t easy to see what new and innovative technologies will have the most significant and longest-lasting impact.
In a perfect world, the healthcare industry’s future will balance out with innovative medical technologies while maintaining that “human touch” needed in this field. Keep reading to learn some of the biggest trends that are likely to change everyone’s life now and in the future.
Keep in mind, while some of these technological innovations are available for use in the field today, others are still being developed and perfected. However, the possibility of new tech saving lives is no longer a dream or hope – it is a reality and one that is growing and evolving each day as new methods of treating diseases, preventing illnesses, and more are being developed. Saving lives is something that relies on technology – learn how and why here.
The Reality of Augmented Reality
Have you heard about the surgery that was live-streamed using Google Glass? Everything was from the viewpoint of the surgeon. These types of augmented reality devices will be used in the future for much, much more. While the augmented reality operation was groundbreaking, the future of this technology is virtually endless. In the future, it’s expected this technology can also be used to display a patient’s medical records in real-time, organize live consultations between patients and healthcare professionals, and even contact the ambulance to the precise GPS location if an emergency occurs.
Currently, Google Glass is controlled using hand gestures and voice; however, using digital contact lenses can be used to control what is seen via brain waves. As a result, a patient can experience their upcoming operation through virtual reality or select a hospital based on the virtual experience.
The Impact of Artificial Intelligence for Decision Making in the Medical Field
The knowledge of even the most accomplished professors can’t compete with the intelligence and abilities of modern cognitive computers. The total amount of medical information is growing significantly, and using various solutions, such as help with medical decision-making, is bound to happen.
The supercomputer from IBM – Watson can process more than 200 million pages in a second and is now being used by more industries and institutions than ever before.
Photo by Pexelson
The Presence of Nanorobots in Your Bloodstream
For many years, nanotechnology has shown that there may be a chance of using nanotech devices in the treatment of various diseases. Today, it is time for this technology to live up to all the expectations it has promised. In some cases, nanorobots present in the bloodstream may be able to intervene long before the disease appears. It would be possible to keep tissues oxygenate after you suffer and heart attack, work to target cancer cells or remove platelets with their presence. It is believed that eventually, the modules that can self-assemble inside a patient’s stomach may provide much more sophisticated diagnosis and treatment options.
Medicine and the 3D Printing Revolution
There’s no question that 3D printing is becoming more mainstream than ever before. It’s estimated that this technology will upend the pharmaceutical industry, along with the entire world of biotechnology. The main issue with the use of this technology is regulation.
For example, 3D printing will help allow the creation of various medical devices in otherwise underdeveloped areas while customizing exoskeletons and prostheses. It is believed that 3D printing may also help with the production of biomaterials, such as heart issues, kidney tissues, drugs, and in the future, living cells.
The ability to print organs that will replace an organ that no more extended functions correctly is truly something amazing. It’s believed that 3D printing will create the organ’s full physiological capacity, which is going to eradicate the presence or need for transplant lists.
Many experts agree that gamification is the best way to encourage all people – regardless of age or gender – to live a healthier life or stick to the treatment prescribed by their doctor. For example, there’s now a smart bra that can spot cancer, while an app called HapiFork can measure if you are eating the right foods and getting the proper nutrients.
There are other technical elements in place, too. For example, Lumosity, Shine, and FitBit are all designed to help people live a much healthier life by gamifying the steps that must be followed to make positive changes.
A Connected Global Brain
Issues related to medical communication affect both patients along medical professionals. There is no exception to this. Connected digital healthcare devices and social media have the potential to become a massive “digital brain,” which is going to make it possible to send, share, store, and crowdsource pieces of medical information.
In the future, regardless of if it is medical information, medical records, curated dynamic resources, or something else, the information that is required is going to be available to any and everyone. Some believe this will be one of the most critical developments in the history of medicine, which is why new and current doctors need to undergo training to ensure they are ready for the digital era.
Contact a Traditional Nurse or the Services of a Humanoid Robot
The number of older adults around the globe is growing significantly. Due to this growth, there is now a shortage of caregivers around the world. It is believed that humanoid robots may be the best option for primary care. An example of this would be the humanoid robots that could teach children who have autism and provide a companion for sick children.
The robot/nurse assistant will combine image-analysis technology, along with robotics, to find the right vein on a patient’s arm for drawing blood in a safe and less-invasive manner. These robots may also play a role in remote surgery, training, and simulation.
No longer will operating rooms have people inside them, except for the patient and the surgical instruments. This means the procedure will be so precise that rather than using manual control, the use of mechatronic tools will be needed to achieve the required levels of accuracy.
The Presence of a Wearable Lab
More and more technology is being developed, making the era of wearable medical devices a reality. For example, the Scanadu can measure fundamental health parameters, including a person’s blood pressure and body temperature, using a reading collected on the patient’s forehead. For example, there is already technology in place that can detect chemicals, allergens, food nutrients, and even sensors embedded in the teeth to recognize smoking and jaw movements.
The Widespread Availability of Genome Sequencing
Over the past few years, the cost of sequencing the human genome has been falling steadily. In comparison, the price decreases, the availability of experienced sequencers is going up. What this means is that very soon, accessing your genome will not only be more affordable than a routine blood test but eventually, it is bound to be available at no cost to you. What will be costly is the analysis.
It’s believed that personal genomics will be applied to patients in the future, which means they will receive drugs and dosages based on their genomic code, a much more precise type of medicine. It is also projected that at some point, this technology will make it possible to find preventable diseases in fetal DNA by obtaining the blood from the mother.
iKnife is an intelligent surgical knife. It can identify in real-time whether or not the tissue being cut into is malignant. This means that there will no longer be a need to send a biopsy to the pathology lab. It is also hoped that the Tricorder XPrize will result in the development of a wireless, portable device that’s able to diagnose an array of diseases, as seen in the older but still popular television series, “Star Trek.” The ultimate goal is to provide people with more choices when it comes to their health.
Injectable Medical Sponges for Use on the Battlefield
This technology was created as a fast way to stop cases of severe bleeding that may occur after a gunshot wound. The technology works in just a matter of seconds, and this technology is predicted to save lives while on the battlefield.
Right now, this is military-grade tech, and as a result, it is primarily applied in situations where conflicts are going on abroad, as research programs in the U.S. Army initially funded it. While this is true, it is believed that this technology has an array of applications, especially since the FDA recently approved it for use during life-threatening medical emergencies across the country.
This type of technology is, put, a big syringe that is filled with a small sponge. The sponges are injected into gunshot wounds or any other injury a person may have suffered. Once the sponge is inside the body, it can expand to 10 times the original size, putting pressure on the wound and stopping all blood loss in just 20 seconds.
Vaccine Delivery Drones
Getting the needed medical supplies to individuals in remote locations is a huge challenge for many aid organizations all across the globe. There are many situations where vaccines are vital to survival in a third-world country, and finding a new way to get them where they are needed can make a massive difference in the lives of individuals who aren’t as fortunate.
Currently, several technology companies are getting closer to creating unmanned drones that can use airdrop vaccines in places like Rwanda and others in need. This is projected to help save money and lives as it offers a faster and safer option for getting medicine to these remote locations that more traditional transport over land.
The Clinical Skills App
Designed by Medtree, the Clinical Skills App is a program available at no cost that lets clinicians record skills and any clinical interventions they are part of. There has been extensive research behind this app that showed a lack of tech support available for clinicians, which prompted the app’s development, which is considered a brainchild of several healthcare professionals.
Rather than writing down clinical cases, the app allows things like drug administration, wound management, and airway interventions to be documented with ease. Users can also activate new features as they are released to personalize the app experience even further, allowing users to find and use opportunities for their ongoing development in the medical industry.
There are more than 154,000 cases of melanoma each year. Individuals in places like New Zealand and Australia are most at risk for this disease; however, it is also common in the U.S. As a result, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute has created a test that can predict a person’s likelihood of developing the disease within three and a half years from when it is administered. This test hopes to prevent fatalities in the future due to melanoma.
The Amazing Life Saving Benefits of Modern Technology
As you can see, the reach of technology is far. It can help protect and save lives in many ways. What’s even more amazing is that there are research teams and individuals out there right now who are still taking steps to develop even more amazing life-saving tools and techniques that will help people live healthier and happier lives in the future.
With all this fantastic technology, some people believe the presence of all diseases and acute illnesses will be eliminated – for good – across the globe. While this may seem like wishful thinking, it is something that is a viable future and one that many people today may have the opportunity to see in their lifetime. Technology and saving lives go hand in hand. This is only going to be more apparent as more and more products and life-saving tools are created.