1. 3D Imaging
For the longest time, medical students used human corpses when training on human anatomy. Factually speaking, this cannot be said to have been the most effective study method, and in most cases, gave doctors problems when it came to analyzing a patient’s body. This problem is, however, going to be a thing of the past with the development of sophisticated medical 3D imaging technology. Practicing doctors and medical students can now navigate around a patient’s tissues and other internal organs using projected 3D holographic images.
In a related area, 3D printing is already benefiting people with hearing problems as all the necessary parts needed for hearing devices can now be produced with 3D printer systems. This enables the device to be tailored for a wearer’s unique ear as well as for their specific degree of hearing loss.
2. Precision Medicine for Cancer Treatment
As the conversation around cancer—its causes, types, and treatment—continues, oncologists and other specialists have been trying to narrow down cancer treatment to the affected cells, rather than treating an affected organ or region of the body as a whole. Lung cancer, for example, doesn’t affect the entire lung, but rather affects only part of its cells. How then can oncologists identify the individual cells that harbor cancer, their genes, and their molecular composition? It’s only through precision medicine. This new technology enables doctors to precisely target the affected cells and narrow their treatment to the genetic composition of those specific cells.
3. Breakthrough in Growth of Spinal Cord Nerves
The greatest hindrance to head transplants has been the inability of the human body to grow new spinal cord nerves following the transplant. Thanks to emerging technology, there is a real chance this hindrance will be eliminated within the next few years. Neurosurgeons have found a special blade that, together with polyethylene glycol, can be used to accelerate the growth of spinal cord nerves. According to Sergio Canavero, a renowned Italian neurosurgeon, there is a 90 percent chance humans who undergo head transplants will survive. Hopefully, this technology will also advance research in treating damaged spinal cords, which would ultimately be a revolution for so many who have become paralyzed as a result of trauma to the spine.
4. Translation Software in Clinical Settings
Across all aspects of healthcare, language barriers have been one of the greatest issues to treating a patient who does not speak the same language as the medical professionals. Patient care cannot be effective in the absence of a common language between the patient and his or her doctor. Mobile translation applications in clinical settings have lifted this barrier and made it easy for patients from multilingual and multicultural backgrounds to access healthcare at their hospitals of choice anywhere around the globe.
5. Warm Perfusion Process
It requires more than organ donation to save lives; the organs must also be preserved in the most favorable conditions. If these systems fail, the organs contained within will be of little or no use to a needy recipient. Surgeons have been struggling to preserve and transport organs such as lungs and hearts in coolers. Unfortunately, the longevity of such organs when stored in cold solutions is too limited to even allow the surgeons to study them before implanting them into a patient. Technology is changing this narrative by introducing the warm perfusion boxes in which donated organs can remain “alive” and useful for a much longer period of time.
6. Automated Insulin Delivery Systems
For a diabetic patient to remain healthy, he or she must constantly monitor and manage his or her glucose levels at all times. As necessary as this can be, it has never been a simple task. This tedious process is, however, being phased out with the introduction of automated insulin delivery systems. This technology automatically manages a patient’s blood sugar and feeds relevant data to a smartphone. Since this technology operates similarly to a pancreas, it’s sometimes referred to as an “artificial pancreas.” Medtronic currently offers a system that’s been approved by the FDA.
7. Blood Flow Restriction Cuffs
Did you know you can now build your muscles without having to lift heavy weights? According to research findings published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, restricting the flow of deoxygenated blood from your muscles improves your workout by over 500 percent. What this means is that if you use the blood flow restriction cuffs, you can achieve the same bodybuilding results as someone who doesn’t use the cuffs by lifting only about 20 percent of the weight he lifts.
Medical technology innovation is helping to usher in a substantial transformation within healthcare. It is both amazing and fulfilling to see the vendors of these technologies investing heavily in future advancements to further progress in the space. We can look forward to a future where drugs are smart and precise, diagnoses are rapid and exact, and patient care will seamlessly combine multiple systems to enable the most effective treatment plan.