It’s no secret that today’s medical landscape has evolved drastically. Various innovations could directly impact your health care experience. From a device that tracks your heart rate to 3D printers that create human organs, it’s clear that the medical field has advanced in ways that benefit us all. Look at these eight life-changing discoveries.
1. Telehealth Capabilities
This concept has existed for years, but telehealth has only recently emerged as a realistic option for many people. A telehealth system allows patients to meet with their doctors over electronic devices. It’s not a substitute for serious medical consults or procedures. However, you can save time and money when you don’t have to travel to your physician’s office for a regular checkup.
That’s more convenient for most patients, especially if you live in a rural area. Plus, your doctor can better manage their schedule.
2. Robotic Surgery
These days, it’s possible for surgeons to perform previously tricky surgeries with robotic assistance. A team uses specific technology to perfect incisions and other actions as they navigate challenging procedures. In other words, it’s a tool that helps them complete their jobs with better accuracy. That’s always a comfort as a patient. Robot-assisted surgery can provide various benefits, like less pain and faster recovery.
It’s doubtful that robots will ever completely take over surgery, though that’s a concern many people hold. For now, it’s a tool for surgeons to perfect their work.
3. Vendor-Neutral Archives
Your doctor’s office likely stores the images in your medical records in their picture archiving and communications system (PACS). This secure setup has a few drawbacks. The most significant is its portability. If your doctor needs to share any files with a specialist, it’s tough to migrate those items elsewhere. A vendor-neutral archive (VNA) makes for a more mobile experience due to its specific format.
As a result, you can manage your data more efficiently and accessibly with VNAs than you would with PACS.
4. Wearable Health Devices
Does your cellphone or smartwatch track your physical activity? If so, you can take notes on your heartbeat, sleep pattern and more. The Apple Watch can send a specific alert when you have an irregular heart rhythm.
As a result, you can take action — and access data that you’d otherwise have to discuss with doctors or specialists. This technology brings valuable information to your fingertips.
The same idea applies to apps you can download to your devices. For example, SleepCycle tracks your sleep patterns by analyzing your breathing, helping users develop a better sleeping schedule. The accessibility of these electronics ensures that everyone has a say in their health.
5. Artificial Organs
The technology behind bio-printing has led to multiple health innovations. In past years, it’s created skin grafts for burn victims as an alternative to current means that don’t deposit cells as effectively.
These days, medical professionals can use bio-printing to build other artificial organs, too. From hearts to ovaries, it’s now possible to “print” these vital body parts. There’s still extensive progress to make, but it’s a promising start.
6. Drone Medical Supplies
Does Amazon deliver your packages by drone? Various industries have explored drone delivery, including health care. A UPS program called Flight Forward transports crucial medical supplies between hospitals.
This development opens the door for shipping companies to deliver prescriptions, equipment and other necessities to people far and wide via drone. That could make a significant difference for many patients, such as people living in rural areas.
Many security challenges come with drones, especially when they’re delivering medical supplies. However, the promise of this technology makes it worth watching this development.
7. 3D Printing
3D printing can achieve nearly endless feats for health care needs. A recent example is personal protective equipment for COVID-19. The National Institutes of Health and its collaborators are now using this technology to build masks and other gear that frontline workers and everyday citizens need to stay safe.
The same idea applies to specific drugs. It’s possible to use 3D printing for creating specific prescriptions for patients, so they can cut down on multiple medications.
The health care industry can benefit from 3D printing in various ways. That remains true as the fight against COVID-19 continues.
8. Artificial Intelligence to Read Research
Amid the millions of published medical research papers, how do professionals have time to scour through them all? It’s likely scientists and professors gloss over discoveries that could be necessary for curing diseases and other conditions. After all, the human brain can only retain so much information at one time. BenevolentAI has created artificial intelligence to find any missed points in those documents.
This development has opened the door for new finds. As their process becomes more refined, you can expect to see new medical products.
These Innovations Will Improve Medicine Over the Next Few Years
It’s fascinating to see the medical field developing by leaps and bounds. These innovations could very well impact your health, so it’s smart to pay attention and become a more informed patient. If you don’t know your options, you can never explore them.
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