Ever dreamt of the day when you your body would have a smart pill measuring and keeping a record of your body’s different parameters and sending the results to your phone?
Of Alarms beeping whenever something is wrong with your body that requires attention?
Of a customized prescription coming out of the smart pill’s recording?
Of the possibility of self-diagnosis?
Are you looking forward to the day when diagnostic tools are faster, cheaper and more accurate?
Or do you face the hassle of locating a trustworthy doctor, driving a long road than waiting in a never-ending queue?
Do you wish that doctors are a one click away, just like your social media profiles?
Do you think these are far-reaching dreams?!
Well, I have some good news for you, we’re so close to the days when all these dreams and wishes are coming true, and even more.
Technology nowadays is progressing around the clock, and the healthcare field is taking a lot of technology savvy’s attention.
Thanks to technology the future of disease seems more promising than it used to be.
Great leaps are becoming the defining pace of modern technology.
From the classical measuring devices like the stethoscope to medications, technology is renovating our understanding of medicine and healthcare.
Getting Sick in the Twenty-First Century
Illness is a thing we try to prevent at all costs.
It is a black shadow that haunts our fears and keeps us worried sick of tomorrow.
We are always occupied with health insurance, and saving money for the day when we might need to be admitted to E.R.
Yet, our illness is something and the illness of our loved ones is a completely different story.
Because of distances and circumstances, we are forced at many times to stay away from our loved ones, but our hearts still wander around their wellbeing all the time.
So, if technology can find a way to help us keep a close eye on our loved ones’ health, we would be forever indebted.
We all wish for a smart way to assure us that nothing could go wrong to our loved ones without us knowing.
A lot of worries then would be taken off our shoulders.
What Patients Want
Although plague, influenza or typhus are epidemics we never worry about nowadays, yet, in the twenty-first century some diseases are still very alarming and concerning.
On top of the list is Cancer, Alzheimer, Diabetes, Auto-Immune diseases, Kidney Failure, Brain Strokes, Heart Diseases, and Mental Illness.
If new innovations could help us prevent or at least ease the impact of such diseases, then the quality of our daily lives would immensely improve.
Such considerations are at the core of healthcare’s attention all the time.
Patients of these wearing disease have some special needs that seem as simple rights, yet needs a lot of working minds behind.
Things as simple as measuring blood insulin without constant injections, keeping a fixed eye on blood cholesterol, or staying alert to the ketone in urine are expectations of patients from technology.
And technology seems to be answering their calls with the dazzling innovations.
It is not only patients with chronic disease who got lucky with these innovations, but also athletes, babies and even people who are going through challenging periods of their life and need someone to watch over their mental health and motivation.
Prospects in Healthcare Technology
With these ten healthcare innovations, the industry is definitely changing:
1- PARO the Robot
A cuddly white seal designed specifically for Alzheimer’s patients, and recorded to have been very handy to its owners.
It all started with the growing needs of Alzheimer’s patients for social interaction, which was not always available.
Because of the very challenging mood swings of the patients at times and their impulsive reactions, Alzheimer’s patient needed something that could soothe them, yet still, handle the accompanying stress.
So, PARO seemed to be the perfect candidate for this job, taking much of the stress of the social workers who are in constant contact with the patients.
PARO is a robot white seal designed by AIST; a leading Japanese automation company. It plays the role of a patient’s best friend and pet.
Just like a normal pet, PARO responds to touching, petting and sound.
It has an amazing soothing effect on its owners.
PARO is programmed to behave as desired.
Just like other AI machines, it learns by repetition.
So, when its owner strokes it, PARO will repeat the behavior to be stroked again.
It will also avoid the behavior that led to its hitting.
PARO responds like a living pet, it moves its head, tail, and legs.
It also imitates the voice of a baby seal.
PARO was certified as a type of neurological therapeutic device by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States that have a very obvious impact on the patients.
2- Tug Robot Nurses
A four-wheel robot nurse busy navigating around hospital corridors all day is an actual twenty-first century innovation and not a character in Wale movie.
Robot nurses have long to-do lists of delivering medication, delivering patient meals, returning dirty trays, cleaning, and providing nurses with housekeeping supplies.
They watch over nurses’ efficiency and productivity.
Because of these four-wheel robots, nurses have someone who has their backs.
So, if you need anything from this little robot nurse, you need to be scheduled i.e inserted into its program to be well served.
Tiny devices injected into cancer patients bloodstream, nanobots could be the long-awaited cancer treatment.
This method proved successful in shrinking the tumors and limiting its spreading.
Nanobots have a potential not only in treating cancers, but also in unblocking blood vessels in hard reaching areas preventing strokes, as well as taking biopsies from different body areas.
4- G6 Mobile Continuous Glucose Monitoring System
Say goodbye to daily injections.
With more than 90% of diabetes patients going through multiple daily injections, the CGM comes to the rescue.
The system consists of three main components: a sensor, a transmitter on top of the sensor and a receiver.
This smart sensor is inserted below your skin and continuously monitors your glucose levels.
It sends real-time results to a receiver that displays these results and alarms you in case of an emergency.
Manufactured by Dexcom, G6 CGM is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
These devices did certainly improve the quality of diabetes patients’ lives.
In the future, CGM data is expected to be available on all mobile phones that use Bluetooth and insulin pumps without needing the data going through a receiver.
Together with the insulin pump and a control algorithm, we are left with an artificial pancreas.
5- Artificial pancreas
One of the most promising innovations of modern technology, artificial pancreas provides new hope for diabetes patients.
It mimics the functionality of a healthy pancreas, regulating glucose levels in the blood.
It is sometimes referred to as a “closed-loop” system, an “automated insulin delivery” system.
Not only does it regulates glucose levels in the blood, but it also adjusts the insulin delivery to blood.
A simple three steps solution to last decade diabetes problems.
6- Blood Flow Restriction Training
Moving to exercise, blood flow restriction training is an interesting innovation.
Affecting around 250 million adults around the world, muscles injuries are very common among athletes.
Muscle weakness happens when the muscles lose its mass and strength and hence affect its physical function.
Blood flow restriction training is a kind of training that uses special blood pressure cuffs to stop the flow of oxygen to your limbs.
This helps you perform the normal muscle building, but with a smaller weight.
This method has been very helpful in physiotherapy, as it helps in the treatment of muscles injuries.
Woebot is a chatbot, but like no other chatbots. Woebot is a therapist!
Not only is it programmed by a team of scientists to talk with patients, but Woebot also has a nice sense of humor.
Although it is not qualified to replace a psychiatrist yet, it sure comes in handy.
We are but people facing psychological challenges in their daily lives, some of us are less talkative than others while some find it hard to open up.
This is when these chatbots become useful, opening up to a stranger is usually a bit easier than with close ones.
Yet, opening up with a stranger who knows what to say is something many people are on the lookout for.
Not only that, but people who cannot afford mental healthcare service are so many in the world that Woebot becomes more of a necessity to them than a luxury.
It is because of such reason that Woebot’s team got the inspiration to start.
8- Medical Mobile Applications
Going into the world of mobile application, especially in the healthcare field, the options are endless.
Medical mobile applications take care of everything now and make many of our healthcare dreams come true.
From the simple diagnosis application that provides a preliminary diagnosis to your symptoms, to the tracking applications which helps you keep track of your loved ones’ health by recording all their data to the application.
Whether this data is there coughing, sneezing or temperature or their medication.
Other applications connect you directly with medical experts and charge a fee for that.
So, it is literary reaching for medical help with the click of a button.
Moreover, there is these social networking medical application that connects you with your family to be able to check on each other’s health or even network with other people looking for the best medical experience around.
9- Fitness Mobile Application
From the simple beginner’s exercise manual to a customized training plan, fitness applications come in all shapes and sizes.
Whether it is a 30-day challenge application or just tips and tricks you can easily find what you are looking for.
10- Trainer Mobile Application
If you are one of these people who always had a certain sport on your to-do list, or always wanted to become a runner, yet the effort always overwhelmed you, then you found what you have been looking for.
Trainer application goes with you hand in hand from jumping off your couch to becoming a marathon runner.
They literary train you on every step along the way until you become the best version of yourself.
A patient of chronic disease, a worried parent of a sick child, a caregiver, an athlete or just an ordinary person who happens to be concerned with your health, nowadays healthcare innovation has something for everyone.
Image Resources: thestar.com