From technological advances to new discoveries in scientific research, the field of healthcare is continuously changing. Advances are improving the quality and longevity of life for millions of people everyday. These latest advances are no different and they may even affect us all today or in the very near future.
Bad Cholesterol May Be a Thing of the Past
One exciting new discovery may help us eliminate bad cholesterol once and for all, if the research continues to provide these impressive results. Researchers have found that combining PCSK9 inhibitors with statins can reduce the level of bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, a.k.a. LDL) in the body. Researchers looking into this specific combination of drugs are currently trying to figure out just how low the treatment can bring LDL cholesterol. It may not be long, until this type of drug therapy is helping people change their lifestyles in very significant ways.
A.I. in the Hospital Will Improve Patient Care
Long gone are the days of individualized systems complicating the care of each patient. Today, new technologies, such as enterprise imaging helps us share vital information much more efficiently. If that's not enough, there are even initiatives to bring artificial intelligence into the mix. These systems will reduce the frequent alarms that make hospitals so hectic and intimidating. By analyzing a patient's condition, A.I. programs can predict when a crisis will occur and what type of care the patient will require. Once the program forwards this data to the doctors and nurses on duty, they can prepare for it and treat the patient, before it becomes an emergency situation.
Augmented Reality is Coming to Healthcare
Last summer, everyone became obsessed with Pokémon Go, the first video game to introduce us to augmented reality. Now, that technology is being adapted for use in the treatment of patients. The technology is already in use to help nurses and phlebotomists by giving them an accurate map of their patient's veins.
In the coming months, AR is expected to teach doctors and medical students how to perform complex procedures. In a similar way, it will be used to help patients better understand their medical conditions and how treatments will affect them. It can also be used to help people find emergency equipment, such as first aid kits and defibrillators, in a time of need.
Another Advance in 3D Printing
We've already heard that 3D printing has been adapted for use in diagnosing patients, proving especially useful in more accurately identifying cancer in the body. Now, the technology has been taken a step further with the first human organs having been created through 3D printing. A few years ago, in 2013, a Cornell University research group printed a realistic and functional outer ear for a human being. Since then, groups at both the University of Pennsylvania and MIT have 3D printed human blood vessels.
More recently, a North Carolina research team at Wake Forest University used similar technology to print skin cells and graft them onto injured skin. the process sped up healing. Taking it one step further, Organovo, a San Diego company, is working on printing the first human livers. They're expected to be ready for transplant by 2020.
A Better Treatment for Sleep Apnea
This particular sleep disorder is very widespread, affecting 22 million people in the U.S. alone, and treating the condition is difficult. The best method at this time is the use of a CPAP machine that requires the individual to wear a mask hooked up to the machine, during bedtime. Since it's uncomfortable, many people choose not to use it.
Neuromodulation is expected to change that in the future. An implant is controlled by a patch that the individual wears to bed. As he sleeps, the system works to keep airways open, which also helps to reduce snoring. While it's still being tested, it's expected to help as many as 70-90% of apnea sufferers in the future.
Scientific research and new technologies are consistently improving the way we live and the quality of our medical treatment. While there's no way to prevent people from getting sick, new innovations, such as those listed here, are helping to improve the quality of life for millions.
If you are in need of more information on medical technologies or the firms that bring these great advancements to us all, consider leveraging Crucial Point's Technology Due Diligence and CTO Advisory Services for a deeper dive into these incredible technologies.
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