The World Health Organization coined the term healthcare technology. The term refers to the “application of organized knowledge and skills in the form of devices, medicines, vaccines, procedures, and systems developed to solve a health problem and improve quality of lives.”
Healthcare technology includes the procedures, treatments, pharmaceuticals, and devices such as LED headlights used in healthcare. It also includes organizational systems and computer-supported information systems.
Advancements in healthcare technology, in other words, are intended to improve the quality of life for people around the globe.
The year 2018 has seen a lot of advancements in the field of healthcare technology. These serve as a basis for multiple innovations and inventions. What’s more, many of these advancements could change the face of healthcare. For example, many people now consult their doctor from the comfort of their home. That’s because consultation platforms such as docprime make these consultations not only possible but also easy and efficient.
Following is a list of some of the many recent technical innovations in the field of healthcare technology:
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1. Human Trials for a Cancer Vaccine
Stanford University researchers have announced that the first human trials of a new cancer therapy will begin in February. What’s more, it is a vaccine that could eradicate cancer completely.
Dr. Ronald Levy, a professor of oncology at Stanford, is heading up the trials. The trial’s subjects will be 15 lymphoma patients. If the trial is successful, the vaccine will represent a breakthrough for cancer patients.
This technology showed a 97% success rate in curing cancer when it was tested in mice.
2. Male Birth Control Pill
The latest research on a male contraceptive pill has shown promising results so far. The pill, known as DMAU, would be taken once a day. It works by reducing testosterone production and halting sperm production in the male body. Moreover, the pill has the ability to lower a man’s testosterone level to that of a prepubescent male.
Researchers are checking the feasibility of this pill before they release it to the general public.
3. Needle-Free Injections
Portal Instruments, a startup operating out of MIT, is responsible for the development of the first-ever needle-free injection. This injection works by ejecting a high-pressure stream of medicine directly into the skin without the use of a needle. The name of the device that injects the high-pressure medicine dose is PRIME. It will launch in the global market soon.
4. Medicinal Contact Lenses
Medicinal contact lenses have been developed by researchers at the Harvard Medical School. Named Theraoptix, these lenses have the ability to dispense medication into the eyes of the wearer. The main purpose of the development of these lenses is to treat a number of ocular ailments such as glaucoma.
The lenses have a drip-free medicine application. They can be worn for a maximum of two weeks. This invention could be an effective method of treating eye-related diseases.
5. Tooth Sensors
Researchers at the Tufts University School of Engineering have developed a tooth sensor. This device contains various detectors which can ascertain a person’s dietary intake. Announced in March 2018, this device provides real-time data of a person’s intake of sodium, alcohol, and glucose. It then transmits that data wirelessly.
This device could provide a big advantage for doctors in monitoring their patients.
6. Electronic Skin
A research team at the University of Tokyo has developed a thin plastic material that makes use of semiconductor technology. Medical personnel place this artificial “skin” on the surface of a patient’s skin for the purpose of reading that person’s vital signs.
7. Smart Inhalers
Inhaled bronchodilators and corticosteroids are the basis of treating asthma. However, 94% of all patients using inhalers do so incorrectly. But these smart inhalers are enabled with Bluetooth technology, and they remind patients to use their medication. They also detect inhaler use and encourage proper use of those devices. Moreover, they gather data about a patient’s inhaler use that can help in providing care.
These advancements in healthcare technology have the potential to enhance health of all people everywhere, transforming the way in which people approach and use healthcare.