4 Healthcare Technologies from the Future that will Blow your Mind
Jan 24, 2017 01:11
Many healthcare innovations have completely transformed the way we approach healthcare. Let’s take a look at four healthcare technologies from the future that will blow your mind and may, in time, improve your life.
Cybernetics has been touted in science fiction as a way to enhance average people into super-beings. In reality, cybernetics is already being developed, but it is being used to correct a variety of defects and injuries to make people whole again.
The first artificial retina was implanted in Elias Konstantopoulos in 2009. The FDA approved the first artificial retina in 2013. A new generation of the model with improved resolution is under development, potentially restoring sight to those with macular degeneration and other conditions. The first generation had 60 electrodes, while miniaturization is planned to allow 1,000 electrodes to be implanted. This would improve vision from a vague outline in a bright door to being able to recognize faces and read large text.
The anti-bleeding gel Veti-Gel is used to almost immediately stop bleeding on contact and starts the clotting process. Its greatest application is on the battlefield and first responders treating injuries that would otherwise risk patients bleeding to death. This type of gel won’t seal a wound permanently, but it could prevent someone from bleeding out after a stabbing or gunshot. The end result is improving the odds of survival and reducing the chance of permanent impairment from permanent blood loss, while buying the time necessary to get the patient to a hospital for surgery.
While augmented reality is promoted as the next generation in gaming, it has a number of practical applications. A clinic in Germany has begun implementing this technology in the operating room. It shows surgeons information from medical scans and simulated recreations of the deeper layer of the tissue of that patient so that doctors don’t have to do exploratory surgery as they work and can perform more precise operations.
In the future, training via augmented reality instead of corpses will be the norm for medical students and students in online doctoral nursing programs will receive supervision and input via a remote advisor instead of following a doctor around. A graduate of doctor of nurse practitioner programs could use augmented reality to gain the advice of a full medical doctor for cases that are just beyond what they are allowed to handle or get a second opinion.
Health Monitoring Technologies
Google patented a set of contact lenses that monitor blood glucose through the tears naturally created by the body. While this may not be a complete replacement for blood tests, even a significant reduction in such tests improves the quality of life of patients. And with nearly continual monitoring of glucose levels through the lenses, patients are less likely to experience extreme highs or lows that present a threat to the patient’s health.
Fitbits and other monitors have started to give doctors masses of data on patients from their heart rates to sleep patterns. Over time, such monitoring may become routinely collected and analyzed by medical software to flag risky changes that require a medical examination.
All these technologies should have profound changes on the world of healthcare and our well-being as a result.
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