Technology takes many forms, and cuts across many aspects of life and living, but at the heart of it is the need and desire to positively influence the way we live. But what is the good of technological advancement if it’s not also contributing to our immediate health issues. One of the biggest health-related subject matter is diseases, many of which are still without cure. In this article, we will be taking a look at five different technologies being used to provide innovative healthcare solutions.
3D PRINTING Medical researchers and experts are harnessing the potential of 3D printing to vastly improve patient care. Surgeons can scrutinise and handle 3D models, then simulate a variety of possible procedures before going into the operating room. This technology’s potential was demonstrated when a patient suffered a tear in the walls of the main artery leading out of his heart. The medical team ‘printed’ his artery in 3D and went through several different scenarios on how they could best insert a stent to prevent further rupture. After the process, the patient came through feeling fine. At the moment, some of the potentials of 3D printing include embryonic stem cells, skin development, cartilage and bone replacement, cancer studies, heart and tissue patching, as well as organ replacement surgery.
DIGESTIBLE SENSORS Digestible sensors provide healthcare professionals information on the human body and how various other treatment solutions affect each system of organs. A digestible sensor is a technology that transmits data about a patient to medical caregivers, thus help them design a care program depending on the patient’s condition and ailment. Digestible sensors monitor the patient body system and wirelessly transmit what’s happening in the body to another device like a smartphone or computer for analysis and assessment, thus making diagnosis easier and faster. What’s more? The technology doesn’t require a battery source because it relies solely on the energy generated by the human body.
LIGHTBULBS THAT DISINFECT AND KILL BACTERIA Hospitals are known to be potentially dangerous places with different ailments and diseases. A new technology developed by Indigo-Clean uses visible light to disinfect the environment and improves bacteria prevention. The 405nm light bulbs work by penetrating harmful micro-organism through reflecting off of walls and surfaces. The light-bulb then creates a chemical reaction inside the bacteria, similar to the effects of bleach, before deactivating the bacteria to prevent it from re-populating the environment. If you call this an electronic antiseptic, you won’t be wrong.
MELANOMA BIOPSIES Research into the causes, prevention, diagnostics, and treatment of melanoma is never easy, as the disease is one of the world’s deadliest forms of cancer. But dermatologists now have a new handheld tool called MelaFind, for multispectral analysis of tissue morphology. The MelaFind optical scanner isn’t for definitive diagnostic yet, but rather a means through which doctors can be informed whether or not to order a biopsy. The technology uses missile navigation to optically scan the surface of a suspicious scar or lesion at 10 electromagnetic wavelengths. The signals are then collated and analysed using algorithms to match with over 10,000 digital images and impressions of melanoma or any other skin disease.
THE HEARTBEAT MONITOR The days of doctors trying to listen to heartbeats through the use of their ears and memory to detect abnormalities have been numbered by a new smart adapter called Eko Core. Once attached to a stethoscope, it streams heartbeat data over the internet so physicians can download the results to a smartphone. Once downloaded, they can then use a companion app to analyse the audio recordings and come to an informed conclusion on the state of your heart. This device not only improves general healthcare but also drastically reduce the need for expensive medical tests.
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