10 Medical Breakthroughs Changing Modern Healthcare
Written by Pliro
Aug 29, 2016 Last updated: Dec 29, 2017
With the evolution of technology, people in all fields and from all walks of life are being compelled to understand and take advantage of the benefits that this new innovative world has the potential to bring them. This is especially true in the case of doctors, who not only have to worry about their reputation but also about any possible advancements that can help treat people and may ultimately result in improved human life as a whole. Let us look at 10 medical breakthroughs that are changing the face of modern healthcare.
Mobile Health (mHealth)
The first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of innovation and technology is the mobile phone. With mobile health, doctors can monitor the health of their patients by using wireless connectivity in the hospital as well as the comfort of the patients’ homes. Apart from using smartphones and tablets as medical equipment, the benefits of email and apps can also be reaped, whereby doctors are now able to send complete detailed statistical reports to their patients regarding any tests or procedures that may have taken place. This is also convenient for the patients since they do not have to wait for weeks before they can go back to the hospital only to get their previous results, thus saving time, money and effort.
Cancer Gene Fingerprint
Cancer is that chronic illness for which doctors and scientists all over the world have been trying to find a cure for the past few decades. With the cancer gene fingerprint, doctors can now assess the seriousness of the cancer that the patient is diagnosed with, whether its lethal and how well it will respond to treatment. Treatments can become much more effective and quicker once that is determined.
Electronic Health Record
EHR is a recent phenomenon that has enabled the incorporation of traditional recording methods, such as pharmacy, orders and documentations all into one in order to create a more efficient and structured record system. According to Becker’s Health IT and Cio Reviews, “While the EHR has already created big strides in the centralization and efficiency of patient information, it can also be used as a data and population health tool for the future”. With an effective set of data, the medical care is likely to improve and become more consistent.
Apart from cancer, another chronic illness that has constantly been studied for cures is hepatitis. According to Men’s Health, “the new drug Sofosbuvir is a much more potent killer of hep C, with success in as many as 95 percent of patients”. This means that the risk of Hepatitis C being a lethal disease can now, not only be reduced but eliminated completely with the use of technological advancements.
Like mHealth, portal technology is a method of sending and receiving medical records that help doctors and patients to interact online. Due to these innovative methods, patients are more aware of their current health status and feel more in charge of themselves physically as well as mentally. Any queries or concerns that need to be addressed can happen directly online and doctors are able to answer them in the most convenient and efficient way possible.
One of the most disturbing scenarios that an epileptic has to go through is the uncertainty of have a seizure, which is unhealthy physically as well as mentally. The “NeuroPace” is a new system that implants sensors into the brain so that signs of an oncoming seizure may be detected. Then these brain signals can be counteracted by sending electrical pulses in order to stop the seizure before taking place.
In developing countries like Pakistan, telehealth or telemedicine may prove to be one of the cornerstones of treating patients effectively not just in urban areas but also rural areas where advanced medical procedures are difficult to carry out. Through telecommunication, doctors may have easy and cost effective access to procedures that are used in commercial areas and from there they can use the knowledge that is passed through them in order to help people even with a limited amount of resources.
Heart failure is often sudden and in most cases, fatal. Recent studies have shown that a new drug called Serelaxin may be able to play a huge role in increasing survival rates for heart patients. When women are pregnant, they naturally produce a hormone called relaxin, which helps them tackle the stress placed on their heart by the fetus growing inside them. Serelaxin is a synthetic version of this hormone, which might help heart patients, male and female, to help reduce this kind of stress causing heart failure.
Wearable technology, or sensors, offer a way of allowing you to carry extensions of your body parts and how they are functioning no matter where you are or what you are doing. This trend has seen a major increase over the past few years and is an efficient way to let you know if anything does not seem to be right by collecting data and then sending signals or alerts to get yourself checked.
Wireless communication methods such as “Vocera Messaging” offer devices to be used by doctors and the hospital staff to effectively communicate within the hospitals. In this way, not only is it easier and faster to communicate, but the information that is being sent and received is secure and can be used later in order to compile records and data of patient performance throughout the day.
What do you think are the biggest medical breakthroughs that have positively impacted the modern healthcare?