Technology is a crucial part of healthcare. From life-saving equipment in emergency rooms to research tools for studying disease, scientific advancements always have been and continue to be critical for providing medical care.
While detailed analytics may be important, and surgery-performing robots might appeal to our dreams of the future, other developments are happening currently that are working to provide tangible, real-time benefits to the medical industry.
Wearable healthcare sensors and alerts are a burgeoning industry that provides immediate information to patients on any potential changes to or problems with their current health status.
Thanks to the popularity of devices like FitBits and Apple Watches, research indicates that over 80% of consumers are open to the idea of wearing medical or fitness technology.
Wearable glucose monitoring systems for diabetes sufferers have revolutionised diabetes treatment, offering accurate tracking information that allows patients to efficiently manage their blood sugar levels.
Medical instruments are the tools that allow practitioners to carry out examinations and treatments. Their development is a constantly evolving field, with extensive research and development going into perfecting existing instrument designs and drawing up concepts for brand new ones.
June Medical’s Galaxy II retractor is a development of traditional screw-mechanism devices. This new self-retaining retractor can be adjusted with one hand, reducing the need for additional operating staff, and comes with an adjustable light for improved visibility. The retractor is lightweight and made of single-use, medical-grade plastic to eliminate the potential for cross-contamination. Click here to find out more.
Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that superimposes images or information onto what is visible to the naked eye through the use of mobile devices or dedicated vision equipment. AR can work to improve educational experiences for students, providing accurate, virtual recreations of operations or other medical procedures. For surgeons, AR can assist their work by giving them access to supplementary information in real time.
Virtual Reality (VR) goes one step further than AR by providing a fully immersive virtual experience. The use of VR in education has seen excellent benefits, with a study indicating that VR-trained surgeons had a 230% performance improvement.
3D Printing, a type of additive manufacturing, is the process of producing a 3D object from a digital file. It has proved to be a critical milestone in medical science, significantly reducing manufacturing costs for medical equipment and instruments.
Prosthetics and medical implants can be 3D printed, which creates opportunities for more accurate and detailed personalisation. Additionally, researchers are working on the process of 3D printing biological materials, including blood vessels, organs, bones, and heart valves.
Complex data and robotics research may be what first comes to mind when thinking of technological medical developments, but it’s important to acknowledge the other areas of progress currently taking place across the healthcare industry. While wearables and sensors work to break down the barrier between professional and patient, instrument developments promise to improve the care we receive when we need it the most.