10 Medical Devices That Will Change Health Care
Photo by Daniel Frank
Since the creation of the stethoscope and eyeglasses, medical devices technology has advanced significantly. The growth of a more prosperous middle class and an aging global population are all driving transformations in the healthcare industry. The technology that underpins it is progressing at a breakneck pace.
Medical Devices are transforming the healthcare business, from telemedicine to artificial intelligence, robotic surgery, and 3D printing. The Covid-19 epidemic propelled healthcare into the future in 2020 and 2021, and as a result, numerous promising medical device technologies were tested on a large scale. Medical experts must now be aware of these numerous advancements.
The question in 2022 will be how such technologies can be combined in a post-pandemic society. Read on to learn about 10 medical devices that will change health care globally.
3D Holographic Anatomy
Augmented reality is no longer limited to video games. The Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University have teamed together to improve health care by utilizing the Microsoft HoloLens to bring 3D material into the medical sector.
Case Western Reserve Medical School has announced the opening of a new campus where students will be able to use a 3D holographic anatomy software that is currently under development. This software allows the wearer of the HoloLens to go further into the human body, such as viewing individual white matter tracts through the transparent brain’s exterior.
According to the school’s dean, the early reaction from medical students has been positive. They claim that 15-minute sessions using HoloLens have saved them dozens of hours in the lab.
With 3D printing, the healthcare industry hopes to employ technology to produce biological organs in the future. While we aren’t quite there yet, a team of researchers from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom recently reported a significant breakthrough: an utterly new bio-ink (a printable liquid substance consisting of live cells).
While this new bio-ink has previously been utilized to construct tissue structures (such as a full-sized tracheal cartilage ring), it is hoped that it will be used to 3D print cartilage and bone implants for injured body parts like joints.
Obesity Treatment Tube
AspireAssist, a novel gadget for treating obesity, was just approved by the FDA. This gadget uses a surgically inserted tube to remove around 30% of the calories taken after meals and is intended for obese adults who have failed to lose weight using non-surgical treatments.
Patients who used this gadget with nutrition and exercise treatment lost 12% of their body weight in a year in a clinical experiment. This technology has the potential to treat more than one-third of Americans who are obese and suffer from significant health problems, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Wearables provide a new way to gather data, promote prevention, and improve health outcomes for users. The smartwatch and Fitbit were among the first and most well-known wearables, but the number and capabilities of wearables have exploded in recent years. Wearables’ capacity to warn wearers and their doctors of sudden-onset medical concerns is a crucial feature.
Wearables capture data in real-time, which is subsequently collated and evaluated by a system that can alert doctors of a problem with a patient. This enables doctors to be proactive and reach out to people who may require rapid medical treatment without their knowledge. Patients with asthma, for example, can use an ADAMM (Automated Device for Asthma Monitoring and Management). This monitor links to an app and can warn wearers and physicians ahead of time if they are about to have an asthma attack or another medical crisis.
Since 2021, UPS has been testing a program dubbed Flight Forward, which uses autonomous drones to deliver essential medical samples such as blood or tissue, between two branches of a hospital in Raleigh, N.C., 150 yards apart. A quick runner could cover the distance almost as quickly as the drones. Still, as a proof-of-concept program, it was a success. The FAA approved the company’s expansion to 20 hospitals around the United States over the following two years.
UPS isn’t the only company that has pioneered air delivery. Wing, a subsidiary of Google’s parent firm Alphabet, gained FAA certification to deliver for Walgreens and FedEx but with fewer restrictions. Drones operated by Zipline, a Silicon Valley business, already carry medical supplies to rural areas in Ghana and Rwanda.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Thanks to remote patient monitoring (RPM), doctors can now know what is going on with a patient without being physically there. RPM has several advantages, including improved patient outcomes, shorter response times, and considerable cost savings. In reality, RPM and telemedicine go hand in hand in minimizing the need for patient travel and lowering everyone’s risk.
Various kinds of RPM were approved due to legislative changes to Medicare in response to the Covid-19 outbreak, effectively enhancing the popularity of this new therapy. Prevalence, a medical software company, estimates that 23.4 million patients will use remote patient monitoring by 2020. Blood pressure, weight, heart rate, and blood sugar were the most prevalent forms of monitoring, all of which could be done without visiting an office or a lab.
According to a survey by Spyglass Consulting Group, this approach is growing so common, about 88% of healthcare professionals have invested in or are considering adding RPM to their practice.
3D printing has the potential to revolutionize healthcare in every way. We can currently print bio tissues, artificial limbs, medications, blood arteries, and the list goes on, and we will probably continue to do so in the future. Researchers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, devised a way to 3D-print live skin and blood arteries in November 2019. This breakthrough is critical for burn sufferers who require skin transplants.
NGOs such as Refugee Open Ware and Not Impossible, which 3D-print prostheses for refugees from war-torn places, have assisted several people in need. This technique also benefits the pharmaceutical business. Since 2015, the FDA has authorized 3D-printed medications, and researchers are now working on 3D-printed “polypills.” These will include many layers of drugs to aid patients in sticking to their treatment plans.
Heart Attack Detector
Philips has developed the Minicare I-20, a portable device that can identify proteins in the bloodstream after a heart attack in under 10 minutes, rather than the customary one-hour wait for test findings. This might be utilized in emergency departments for patients with acute chest symptoms, cutting down on time it takes doctors to make a treatment decision.
In many circumstances, doctors must wait up to six hours to determine whether it is safe to discharge their patients or whether they need to hold them for more tests. Minicare can help you cut down on that time by three hours.
Pillo Health is a revolutionary robot that utilizes artificial intelligence to store and distribute up to four weeks’ worth of medication while also assisting individuals with health questions via voice activation. It can also detect when you’re running low on anything and place an order for more. Pillo can not only answer to orders, but it can also utilize face and speech recognition to anticipate the requirements of each family member.
Consumers may receive notifications directly to their phones thanks to the robot’s in-app. Pillo includes a robust exterior case and a fingerprint scanner to keep it tamper-proof. It can also connect to other devices like smartwatches, digital scales, and blood pressure monitors to provide consumers a complete picture of their health. Patients won’t be able to take them home for a while, but the business expects to release them later this year.
Neural Bypass Chip
A device called NeuroLife, a computer chip that reconnects the brain directly to muscles, is in the works to help paralyzed people regain use of their limbs. The device has already successfully helped a 24-year-old quadriplegic man use his hand for movements like pouring liquid out of a bottle, swiping a credit card, or playing a guitar video game.
The chip works by transmitting brain signals to a software program, which then interprets the movements the person wants to make. The device can then re-code the signals and send them via wire to a wearable sleeve that stimulates the movement. “These new findings are the first demonstrations where it’s now possible for the study participant to move individual fingers,” says Chad Bouton, the lead technologist in the study.
With the advent of digital health, we are indeed living in revolutionary times for healthcare. Many medical devices improvements have resulted from the convergence of technology and healthcare. Healthcare practitioners will need to cooperate with researchers, developers, and executives from various sectors to promote the future of innovation. We are optimistic as we look forward to a promising future for the healthcare industry.