It is now accepted that advancement in medical technology and the miniaturization of medical devices has a huge, life-saving impact on our lives. Medical technology falls under the categories of convenience and life-saving. In the past, patients would have to make appointments to see their doctors just to get updates and simple questions answered, and sometimes it required a battery of tests, which yielded results needing additional tests. Now, doctors have methods and devices capable of giving immediate or quick answers. Patients can bypass the weeks of waiting and anxiety to get quick answers and often quick treatment with new technology.
The field of medical diagnostics and areas of treatment is going digital and offering almost immediate answers and offering patients devices smaller than their cell phones to improve their quality of life and even save their lives. Since there are an enormous amount of improvements, it might make people wonder what are the most important advancements. The five advancements below are some of the top medical technology advancements set to dominate 2018.
Telehealth is already growing in the field of medicine, but in 2018, it is expected to expand and reach into new areas of medicine and healthcare. According to the definition by the Center for Connected Health Policy, it is about advancement in private health, public health and public education regarding health. Many doctor’s offices allow the patient to communicate directly with their doctor through email or messaging, and this is what Telehealth does, but in 2018 it will seek to expand to people in remote and rural areas by getting these people basic testing equipment, teaching them how to do the tests remotely and convey the results via Telehealth to their physician to build a health profile.
Wearable devices are going to be taking over invasive technologies. For example, diabetics with implanted blood glucose meters are going to be able to upgrade to a device similar to a watch equipped with a microneedle, and it will allow accurate, pain-free monitoring of a patient’s glucose levels during the day. Also, devices scheduled for release in 2018 include ones that keep track of sleep quality and diagnose sleep apnea by monitoring sleep patterns. Other improvements in 2018 include devices to monitor skin temperature, respiratory rate and heart rate. The devices can sync to the patient’s phone and forward the information to the doctor.
Ever since the Human Genome Project, genetic sequencing has been on the rise to identify problems on an individual basis before they even happen, which allows doctors to medicate and treat an illness before it becomes a problem. In 2018, genetic sequencing is as inexpensive as it has ever been, so personalized medicine is expected to be at a high. CRISPR technology edits said genes to prevent or treat genetic diseases. In 2018, there will be more conversations about gene editing tech, and this year, it should not come as a shock if a medical doctor or specialist offers patients genetic testing.
Graphic Processing Units, Also Known as GPU
A GPU database is able to process and analyze information faster and more efficiently than a CPU database. GPU offers an accelerated database capable of previously unfathomable analytic power. The database is capable of handling multiple streams of information. Monitoring spreads of contagions, pharmaceutical testing and overall patient care are effortlessly streamed and analyzed by GPU databases simultaneously. Also, the database makes it possible for life science and healthcare organizations to receive quicker insights from large volumes of actively streaming data.
2018 will see more doctors, nurses and patients exchange sensitive health information with one another electronically because of some of the advancements listed above. Hackers will see the increase in cyber information exchange too. Since this threat has been increasing and will likely increase exponentially from the 2018 improvements, the importance of cyber security will increase in 2018. According to the Vice President of Marketing for Atlantic.net, Adnan Raja, it is paramount for healthcare organizations to be ready for the multi-million dollar ransomware industry. Patients and healthcare workers attempting to access patient portals will encounter new security measures from both sides like two-factor authentication to prevent hackers from obtaining information once they have a patient’s password.
From the list above, it is apparent that technology is creating major changes and waves in the healthcare field. Fortunately, according to this article by NewUSA, these technological advancements are helping to save lives and improve the quality of lives of millions of patients. From wearable devices, tech implants and intelligent devices, medical technology is taking a step towards helping the patient assume some control of their healthcare. It is allowing patients to alleviate themselves from depending solely on their doctors. The most important step with these devices is preparedness. If a patient is in a situation where these devices are used, then being prepared and staying knowledgeable and up-to-date is paramount in monitoring these advances and staying abreast for upcoming healthcare technology information regarding these devices and healthcare news.