When it comes to recent advancements in the medical field, most people start thinking nanotechnology. Who can blame them considering that nano is presented as the ultimate solution in dealing with an impressive array of diseases that were previously considered incurable? However, until the point when nano tech emerges to abolish all disease on Earth, we will have to put our faith and trust in the current healthcare innovations, which are actually impressive and provide effective solutions for various medical conditions and issues, as you are about to find out.
Although it does not qualify as a cure, the FDA approval on the Truvada medicine certainly constitutes a big step in the war against the most devastating disease on the planet, AIDS. The Truvada pills have been prescribed to patients tested HIV positive from 2004, but with inconclusive results. Only recently, when physicians started testing them on HIV-negative patients did these pills show their huge potential. To put it simply, their two active ingredients proved very effective in stopping HIV from spreading and, according to research, had a 70% rate of success.
2. MobiUS ultrasound system
As you might have guessed from its name, the MobiUS is designed to address patients with medical emergencies who are unable to see a physician for various reasons, such as being located in a remote area or in a disaster zone. The device is created to send offline feedback directly onto a physician’s computer, images and data that can be decrypted and analyzed via an ultrasound wand to detect life-threatening issues. It is necessary to mention that while there is no denying the fact that MobiUS has the potential of saving numerous lives, physicians should receive training on how to read the images produced by the device.
3. Artificial heart valve
Claiming the lives of over 1.5 million people per year, heart attack can classify as one of the deadliest conditions in the Western World. Not only is it leading the top of deaths, but unfortunately a great percentage of patients do not qualify for a surgical intervention that could save their lives. The artificial heart valve designed by Edwards Lifesciences represents a solution for patients who are too frail to survive a heart surgery.
Because inserting a catheter implies a great deal of precision, in the past several years physicians have employed the help of ultrasound for this purpose. Even though ultrasound has reduced the chance of making a mistake that could put the patient’s life at risk, the problem with it is that it cannot detect a needle as accurately as doctors want. Their pleas were heard and today physicians can use AxoTrack for a rate of 99% safe insertion of catheters.
5. An ingested pill health-feedback system
Even though it will take approximately two more years before it enters the production phase, the pill health-feedback system already looks promising. Developed by Proteus Digital, the main function of the pill is to help physicians gain relevant feedback regarding their patients and track the results of the treatments. It is necessary to mention that the system is simple and ingenious, considering that the patient will have to ingest a pill that will afterwards send binary signals to a patch placed on the patient’s abdominal area.
6. An efficient air barrier system for surgery rooms
In spite of the fact that most people believe surgery rooms to be the most sterile areas in the world, in reality numerous cases of hospital infections happen because these spaces are not as microbe, bacteria and virus-free as initially though. The good news is that this issue can be handled correctly with the help of a special barrier system such as the one invented by Nimbic Systems. To summarize, the role of the device is to filter the air from microorganisms and maintain the atmosphere above the patient’s body sterile throughout the entire surgical intervention.
7. The bionic eye
At the beginning of February 2013 the first bionic eye was successfully implanted in a patient with impaired vision. Integrating a custom pair of glasses with a fitted mini-camera and around 60 electrodes, the Argus II is a revolutionary technology aimed at people who were born blind or suffer from low vision. The genius of the bionic eye stems from the fact that the device permits ophthalmologists to create a visual pathway directly from the retina to the brain.
8. The Ion Proton sequencer
Healthcare professionals interested in research or currently working in laboratories have a lot of reasons to be happy about the launching of Life Technology’s newest gadget, namely the Ion Proton sequencer. First off, it is necessary to mention that the device managed to digitize a task that ate up a lot of time and resources. Therefore, not only does the sequencer provide results 100 times faster, but specialists estimate that such gadgets will work even quicker in the not so distant future. Therefore, it has great potential for becoming a crucial part of the basic medical care system.
9. The symbionic leg
If you watched the 2012 London Olympic Games, then the symbionic leg worn by Oscar Pistorius aka Blade Runner needs no further introductions. What were once two separate prostheses for the knee and ankle has turned into a veritable bionic leg that helps users perform activities they previously though impossible. Moreover, the leg is designed to be extremely comfortable and allows a better gait, hence significantly reducing the hip and back pain associated with the traditional leg prostheses.
10. The solar autoclave for sterilizing medical equipment
In spite of the popular belief, the sterilization of the medical equipment implies more than boiling the tools, whereas eliminating the germs, bacteria and viruses is not achieved only by wiping the utensils with a clean cloth dipped in medical alcohol. Large hospitals and medical facilities in the major cities have already acquired special equipment for sterilization purposes. On the other hand, it is fairly difficult to find the same conditions in developing and/or rural areas, where a significant number of patients end up with post-surgery infections. For the latter category, the MIT solarclave might be the answer due to its relatively simple mechanism, efficiency and – since it is based on solar power – limited resource consumption.