Communication and technology are constantly moving forward in the healthcare field. Innovation has been fueled by global collaboration giving us more advancements every day. Our lives are constantly being made better with scientists striving to improve our quality of life. Here are five recent achievements that will have you believing the future is now.
Building Fish the Size of Blood Vessels
Microfish have been printed using 3D print technology at the University of California, San Diego. These nano-fish are equipped with a propulsion mechanism and navigation abilities. The fish are made of polydiacetylene, which inactivates some toxins and also emits a fluorescent glow when interacting with blood, allowing for them to be trackable. Researcher’s goal for these fish to eventually be able to deliver targeted drug therapy.
Using Magnetics to Fight Depression
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved a transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy system, the MagVita. This device has been used in the European Union since 2011, but now patients stateside suffering major depressive disorders can access the hardware. A Danish company, MagVenture, builds the therapy system that helps treat severe sufferers of depression whom fail to respond to all other forms of therapy. This device is noninvasive and stimulates small regions of the brain by generating a pulsating magnetic field with a handheld device.
Better Health Monitoring Through Mobile Applications
Continuing with FDA approved technologies, they have given the thumb’s up to Dexcom for it’s mobile continuous glucose monitoring system, the Dexcom G5. The bluetooth-enabled sensor communicates with Apple devices sending readings to the Dexcom Follow application. Readings can be shared with caretakers and an alarm will activate anytime glucose levels drop to a level detrimental to a patient’s health.
Detecting Breast Cancer with Blood Tests
In London, The Institute of Cancer Research has created a liquid biopsy, or blood test, that can detect breast cancer relapse. Compared to traditional scans, this blood test was able to predict relapse months in advance. This new technology is able to measure the DNA shed by circulating tumor cells, measuring the level of genetic mutations. With the test predicting the nature of the metastatic disease, doctors can apply treatments targeted at the genetic mutations.
All-In-One Diagnostic Device
A prototype device called The MouthLab was recently created at John Hopkins University. The sensor combines a thermometer, a blood volume sensor, breathing rate sensor, and a pulse oximeter. It fits into a patients mouth similar to how a snorkel’s mouth piece functions. The device was developed to help emergency medical technicians, doctors, nurses, and patients themselves to perform a medical diagnostic. The same team is already hard at work to add a sensor that measures saliva composition for glucose levels.
The Future in Healthcare is Now
It can become very easy for any of us to be desensitized by the evolution and advancements of our healthcare system. So many concepts and ideas that seemed impossible, or at the very least, unattainable in our lifetime, appear to be happening on a weekly basis. The healthcare industry is never settling for anything less than fighting disease and curing people of their ailments.
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