It is exciting to think about what the medical technology world has in store for us in the future. The world has seen some amazing advances since the days of bloodletting and lobotomies. That and improved health care have given way to a longer lifespan and better lifestyles. Let’s take a look at some that are paving the way for the future of health care.
The brain is one of the most important organs in the body, but it’s also incredibly fragile.
1. Wireless and mobile health
Considering the prevalence and reliability of 3G, 4G, Bluetooth, and other wireless protocols, doing away with wired services just makes sense in today’s world. Mobile health covers a broad range of applications and focuses on providing more efficient medical care through technology. That includes something as simple as creating an online portal that allows patients to select doctors, make appointments, and review test results, but it can be way more complex than that. Remote surgery uses wireless tech and robotics to give surgeons the ability to perform procedures without ever even being in the same room as the patient.
This also works its way into your everyday by integrating with your smartphone. Your doctor can send you prescription updates and test results. Medical professionals can network with each other and view consultations straight from their phones and tablets.
2. 3D Printing
Recently, 3D printing has been making waves in seemingly all industries. People have been 3D printing toys, weapons, and even food. Now, it has allowed for some groundbreaking applications, like the printing of bones.
Normally, if you break a bone, you have to wear a cast for months while the bone heals naturally. But researchers at Washington State University printed a model bone that has the same strength and flexibility as real bone. The idea is that the printed bone can be placed in the area that has been fractured to provide support for the healing bone to grow around. Once the bone has completely healed, the model simply dissolves. The downside: no cast-signing parties.
3. Repairing brain damage
The brain is one of the most important organs in the body, but it’s also incredibly fragile. The slightest damage can have lasting effects that can take years of extensive rehabilitation to fix, but the Portable Neuro Modulation Stimulator, or PoNS for short, could change all of that, all with a simple zap to your tongue.
Your tongue contains thousands of nerve clusters. Some of those nerve clusters connect directly to the brain. The PoNS stimulates those nerves on your tongue, encouraging the brain to repair those regions that have been damaged. The results have been surprisingly effective, which means we’re one step closer to helping people who have suffered from strokes, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis.
It’s amazing to see where future medical technology will take us, and we can only hope for a continuous upward trend.
- Heart Graph: Pixabay