Imagine how it would feel if your family doctor called you a few hours before you suffer a stroke, to inform you that currently you are falling in sugar coma, or simply to inform you that your body goes through some hormonal disorder that can affect your health. These scenarios no longer seem so distant.
With the current advances in our society, today many modern medical technology companies are focusing more on products that can deliver cheaper, faster and more efficient patient care. If we look up into the future, we will see many medical inventions, that the doctors couldn’t even imagine in the past. Here are some incredible new medical technologies, that could shape the future medical technology very well.
Electronic aspirin can be the solution for all those people who are suffering from migraines, severe headaches or facial pain. Doctors link the most chronic form of headache with the sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG), a facial nerve bundle, but haven’t yet found a treatment that works well on long terms. One clinical investigation at Autonomic Technologies, Inc., made a patient-powered tool that blocks SPG signals at the first signs of a headache. This system involves permanent implant of a small nerve stimulating device in the upper gum on the side of the head. So, when the patient senses the onset of a headache, she/he places a handheld remote controller on the cheek nearest the implant and the resulting signals stimulate the SPG nerves and block the neurotransmitters that cause pain.
The technology in healthcare is constantly improving to provide the best health care for people. The medical robots now can patrol hospital hallways, checking on patients in different rooms and managing their individual charts without any human intervention. iRobot Corp. and InTouch Health presented the RP-VITA Remote Presence Robot, which is the first autonomous navigation remote-presence robot for hospital use. The device is a mobile cart with video screen, medical monitoring equipment and is programmed to maneuver through the halls of a hospital.
Brain Damage Repair
Even the slightest trauma can have long lasting effects on the brain, because the human brain is a very delicate organ. For people who have traumatic brain injury, extensive rehabilitation is the only hope, or they could just get a zap on the tongue. The tongue is connected to the nervous system through thousands of nerves, and some of them lead directly to the brain. Based on this, the Portable NeuroModulation Stimulator or PoNS, can stimulate the specific nerve regions on the tongue to focus the brain on repairing the nerves that are damaged. Patients treated with this type of neuromodulation showed improvement after one week. Apart from this, the PoNS can be used to repair the brain from alcoholism, Parkinson’s, strokes and multiple sclerosis.
Researchers at Washington State University used 3D printers to develop a hybrid material that has the same properties and the same strength as real bone. These models can be placed in your body at the site of the fracture while the real bone grows up. Once the process is complete, the model disintegrates.
The printer that they used is a ProMetal 3D printer, which is available for those with enough cash, but that wasn’t a problem. The real problem was the material for the bone structure – so they used a combination of silicon, zinc and calcium phosphate. The benefit of this technology is that the bone will grow much faster, and even full organs could be grown with 3D printers if they have the right combination of materials.
Joe Landolina and Isaac Miller have created a cream-like substance that can instantly seal a wound and start the clotting process. Their Veti-Gel is a very innovative discovery, which creates a synthetic framework that mimics the extracellular matrix, which is a natural substance that helps cells in the body grow together. If one day this product becomes commercial, it could save millions of lives.
Electric underwear is innovative technology that can really save lives. When a patient is lying in a hospital for weeks or months, they can develop bed sores which are open wounds formed by a lack of circulation and compressed skin. This can be deadly and almost 60,000 people die from bed sores and infections every year. Sean Dukelow is a Canadian researcher who developed the electric underpants called Smart-E-Pants. They deliver a small electrical charge every ten minutes and the effect is the same as if the patient was moving on their own. These underpants activate the muscles and increase circulation in that area, therefore effectively eliminate bed sores and saves lives.