5 of the Top Medical Technologies in 2022
Technology has been a main factor in the advancement of healthcare for many years. These advancements in the medical field have saved millions of lives and improved many others. As time goes on and new technology improvements are made, there’s no telling what innovations will come in the future. Looking over the past year, here are some of the top medical technologies in 2022.
VR (Virtual Reality)
Virtual reality is nothing new, but new innovations in healthcare are. Virtual reality is now used to treat and manage various psychological illnesses and conditions. This includes stress, anxiety, dementia and autism. VR isn’t just used to treat mental health conditions, though. It is also being used to change patients’ perceptions regarding pain by pain management doctors.
Another area in which VR has made a big impact is in the training procedures for doctors, surgeons and other medical professionals. During training, medical professionals can be given an ultra-realistic look inside of a patient, including guidance notations and other instructions. Doctors can also get a much better understanding of different medical conditions by having the ability to virtually step into a panoramic view of a patient’s body.
A.I. (Artificial Intelligence)
A.I., or artificial intelligence, has made a huge impact in many different industries, and healthcare is one of them. By using advanced algorithms and plenty of data and information, A.I. can be very proficient at detecting diseases much earlier as well as confirming diagnosis much faster. For example, there is a new A.I. technology is being used to review mammograms. The results are extremely promising, as it can be completed up to 30 times faster with 99% accuracy. This greatly reduces the need for unnecessary biopsies.
Artificial intelligence is also assisting doctors in the creation of better, more comprehensive treatment programs. Patients gain the ability to manage their own conditions more effectively.
3D printing has been around for years now, but has improved immensely since the beginning. New, more high tech materials can be used to create extremely precise 3D prints for multiple medical, and even dental purposes. This includes the creation of implants and joints to be used during surgery as well as 3D-printed prosthetics that are accurate to a patient’s measurements down to the millimeter.
3D printing can also be used during presurgical planning by creating realistic replicas of the actual anatomy of a patient. This helps surgeons strategize more complex surgeries, allowing them to train prior to the procedure itself using 3D-printed models.
Some other applications of 3D printing for medical purposes include the printing of pills that contain multiple drugs which simplify medications for patients, being able to regenerate skin cells for burn victims, and even create blood vessels, synthetic ovaries and other organs.
With the recent need for Covid-19 vaccines, mRNA technology had some huge advancements. MRNA vaccines offer an alternative to the traditional vaccine approach and boast a high effectiveness, capacity for rapid development, and the potential for low production costs.
mRNA is short for “messenger ribonucleic acid”. It’s defined as a single-stranded RNA molecule that carries genetic information derived from DNA. The way mRNA vaccines work is by providing a genetic code to cells, which allows them to produce viral proteins. The body gains the ability to produce an immune response once the proteins have been created.
Wearable devices track multiple health data points including the number of steps a user takes, heart rate, and sleeping patterns. Smartwatches continue to be the most common wearable device in the healthcare industry. In addition to the capabilities mentioned above, manufacturers are also working on the integration of sensors to measure blood glucose, which would drastically improve the lives of diabetics. Other wearable devices include smart rings and hearables, and even smart clothing.
Wearable devices are not limited to just devices worn on the body, but also technology implanted inside the body. Devices that work from inside the body are used to assist organs like the heart and brain to function properly. There are also devices referred to as insideables, or smart pills. This technology is considered by experts to be the future of wearable devices. These smart pills are swallowed by patients in the form of a hard capsule, and then relay important data to the doctors including glucose levels and even images from inside the body.
It’s truly amazing to think just how far technology in healthcare has come in a short amount of time. New applications and discoveries are being made every year, and this will only happen more often as these discoveries are made.