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Healthcare technology advances in 2018

2018 has been ripe with advancements in healthcare technology. Let’s look at some of these below –

  • A DNA test that can predict how likely side-effects are for a drug – Researchers at Japan’s Tohoku University have developed a DNA test for East Asians taking thiopurine drugs that checks any abnormal activities of the immune system. Scientists believe that DNA testing of drugs for side effects among Easterners is more effective than testing on Caucasians as Caucasians report fewer side effects.
  • Smart inhalers – Inhalers can be very efficient if used correctly, but majority of inhaler users don’t manage to do so in the correct manner. Bluetooth enabled inhalers can ease this process a lot. Designed to detect inhaler use, encourage usage of the device in a proper manner, reminding patients to use their medication and collecting information on the patient’s inhaler use to aid their health care – these devices can be really nifty. Infact clip-on devices have been produced that attach to these inhalers and transfer the recorded data to a smartphone app.
  • Discovery of genes responsible for cancer metastasis – University of Alberta researchers have identified 11 genes that can be attributed to the spread of cancer. They are of the opinion that by stunting the gene targets that have been identified, they can prevent over 99.5% of metastasis.
  • Teletherapy – Chatbots and smartphone apps have been taking over the mental health therapy scene among themselves. However, teletherapy i.e. conduction sessions over video-enabled devices is possibly the most important advancement in the mental healthcare department. It is quick, convenient and doesn’t require any effort. In a world where those seeking mental healthcare outstrips those supplying it professionally, teletherapy is a significant contribution. You can have a session with your therapist whenever you want and from wherever you want. You will essentially be doing the same thing you do in traditional therapy, except over a screen.
  • A cost-effective way of diagnosing Hepatitis B – Diagnosing Hepatitis B can be an expensive affair, with the medical techniques costing nearly $500. The cost of diagnosing Hepatitis B becomes very costly for citizens of developing nations. TREAT-B, a $20 test has been engineered by researchers to diagnose Hepatitis B. The test takes two blood-based screenings and presents the patient examined with an accurate diagnostic score which makes it very easy to identify patients who need to seek treatment.
  • FDA approved marijuana based anti-epilepsy drug – Epidiolex, derived from cannabis has been approved by the US FDA for treating two rare forms of childhood epilepsy. It does not contain THC i.e. the psychoactive element that gets people high.
  • More VR in medicine – VR will continue to be used to make people feel more comfortable during surgeries, make rehabilitation treatment easy and treat addictions. A patient’s reliance on pain-relieving medication can be decreased with the help of VR.

Technology is always advancing and healthcare technology is no different. These are some of the more notable technological advancements that have been made in the medical sector.