DIAGNOSTICS INNOVATIONS, THE FUTURE OF MEDICINE
DIAGNOSTICS INNOVATIONS, THE FUTURE OF MEDICINE
Diagnostics, being a crucial part of any treatment plan for different diseases, is an evolving field as it goes hand in hand with technology. As medicine evolved, technological advancements in pharmaceuticals and the medical field have saved and improved millions of lives. It has been a crucial part of the industry till now and both healthcare providers and seekers are expecting technology to revolutionise health to become more accessible and affordable.
One of the advancements in treating the most life-threatening disease, Cancer, is a Pen that is a great representation of how the world of medicine can be changed with technology. Cancer is usually a malignant mass or tumour that is usually resistant to treatment and may recur after it is removed.
A major challenge in cancer surgery that the surgeons were facing was making sure that all traces of the cancer are removed whilst preserving as much healthy tissue as possible. A mass spec pen is a tool that can increase the chances of success of the surgery as researchers around the world are creating solutions based on the technology.
While this is just an example of how technology is remodelling health, there are various such technological advancements in 2019 that have potential revolutionise diagnosing of various diseases today and in the near future, including:
- Magnetic Beads to Diagnose Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s: The two diseases have been known to be the worst when it comes to affecting the quality of life the most. However, the researchers across the world have been conducting research to ensure a successful diagnosis for these diseases at earlier stages when they might be easily treated or at least a treatment plan can be decided.
Misfolded proteins are the infectious agents leading to a number of diseases, including prion diseases, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s, but they are very difficult to detect as they are present in very small quantities and closely resemble their correctly folded cousins
The researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed synthetic peptide-coated magnetic beads that can be used to detect the presence of misfolded proteins in blood samples.
- Optical Coherence Tomography to Diagnose Cartilage Health: Atherosclerosis is clogging or hardening of arteries or blood vessels caused by different reasons including fatty deposits usually cholesterol.
The OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) provides a micron-level look at the tissues being examined using imaging modality. It provides potential help by imaging the interior of arteries to help with atherectomies and health of tissues.
Researchers at Duke University have managed to equip a rigid borescope to look inside joints during arthroscopies with OCT imaging capacity.
- Epidermal Display Screens: The on-body flexible medical devices are one of the most prominent technological advancements. However, the flexible alternating-current electroluminescent displays that can be applied to the skin required relatively high voltages, potentially hurting users if damaged and it also drains a lot of power.
The latest technology powered device is made of silver nanowire electrodes encasing a layer of a stretchable dielectric material with light-emitting microparticles seeded throughout.
The device is made of stretchy polymer with ceramic nanoparticles that work with the light-emitting ones to boost their brightness, allowing for the screen to be seen indoor.
- Portable Carb Metabolism Monitor: Carbohydrate metabolism is a biochemical process that ensures a constant supply of energy to living cells. The carbohydrate metabolism disorders are a group of metabolic disorders in which the body is unable to break the food parts down into sugars and acids.
The Kyocera of Japan has just unveiled the first carbohydrate metabolism measurement device which is a radial arterial pulse wave gyro sensor that analyzes pulse-wave patterns at the wrist.
The user has to simply place a sensor against the wrist for about eight seconds to receive results on an accompanying app on the user’s smartphone. The technology relies on a pretty cheap gyro and the company Kyocera believes that it will be able to begin making the device available for purchase, at a reasonable price, sometime next year.
- Immune System Evaluation Chip: Immune system is a host defence system comprising many biological structures and processes within an organism that protects against disease. As every individual has a different immune system, it is essential to know about a patient’s immune system is functioning may be very useful in diagnosing disease and guiding the course of therapy.
The researchers from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have developed a hybrid chip that assesses the health of white blood cells in a whole blood sample. The chip is inclusive of components that separate white blood cells from all the other components of blood.
The unhealthy white cells are larger in size and have different membrane consistencies, and therefore electrical impedance that is significantly out of line compared with that of healthy cells. The device is backed with impedance sensors to analyze individual white cells, which indirectly measure the size of the cell.
Despite the fact that many of these devices are either in the design stage or are getting worked on by different universities and organizations around the world, the role of innovative medical technology in diagnostics shows potential to change the healthcare for everyone, thus, making the investment in digital diagnostics an essential task for brands.