The healthcare industry is always changing and improving. Technology plays a huge part in the advancement of healthcare and shapes the products and procedures that many will use. With these innovations, doctors and researchers have more capabilities to benefit patients with new treatments, medicines, and monitoring. 2018 brought a bunch of new innovations in healthcare technology.
Inhalers are used for the treatment of asthma. Patients inhale corticosteroids and bronchodilators to help control the inflammation and relieve flair ups. Many users do not correctly use inhalers in a proper manner. Bluetooth-enabled smart inhalers were designed to keep track of the use of the inhaler, remind patients to use their medication, and gather data to guide correct care. When you use the inhaler, it records the day, time, place, and if the dose was administered properly. This device helps doctors know if patients are using the medication correctly and help determine patterns in flare-ups.
Mental health benefits from the improvement of technology with teletherapy. Therapy sessions can be on a video-enabled interface. This gives patients the option to see a therapist but not having to commute to them. The patients are still face-to-face with the therapist but instead of being in their office, they are on Skype or FaceTime. It’s convenient for patients that may not always be in town to make sessions regularly.
With over a million people being diagnosed with cancer, researchers have been working to find new ways to fight cancerous cells. Doctor’s examine the cancer’s genetic makeup and select the medicine to be used based on what they find. It focuses not on what type of cancer you have but the specifics of the genes and proteins that are being affected by cancer. Though it isn’t a cure for cancer, it does provide doctors with a more focused and tailored treatment for their patients.
Another use of precision medicine is in rheumatoid arthritis patients. RA is an autoimmune disease that destroys the cartilage in joints and can sometimes lead to disability. There are even extreme cases where internal damage of organs and vascular inflammation have occurred resulting in premature death. Precision medicine could help target the gene that increases the risk of RA and suppress it. It can help weaken the disease, improve symptoms, and mitigate the damage inflicted on the joints.
These discoveries and innovations in technology are helping the healthcare industry and the patients within it.