Top 5 medical Innovations in 2018
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Healthcare has been central to the society since the beginning of civilizations. The continuous evolution of healthcare aided by technology has brought numerous medical innovations that have changed human lives. The currently growing global healthcare industry at a growth rate of 4.82per cent will gain impetus with new innovations and inventions in the field of medical science. This multi-trillion dollar industry is witnessing great scientific breakthroughs ready to bring a paradigm shift in modern healthcare. The convergence of advanced research, newer technologies, and scientific interventions have brought a new dawn of medical innovations in 2018.
Cancer Therapy by Inhibition of Negative Immune Regulation
Nearly 9.6 million deaths from cancer were recorded in 2018, which is much lower than the previous years. Scientists and biologists have been working endlessly to find ways to cure cancer before it turns fatal. Although the world has seen a lot of progress in cancer treatment, yet 2018 witnessed new discovery in cancer therapy. Nobel Laureates James P. Allison and TasukuHonjo discovered a new principle for cancer therapy focused on stimulating the inherent ability of the body’s immune system to attack tumour cells.
The concept of activating the immune system to attack tumour cells that emerged at the beginning of the 20th century evolved through intense research and took a new turn this year. The Nobel Prize winners for Medicine showed different strategies for inhibiting the brakes on the immune system, which can be used in the cancer treatment. These breakthroughs have marked a great milestone in the fight against cancer.
An Artificial Pancreas to Manage Diabetes
Today, Diabetes has emerged as one of the most prevalent Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) worldwide affecting over 425 million people. The innovation in the field of diabetes treatment took a new rise with Hybrid Closed-Loop Insulin Delivery System, popular as Artificial Pancreas. After inventing various methods of insulin injection and monitoring, scientists have succeeded in devising closed-loop insulin delivery systems with an aim to change the treatment procedures. The traditional painful system of insulin management will take a turn with this innovation of 2018. The new medical innovation establishes direct communication between the insulin pump and glucose monitor. This enables blood glucose stabilization and helps in making type-1 diabetes more manageable. The emerging technology is replacing the open-loop system of assessing required insulin consumption.
Telemedicine facilitating Quality Healthcare across Boundaries
Healthcare for all has been a dream for decades which is finally taking shape this year. The developments of Artificial intelligence (AI), Big Data analytics, and robotics have changed the course of medical science across all healthcare segments. With the development in ICT and cloud-based networks, the healthcare services have extended to the patient’s home crossing all geographical barriers.
Moving ahead of just a communication channel between the specialist doctor and patients, telemedicine has taken many healthcare divisions under its purview with help of Electronic Health Records (EHRs). EHRs will have complete health record of patients along with medical history, lifestyle habits, and other vital observations to help doctors in prescribing precision medicine. These Blockchain based or Cloud-based EHRs are truly realizing the concept of remote patient monitoring. This technology is efficiently resolving the infrastructure concerns and doctor-population disparity across the globe. Australia is going to be the first nation to facilitate EHRs for all citizens in 2018. Soon with the medical innovations, telemedicine will benefit everyone equally irrespective of geographical boundaries, that too in a cost-effective manner.
Treatment of Inherited Retinal Diseases thorough Gene Therapy
2018 has witnessed medical innovations in the field of eye care with the introduction of new gene therapy for curing inherited retinal diseases. The new therapy will introduce curative genes through viral vectors into retinal cells to aid visual function improvements. This is expected to cure biallelic RPE65 mutations and other eye diseases that cause progressive vision losses and blindness. Gene editing technology CRISPR, which uses Cas9 protein to separate the flawed DNA and replaces an unflawed DNA is also proving successful in treating genetic retinal diseases. The gene makeup technology that ventured successfully in 2018 will evolve more in the coming times.
Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) for Healthcare
As per Statista, there are nearly 2.5 billion smartphone users worldwide creating a vast communication network as a strong base of various telemedicine programs. The interconnect group of smart medical devices coupled with the existing communication network is leading healthcare into the total digitization phase. A cloud-based connection of wearables, smart sensors, mobile diagnostic machines, and AI-powered health monitors can allow doctors to investigate and access the vitals of patients with greater accuracy. The wide pool of data available to doctors can be processed with help of Big Data analytics to prescribe precision medicine. The IoMT has begun covering the enormous medical infrastructure, which is full of strict protocols and procedures. The network of medical sensory devices will not only facilitate virtual and remote clinics for accurate treatment but will also build a SaaS/PaaS model to fully utilize the potential of EHRs for accurate treatments.
What we can look forward to in healthcare in 2019? Altogether, 2019 will be a year of integrated intelligent healthcare infrastructure at home where anyone can expect ‘value/outcomes-based care system’ emphasis to globalize.