4 technologies for future healthcare
Make the patient the point of care instead of the hospital
The adaption of digital health was greatly pushed forward by the pandemic and is likely to continue to grow in the years to come. Telemedicine combined with sensor equipped wearables and portable medical devices could make the patient the point of care instead of the hospital.
Exactly how the MedTech field will evolve in the future is hard to predict but we have made a list of some technologies we believe could play a major role in future healthcare. Some of these technologies might already have some applications that are used in today´s healthcare and some might still be far in the future.
Nanomedicine is the application of nanotechnology in medicine. Nanoparticles or nanodevices have the potential to operate as drug delivery systems, tiny surgeons, or cancer treatment tools. In cancer treatment both healthy and cancerous cells are exposed to the chemotherapy causing extensive side effects. Using nanocarriers in drug delivery could potentially allow chemotherapy to be efficiently injected only to the cancerous cells. The substantial side effects caused by conventional chemotherapy could be avoided since healthy tissue won’t be affected, at least not to the same degree.
3D printing using cells and other biological materials is known as bioprinting. One successful area of bioprinting is regenerative skin and tissue. Research done by Wake Forest School of Medicine investigate how bioprinted skin can help burn victims and researchers at Pennsylvania State University work on 3D printing cartilage to repair tissues in joints. Printed tissue and miniature cellular models can also be used in drug research. In the future it might even be possible to print entire organs, potentially solve the organ shortage crisis and save countless lives of people who today die waiting for an organ transplant.
5G enabled devices
Telehealth, remote monitoring and wearable sensors will benefit from the speed and increased capacity of 5G networks. In remote patient monitoring the high-speed networks would make it possible for an AI-system to use the data from monitoring devices, perform analysis in real time and notify the doctor of the patient’s condition. The reduced latency of 5G networks could also improve robotic telesurgery, making it possible for a specialist doctor to perform surgery on a patient in another country.
Brain computer interfaces (BCIs)
A BCI is a direct communication pathway between the electrical activity of the brain and an external device, usually a computer or a robotic prosthetic limb. When you lift your arm or move a finger the movement is controlled by the peripheral nerves and muscles, the BCI allows for control of external devices that are not connected to peripheral nerves or muscles using brain activity. Most BCI technologies are in preclinical and clinical phases but in the future this technology is believed to hold great potential and may be able to help amputee patients control their prosthetic limbs or help paralyzed patients communicate through a computer using their mind.
Research and texts by Hanna Larsson and Louise Gertz, Product developers at Together Tech.
It is likely that we will see these technologies evolve further in the coming decades along with the continuation of health care digitalization. Together Tech is looking forward to be part of and continue to drive the development of MedTech technology for a better world.
Postad: 20 juni 2022