1. Virtual Reality
Virtual reality seems to be all the rage when it comes to video games or other, less serious, uses. However, virtual reality devices are now being developed to help medical students better learn different procedures. This new way of using VR is incredibly exciting, especially because the medical students entering the field now will be trained and ready to use all the new types of technology that are being released and learned by more seasoned medical professionals. VR will help them get a leg up and enter the workforce with a more complete education.
2. Food Scanners
While not quite as exciting as Virtual Reality tools for medical students, food scanners from companies like Tellspec could literally save lives. What’s even better? They can be used by everybody – even you! These scanners connect to a mobile app and help you to scan food in a bowl or on a plate to load a detailed report on the food’s health statistics and ingredients. For people who are trying to get healthy, this tool will help to simplify their fitness journey. But for people with severe or life threatening allergies, this tool is a total game changer. They’ll be able to completely eliminate the potential to eat something that could cause them harm.
3. 3D Bioprinting
Bioprinting is a fascinating process. Right now, companies are already printing organ tissues for testing and soon they’ll be able to print full organs. The medical industry will probably first use those printed organs for testing, but someday soon we could be looking at printing organs for transplant purposes. This would completely alter the way organ donor processes work, and could save so many lives.
4. Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality is similar to Virtual Reality, but it would have a slightly different purpose. Augmented Reality would probably still be used as an educational tool, but it would help medical students practice dissections or surgeries without requiring practice organs and it would completely skip the stinky formaldehyde scent that they should deal with while in lab. It’s a win-win! More info with examples.
5. Bioabsorbable Stents
For those of you who aren’t familiar, a stent is used to treat a coronary artery blockage. Usually after surgery, metal stents are left in for the rest of a patient’s life. Sometimes these stents cause future blood clot problems, or post-surgical complications, which can be a dramatic problem for heart surgery patients. However, bioabsorbable stents are changing how things are done. The bioabsorbable stent is designed to simply disappear, or reabsorb, into the surgery patient’s body after surgery. It’s made of a naturally dissolving polymer, and over the next two years or so it is absorbed back into the body kind of like dissolvable sutures.
6. Robotic Surgery
This technology is already being used in some modern surgeries. Essentially, it removes the need for the surgeon to be in the surgery theatre with their patients. The entire operation is done using robotic tools that are controlled from a separate space. This helps eliminate human error in surgery, and it also provides a more sterile environment for the surgery to take place, both of which are very good things. Example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intuitive_Surgical.
7. Wireless Brain Sensors
This amazing bio absorbable device will help doctors to measure different temperatures and pressures within the human brain without having to schedule a removal surgery for the brain sensors since they reabsorb into the human body. Fewer surgeries is always a good thing because that means fewer complications and fewer chances for a problem to occur as a result of the surgery – especially with one as important as a brain surgery!
Modern science is miraculous, and technology just keeps expanding and improving to keep pace with our constantly changing, complex medical needs. This technology has so much potential to save lives, and to extend both the length and quality of our lifetimes in this world. If any of these technologies seemed applicable to your medical situation, keep an eye out for them to become more mainstream in the medical world, or ask your doctor if they’d be a possible option for your specific medial case moving forward.