With recent advancements in technology, everyday it seems as though science fiction is turning into reality. One of the fields affected by these developments most assuredly is the medical industry. Here are some of the possible developments we can expect:
- Utilizing the human genome and repairing your DNA
Mapping your own DNA is quickly becoming more affordable, and the technology to utilize this information is advancing rapidly as well. Once a process that cost millions of dollars, it is now around $5,000 and dropping. By mapping one’s DNA, patients will be able to be treated for diseases they don’t even have yet through modifying any faulty instructions.
- Wearable medical devices
While things like insulin pumps are already commonplace, the technology for wearable medical devices is still being explored, and the technology in fitness monitors is being used in patients for purposes beyond a workout. These devices will allow patients and their caregivers to constantly monitor things such as vital signs and insulin (as well as other chemicals) in the blood stream. These devices will most likely become barely noticeable and will incorporate more functions over time.
- Implantable microchips and devices
Going beyond just being wearable, medical technology is quickly becoming part of the patient. Pacemakers and devices such as ports to deliver medication directly into the bloodstream are already fairly popular within the medical industry, but in the near future, this equipment’s functionality will increase to collect better data, monitor more thoroughly, and even automatically deliver medication when needed.
- 3D-printed organs
3D-printed prosthetics are already quite common. The process has made prosthetics much more affordable and customizable, especially for children who will quickly grow out of their equipment. 3D printing is already being utilized to create skin and vascular cells for transplant, often using a patient’s own cells collected from other parts of the body. While still in its infancy, this technology could possibly eliminate the need for organ donors in the future.
- More accessible healthcare
Advancements in technology mean nothing if the patients who need it can’t access it. Through the use of telemedicine and virtual reality, patients soon might be able to receive certain procedures remotely and will be able to consult their doctor from anywhere with an internet connection.
With greater medical advancements comes a greater and longer quality of life for patients with many medical disorders. It will be interesting to see what diseases are eliminated in the near future thanks to technology.