One of the best parts of working in medicine is having a front row seat to advances that will change the world. Imagine working in healthcare when germ theory was first discovered or when vaccines were first implemented. What an exciting time that must have been for every healthcare worker.
However, there’s no reason to be jealous of the nurses of the past. Today, we are seeing scientific and technological advances like never before. The way we care for patients is changing all the time, so it is vital that healthcare workers stay caught up on the latest advancements in medical technology.
With that in mind, here are five incredible new medical devices to look forward for in the near future:
1. The KAMRA Inlay Corneal Implant
This inventive new implant seeks to replace reading glasses for those with presbyopia, the blurred vision many people over 40 years of age experience when reading. After conducting a 5-year clinical study of 508 patients, AcuFocus received approval from the FDA in April 2015.
The KARMA Inlay is a circular, opaque device, which is surgically implanted in the patient’s non-dominant eye. In patients who have not had cataract surgery, the device extends the depth-of-focus and allows the patient to easily read or work on a computer without glasses.
The FDA says that this implant marks the first major advancement in presbyopia surgery in over a decade. The implant is now available in over 50 countries and will help many patients see more clearly.
2. Pain-Free Blood Testing Technology
Most healthcare professionals have had a few patients that are terrified of having their blood taken. Sometimes, the process is more painful for the person trying to take the blood than it is for the patient. Soon, you might be able to say goodbye to all of that, thanks to a new device from Tasso, Inc.
Without any pain, patients will be able to take blood from themselves in about two minutes. After collecting the sample, patients can simply take it to the clinical lab to have their tests done. Tesso is currently developing a way to safely store the blood sample for up to a week.
3. Electronic Pill to Combat Obesity
It’s no secret that obesity is an overwhelming problem in the United States. In fact, more than one-third of American adults are obese. MelCap Systems has designed an electronic pill in hopes of combating this epidemic.
The pill is currently in development and has been granted a patent. Here’s how it would work:
- The patient ingests the device, which is roughly the size of a daily vitamin.
- The pill travels to the stomach, where it absorbs fluid and expands.
- An external magnet guides the pill to sit in the perfect place in the stomach.
- The patient controls the pill from their smart phone. When commanded, it electronically stimulates the stomach, which then tells the brain that enough food has been consumed.
- The patient avoids overeating, consuming fewer calories.
- After 21 days, the pill is naturally passed through the digestive system.
This treatment could prove revolutionary for obesity and help millions of patients reach their health goals.
4. Smart, Huggable Bear to Comfort Children in Hospitals
The sweetest entry on this list has to be Huggable, an interactive teddy bear developed by the MIT Media Lab. It helps ease children’s anxiety in the hospital by asking the children questions, joking with them, and playing games. The bear’s name is Huggable, and it will also be equipped with sensors that can tell how hard it’s being squeezed, which could be an effective way to measure a child’s pain. You really just have to see the video to understand how amazing this bear is.
5. Implant that Accurately Predicts Which Cancer Drugs Work
As you likely know, not all cancer is the same. A drug that destroys a tumor in one patient could be completely ineffective in another. Because of this, there are a plethora of different cancer drugs on the market. However, predicting which drugs will work on a patient has always been little more than educated guessing. Until now, that is.
Researchers at MIT have developed and tested a tiny, implantable device that could accurately predict which drugs would work on a specific tumor. Once the device is implanted into a tumor, it releases minute amounts of different cancer medications. Each of these medications affects only a slice of the tumor. Then, doctors can see which parts of the tumor reacted best and determine a course of action.
Of course, time is of the essence when treating a cancer patient. This breakthrough could mean spending less time with the wrong treatments and giving the patient more time with the best treatment possible.
Which of these technological advances intrigues you the most? Do you think they will help you in your career? Let us know! You can follow NurseCore on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more medical news, tips, and inspiration.