10 Medical Advances That Are Changing Lives

Over the years, it’s incredible to think about how much we have evolved in regards to medicine and healthcare – From being able to see inside the human body with x-ray machines to preventing illnesses with new and improved vaccinations. Many lives have been saved due to the knowledge and intelligence of our scientists and medical professionals.

Below, we are going to take a look at ten different medical advances (most of which have been developed in the last decade) that are making a big impact in our world – Interested in learning more? Then keep on reading.

Bionic eye

When you first hear of the “bionic eye,” you might picture someone turning into a cyborg. However, this invention is a game-changer, aiming to restore a sense of vision to those with eyesight problems. While it is not yet able to regain vision fully, it has shown promise in improving a wearer’s daily life.

The design consists of a few different parts, including a camera attached to glasses and a microchip that is implanted into the retina. The one downfall so far is that it can only be used by those that have lost their vision from specific diseases such as retinitis.

At home sample testing 

Once upon a time, you had to head to your local doctor or GP to get tested for specific illnesses. However, some saliva testing can now be done at home for both viral infections and collecting DNA. The main benefit of this is that it hopes to improve participation and compliance as it saves time for participants. Alongside this, as long as clear instructions are followed and quality control is maintained, results are generally accurate and effective.

3D printed body parts

3D printing is commonly known about. However, many people don’t understand that it is also being used to create human body parts. From ears, livers, teeth, and limbs, the aim is to develop prosthetics using inexpensive materials. You can find more information here to see the unique technology at work.

Fecal transplants 

A fecal transplant is the process of transferring feces from a healthy donor into another individual to help restore the bacteria within the gut. This is generally because of complications after using antibiotics. However, it has also shown potential in those with irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue, and other infections. The procedure may sound a little strange at first, but it is undoubtedly changing some individual’s lives.

Artificial pancreas

An artificial pancreas is a device that can release insulin in response to blood glucose levels, just as the average human pancreas would. It does this every five minutes via sensor and needle. This is an excellent advancement for those with diabetes, allowing them to achieve a more stable blood sugar level while living a more flexible lifestyle. It also comes with few risks and side effects, making it a safe and convenient treatment option.  

VR education 

While VR education is still emerging, it is showing significant progress and is changing the way medical training is done for the better. This development allows medical professionals to practice their surgical skills, improving their accuracy and reaction time in an immersive, interactive, and safe way. In short, it will enable training without the risk, and advancements are only getting better and better over time.

Gene technology 

Gene therapy is something that has been explored in-depth for a while. However, it has recently shown potential for reversing some types of cancer. While more studies need to be conducted to understand this fully, it may eliminate the need for harsh treatments such as chemotherapy. Other areas where it has shown progress include:

  • Curing a young boy with sickle cell disease.
  • Building new skin for a patient with connective tissue disorder.
  • Restoring sight in individuals with specific eye diseases.
  • Treating symptoms of aging.
  • Increasing blood clotting proteins in individuals with hemophilia. 

Synthetic cells 

New synthetic cells were successfully created in 2010 by stitching together chemicals to synthesize a complete genome. From here, we have seen many improvements, including protocells that could be triggered to divide by altering pH levels. As time goes on, so have more and more advancements, and some scientists believe that we may soon be able to kill cancer cells with minor damage to the surrounding tissue. It’s certainly something to watch out for.

AI skin cancer detection 

According to skincancer.org, around one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. New technology is combining detection with AI systems so that doctors can confirm the difference between harmless moles and dangerous melanomas. This could mean that hazardous cancers are identified and treated much earlier.

On another note, there are also applications now that users can download for free to assist with check-ups. For example, UMSkinCheck allows you to store photographs, monitor changes, track detected moles, and provides plenty of information about the types of skin cancer. It’s both convenient and practical.

Opioid dependence treatment

Opioid use disorder (OUD) is characterized by compulsive use of prescribed drugs or illegally obtained opioids, such as heroin. Some of the withdrawal symptoms include nausea, vomiting, depression, diarrhea, cramps, and cravings. 

Probuphine is an implant that helps to treat opioid dependence. It aims to assist throughout the recovery process by administering low doses of buprenorphine. This then means that recovering individuals won’t need to take multiple pills throughout the entire day. At present, it is left in the body for six months.

And that’s it. These were just ten medical advances that are changing lives. However, they only scratch the surface of what other studies and trials are going on. Here are a few other mentions you should check out:

– Hormones for heart treatment

– Cure for Hepatitis C

– Seizure implants

– New antibiotics

– Cataract treatment

       

After reading through the above, it really will be interesting to see what the future of medicine will look like. What do you think? Are there any advancements you suspect will happen in the next five years?


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