The healthcare industry is making sweeping changes to the way we think about medicine, and incredible new technologies are developing every day. With new machines, medicines, and treatments, our healthcare is vastly improving. Here are five new treatments we can look forward to!
Although most wearables envision preventing the deterioration of health by keeping track of vitals like heart rate and blood pressure, a few actually provide treatments. Thync’s Emotiv headset purportedly allows you to switch from one mood to another the same way you’d flip a light switch on and off. It does this through neurotransmitters. Another similar device plays music based on your current mood.
One of the most impressive wearables is called the NeuroMetrix Quell, and it provides non-invasive neurostimulation to reduce pain from debilitating diseases like diabetes. It could also be used for psychological ailments and painful conditions like painful unsightly veins or restless legs.
Japanese researchers are using a custom-made 3D printer to mix individual stem cells with synthetic material to create new bone, muscle, and joint cells for patients. The process is called bioprinting. This is a new technology, but scientists are already working on 3D printing more complex structures and one day hope to manufacture organ replacements. This could save thousands of lives each year, and it’s only just the beginning.
This is another new technology, but it’s making incredible gains. Some research in nanomedicine has already passed animal trials and is moving on to human clinical trials. By injecting a patient with thousands of tiny medicine-carrying nanobots, doctors will soon be able to deliver targeted treatments to specific areas of the body or fluorescently light up cancer cells for later surgeries. It is entirely possible that these nanobots will one day perform surgery themselves.
Microsoft’s new HoloLens device hasn’t even been released, but demonstrations allow us to imagine the most obvious practical uses. The augmented reality headset lets a user overlay digital information to the real world. This allows an instructor to teach a learner through Skype by placing arrows and other information in the field of vision of the learner. Surgeons who have successfully completed complex or dangerous surgeries could one day teach less experienced surgeons using similar devices.
Our current ability to cheaply sequence tens of thousands of human genomes every year will allow us to learn more about how specific genes make certain diseases and ailments more or less likely, allowing us to create effective new treatments for individuals instead of using one treatment for everybody. We could do this by replacing mutated “bad” genes or adding new ones. So far, gene therapy is still risky–but that will most likely change soon.
What do you think of these new treatments? Is the world ready for modern medicine, or are these concepts just too frightening for people to grasp?