Tech, Now + Beyond

10 tech advances that are changing the face of modern medicine

When it comes to the race to improve human health, technology is at the forefront of it all with low cost innovations that help maintain and detect major diseases in DNA.

Technological advances in medicine help us put more focus on preventative care while lowering healthcare costs. Because when we focus on preventive care while also addressing the high costs of medicine, everyone wins.

As someone who’s family is greatly affected by diabetes, it would be great to have the chance to find out my genetic predispositions and learn about the measures I can take to protect myself.

These 10 technological innovations certainly pack a punch in the evolution of modern medicine.

1. Medical 3D Printing

A scientists holding a black 3D skull.
flickr.com

A 3D printing company known as Organovo focuses on creating biomaterials, like liver tissues for transplants and experimentation. These bio-printed livers are mostly used to detect the toxicity of new drugs, without the use of animal products.

Through the Enabling the Future project, many doctors can share designs and tutorials to those in need of prosthetic limbs.

2. Heberprot

Biotechnology

This drug eliminates close to 70% diabetes-related amputations, based off clinical trials in Cuba. Because much of the American population is affected by diabetes and 15-25% of diabetics will suffer from a foot ulcer at some point in their life, this drug can positively affect many American lives.

Heberprot works by stimulating rapid tissue growth around the site of the ulcer, allowing rapid healing and eventual mobility.

3. iKnife

A doctor performing surgery with the iKnife.
imperial.ac.uk

This amazing surgical tool can make clean incisions by using a technology where an electrical current heats tissue to make incisions with minimal blood loss.

With the iKnife, the vaporized smoke is also analyzed to detect whether the tissue is malignant in real time, deescalating surgical risk and operation length.

4. CimaVax

A scientist holding a testing tube.
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CimaVax, originating in Cuba, works to target lung cancer cells by depriving them of a protein called Epidermal Growth Factor. It triggers the immune system into targeting EGF cells, cutting off cancer’s food source. Even though it is called a vaccine, it acts as more of an inhibitor.

With the recent developments in the trade embargo with Cuba, American scientists are set to use CimaVax as a prototype for other cancer inhibitors, and eventual vaccines. If political differences between Cuba and the U.S. are put aside, we can see major developments in medical breakthroughs and effective lower cost treatments.

5. Genome Sequencing

An abstract art of codes.
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Human Longevity Company is a biotech company founded by Craig Venter, who mapped the first human genome. Human Longevity uses comprehensive biotech research to map patient’s genomes.

Using comprehensive biotech research, Human Longevity’s testing process includes: analyzing body movements on an electronically-sensored floor, technology use, stool samples, blood extractions, and heat photo technology. By doing this you can: detect DNA links to specific traits and diseases, detect life-threatening issues in seemingly healthy people, and predict your susceptibility through DNA mapping technology.

The results can give people the opportunity to make less risky lifestyle changes. The technology behind this innovations lies in data analysis. Massive machine computing allows scientists to compare your genome to tens of thousands sequenced genomes.

6. Metformin

A scientist working on test tubes.
pexels.com

Metformin was developed to slow down the process of diabetes, but it has also been discovered to slow down the process of aging. People who take Metformin have less cardiovascular disease, cancers, and cognitive decline. The drug protects against inflammation, helps stress defense and cellular rejuvenation, which scientists say is beneficial to increasing the average human life span.

By finding processes that can aid cellular survival, increase metabolism rates, and modify DNA, scientists can help fend off a number of age-related illnesses.

7. Virtual Reality

A young man walking with a headset in front of a rainbow.
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Virtual reality is a recently booming industry that is proven to help manage stress levels. The technology is going to be used to give medical students a realistic experience in examining patients and completing daily rounds.

8. Fibertronics

A computer that shows photo sensors.
levistrauss.com

Essentially, these are super smart clothes. The clothing material is implanted with microchips that can react to body temperatures and mood. It is very useful in operating rooms and can change the way that with interact with medical technology.

9. Stem Cell Treatments

Doctors performing surgery.
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Stem cell clinics provide controversial treatments that help regenerate the human body, which helps in keeping diseases at bay. The basic building blocks of our bodies are stem cells, which decrease as we get older.

These treatments help regenerate the body’s own repairing abilities by sending a signal to other cells to start the healing process. This can greatly aid the orthopedic medicine.

10. Augmented Reality

A picture of a woman with a headset on and a cloudy view in back of her.
pexels.com

The first set of digital contact lenses from Google is said to already be available. Among the cool things it is capable of is measuring glucose from tears, which is projected to change diabetes treatment and management in the future. It could also help medical education, architecture, and engineering.

All of these medical and technological advancements have proven to fundamentally impact human health in a way that we have never seen before. Disease treatment and health care costs are one of the most debilitating problems in the U.S. With these innovations, patients can finally start to experience lower cost and more effective treatments.

Cuba is a great example of a nation that is at the forefront of medical innovations that focus on keeping costs inexpensive for consumers. Hopefully, the U.S. will follow suit and expand on these technological advances that are helping humanity by increasing human life expectancy.