More than 120 years ago, Wilhelm Conard Röntgen accidentally discovered mysterious rays capable of going through most substances but still leaving shadows of solid objects. He called them “X-radiation” to signify an unknown type of radiation.
His discovery led to the development of all sorts of medical equipment we commonly use today, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), and ultrasound.
The evolution of medicine never stops, and scientists will always try to find new ways to help people live longer and healthier lives. As new technologies become available, they can provide practical solutions that can improve patient care, increase efficiency, reduce costs, and even potentially save lives.
This article will discuss the role of new technologies in the healthcare industry, including:
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
2. Internet of Things (IoT) Wearable Devices
So let’s take a glimpse into the future!
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Healthcare
Stanford professor John McCarthy coined the term artificial intelligence in 1956. He defined it as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines.”
AI has come a long way since then and is now used in many fields, from automotive and security to finance and healthcare.
AI is already being used to detect disease, diagnose illnesses, predict health trends, and improve patient care. In the near future, we can expect it to become even more efficient when it comes to diagnosis.
AI will progress to have more applications in the diagnostic field, such as:
- Sorting critical findings in medical imaging
- Flagging acute abnormalities
- Assisting radiologists in prioritizing life-threatening cases
- Diagnosing cardiac arrhythmias
- Predicting stroke consequences
Microsoft has already developed two AI tools that can be used for diagnosis:
- A radiotherapy AI tool—Project InnerEye.
- A program for cataloging biomedical research papers from PubMed—Project Hanover.
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences and the University of Leipzig Medical center combined AI and machine learning technologies to detect rare forms of dementia in MRI images.
Another field of AI—computer vision—will find its application in mental health. Computer vision uses AI technology to derive meaningful information from any type of visual input (digital image, video, etc.).
Scientists at the University of Texas at Arlington and Yale University combined the latest methods of machine learning and computer vision to assess children’s behavior while they are engaged in certain physical or mental activities. The goal of this study was to create an AI system that can detect early signs of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children.
Human immunology may also benefit from the use of Ai in the near future. According to a study published in the Nature Reviews Immunology Journal, AI could help analyze and interpret large volumes of immunology data and make suggestions based on the findings.
2. IoT Wearable Devices in Healthcare
The term Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the growing number of electronic gadgets that aren’t standard computing equipment but are connected to the internet to send or receive data.
Here are five types of devices that use IoT and are currently under development for healthcare purposes:
- Glucose trackers—These devices will monitor blood sugar levels. Some companies, like Beta Bionics, are trying to develop a glucose tracker for people with type 1 diabetes that will manage blood sugar levels autonomously 24/7.
- Wearables for heart attacks—They will serve people with tachycardia and arrhythmia as either implantable defibrillators or wearable defibrillators.
- Sensors for stroke patients—These are electromyography (EMG) sensors for measuring muscle movements and assisting prosthetic and post-stroke patients in rehabilitation.
- Asthma monitors—They will be able to recognize the signs of an asthma attack in the early stage and long before it reaches a dangerous level.
- Digital hearing aid converts sound waves into digital signals and produces accurate sound duplication.
We can expect to see many applications of IoT wearables in healthcare as time passes, while some of them are already in mass use (for example, fitness watches.)
Printing new organs is on the way to becoming a reality. Clinical testing for 3D organ printing is underway, and researchers are hopeful that this technology will soon give us the ability to print ears, corneas, bones, skin, etc.
Scientists use technology based on traditional 3D printing to create new organs in three stages:
- Pre-bioprinting—Creating a digital file based on CT and MRI scans for a printer to read and preparing cells mixed with the bioink.
- Bioprinting—Loading the mixture of cells and bioink into a cartridge and choosing one or more printheads for developing the desired tissue.
- Post-bioprinting—Crosslinking the structures with either ionic solution or UV light for full stability. And placing the constructs in an incubator for cultivation.
Bioprinting is still in its neonatal phase. But with over 100,000 people who are waiting for an organ transplant in the U.S. alone, we are looking forward to seeing it fully developed for general use.
4. Medical Imaging Solutions
Medical imaging solutions and innovations have revolutionized the field of healthcare. Medical imaging allows doctors to visualize the internal structures and organs of the body, enabling them to diagnose and treat a wide range of medical conditions. There have been significant advancements in medical imaging technology in recent years, including the development of 3D imaging, artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted diagnostics, and digital image processing.
Solutions like these from Novarad have led to more accurate diagnoses, reduced patient radiation exposure, and improved patient outcomes. Additionally, medical imaging innovations have paved the way for minimally invasive procedures, allowing doctors to perform surgeries with smaller incisions, shorter recovery times, and reduced risk of complications.
The potential uses of new technologies in healthcare are endless. Artificial intelligence, IoT wearables, and bioprinting are all examples of technologies that are already transforming the healthcare industry.
Even though we can’t know for sure what the future and emerging technology will bring to the healthcare field, we can be certain that there are very exciting times ahead of us. Evolution is inevitable, or as Neil DeGreisse Tyson would say, “Every living thing is a masterpiece, written by nature and edited by evolution.”
The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.