Technology in general serves to make the lives of everyday people convenient and efficient. In the medical field, innovations help to improve health while providing sustainability and saving lives. Medical technology benefits a variety of people of all ages from diagnosis through treatment.
Benefits of Technological Advances
From the year 2000 onward, innovations have consistently comprised up to 10 percent of healthcare costs. On the other hand, studies prove that advancements reduce the length of hospitals stays by as much as 13 percent, which represents a substantial savings for the patient. For example, cataract surgeries once required admission and hospitalization for up to five days. Now however, outpatient clinics handle the procedures. Modern rehabilitation methods have also allowed knee and hip replacement patients to recover at home instead of necessitating long-term hospital stays.
Broader Economic Advantages
In addition to improving health, the med tech industry contributes to the economy by supplying hundreds of thousands of employment opportunities. Technological positions typically require skilled employees who work in valuable and innovative areas. Companies also tend to reinvest sales into furthering research and development projects, which helps to create more jobs and more developments every year.
While researchers have successfully frozen single eggs and sperms cells through a process known as cryopreservation, scientists in Great Britain recently announced that they successfully froze and recovered entire sheep ovaries. The research was developed in hopes of providing women with an alternative preventative measure when having a history and predisposition to developing reproductive cancers.
Scientists from the Nanyang Technological University reported that they have successfully developed an innovative biomarker. The nanophospor particle is thousands of times smaller than a single grain of sand and serves two purposes. First, by using near-infrared light, physicians have the ability to detect tumor cells. The particle may also be coated with anti-cancer drugs that are activated using the same infrared light. Advantages of using near-infrared light include the capability of illuminating tissue at depths of up to four centimeters below the skin, which is deeper than light from the visible spectrum.
Laser Macular Degeneration Treatment
The common vision disease affects nearly two million people over the age of 40 in the United States. The deteriorating affliction has the potential for totally destroying close vision. During the initial stages of the disease, small fatty deposits and tissue thickening occurs. Over time, the process progresses and eventually destroys the center of the retina, which greatly impairs vision. Researchers at the University of Melbourne discovered that using a low-energy, low-impact device known as the nanosecond laser corrects these anomalies without affecting healthy tissue. Scientists were also encouraged that the treatment offers long-term results.
The NEBIAS project has been in the works in Europe for the past decade. The innovative technology not only improves fine motor skills of a bionic hand, but additionally includes sensing techniques that actually allow amputees to feel what the mechanical device is touching. A neural interface feeds sensory information received by the hand and relays the data directly to the brain. Sensory detection and transmission is made possible by implanting and connecting the interface to the appropriate nerves.