There’s no doubt that future technologies will change the face of modern medicine. New technologies will monitor your health while you’re at home, and improve the quality of your treatment when you’re at the hospital. Here we discuss some exciting upcoming health tech that you’ll be encountering very soon.
Health Tech in the Home
Wearable technologies: Wearable tech such as smart watches already allow you to monitor your heart rate and daily exercise. Wearables of the future could allow you to monitor other important health factors such as blood pressure, blood glucose levels and cortisol levels. This data could be collated over time and sent directly to your doctor. The wearables could also advise you on when to take medicine, or even deliver it themselves.
Intelligent Systems: We are on the cusp of having artificial intelligence software that can examine a patient and diagnose disease with greater accuracy than the best human doctors. Such an AI system, installed in your home and hooked up to a camera system, could watch out for key signs and symptoms and then alert you or your doctor if it believes you have contracted an illness.
Smart Fridges: Keeping track of your diet and nutrition can be a tiresome exercise. A smart fridge and other smart kitchen appliances could keep track of what you eat, examine the nutrient content of your diet, and then produce a report recommending how you can change your diet to better meet your health targets. You could even have a smart cookie jar that refuses to open when you exceed your desired maximum sugar intake for the day.
Lung Monitoring: Soon, devices implanted in the walls of your home will be able to monitor your breathing patterns. This will be especially important for patients with lung diseases, and also for newborn babies and the elderly. A device that monitors babies’ breathing and then alerts parents if something is abnormal could reduce rates of sudden infant death syndrome. The device will awaken the elderly if they stop breathing during the night.
Health Tech at the Hospital
Augmented Reality: Augmented reality (AR), where simulated content is overlaid on the real world, will have many implications for the way doctors work. For example, a doctor could see an X-ray or an ultrasound scan projected onto a patient’s body in order to allow them to relate the two more easily. A surgeon could see a simulation of the patient’s blood vessels to help them know more precisely where to cut.
Handheld Diagnostics: Smart diagnostic software could be integrated into smartphones or similar handheld devices and used by doctors in real time when working with patients. For example, software that can detect cancerous tissue could be used by a surgeon to figure out better which tissue to remove and which to leave during an operation.
3D Printing: Future 3D printing will allow for the creation of compatible biomaterials on demand at hospitals. A patient who needs a kidney transplant could have the kidney printed and not have to wait months for a suitable donor. Skin could be printed for skin grafts. A hip implant could be made to measure on the spot rather than having to be ordered.
Stuart Young works with Dr Felix, an online doctor and pharmacy service based in the UK.
He is a keen gamer and sports enthusiast and also likes to write in his spare time. Stuart mainly covers travel and health related topics but is known to dabble in other subjects from time to time.B