1. Wearables and sensorsThe most popular trackers are able to measure movement to assess sleep quality and exercise patterns. Other trackers measure brain waves during meditation. While 24-hour blood pressure and Holter monitors are at the heart of diagnosis and remote patient monitoring is looking incredibly promising, the real value from wearables aimed at consumers is currently questionable.
2. Personalised medicineGenetic testing is relevant for many common conditions and drug responses. At present, it is routinely used in cancer diagnosis, but it has not yet become common in everyday healthcare. For example, the efficacy of warfarin and proton pump inhibitors is largely driven by genetics, but as of 2017 this has not yet affected routine prescribing practices. Direct to consumer services, such as 23&Me, however, are gaining popularity with the health-conscious consumer.
3. 3D printingThe advantage of 3D printing lies in the being able to mimic the complex geometry unique to each patient. Currently, instrumentation, implants and prostheses are manufactured using 3D printing. However, the vision of making living organs for transplantation is currently in the very early stages of development.
4. TelemedicineTelemedicine evolved from being aimed at patients in remote locations to a new and convenient way to get advice. Telemedicine allows the patient to not have to travel and saves the time in the waiting room spent exposed to other patients coughing and sneezing. Telemedicine combined with proven wearable devices shows great promise in terms of cutting down costs. Of course, there are currently limits to the urgency and seriousness of conditions that are able to be appropriately taken care of via telemedicine.
5. Artificial intelligenceTireless algorithms are training to read CT and MRI scans as this is written. Once again, this technology is in its early days. Humans still have the edge, but as this technology develops, specialties like Pathology and Radiology are likely to see a change in the nature of their work.
Written by Martina Feyzrakhmanova, Senior Editor at HealthManagament.org
Image credit: Pixabay