Ever wonder what is medicine without technology?

Technology and medicine go hand in hand not just in the contemporary era but for years. A stethoscope, something which we use in our day to day life and is an essential for a doctor, was one of the first and major advancements in the medical field back in 1816 invented by the French Scientist Rene Laennec which was pretty much an ear trumpet pressed on the chest but it was one of the first a physician could explore the inner workings of the human body without cutting them open.

There was a time when patients had to be cut open to check for the slightest problem and there’s a phase now where in most cases the disease with its cure and management is figured out without even slicing the patient. From X-ray machines to 3D gene mapping, the advancement in the technological field has been immense.

With each and every passing day, we’re experiencing consistent advances in the medical field which have saved millions of lives and saved so many others.

Talking about the latest technological advances, here are some of the most recent ones being introduced

  1. Virtual reality

Now VR has been quite around for some time but now it’s being introduced into the medical field for people with psychological illnesses from stress and anxiety to dementia and autism, not only that it is also being used for pain management and training professionals which lets you be entered into the human body virtually and get a panoramic view of the disease.

  1. CRISPR – Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)

It is the latest gene-editing technology developed yet which works by harnessing the natural mechanism of the immune system of the bacterium cells invading viruses and which is then able to cut out infected DNA. It has many uses such as correcting genetic defects and treating and decreasing the spread of diseases with inoperable cures such as HIV, and cancer. It is also being considered for treating rare diseases like Cystic Fibrosis. It affects the respiratory and the digestive systems, there are multiple cystic fibrosis causing mutations and a lot of clinical trials are ongoing if CRISPR can be used.

  1. Health Wearables – Wearables with body vitals tracking are the new ongoing trend. People use wearables to track everything from their physical fitness to their daily steps to even sleeping patterns. They are effective at prevention and regular monitoring for people suffering from diabetes and cardiovascular illness.

Technological advancements don’t stop with devices worn on the body, insideables and implantables are also in the process of being developed. So far, these microcomputers, that work from inside the body, have been used to help organs such as the heart and brain function. Insideables, also referred to as smart pills, are considered by many to be the next phase after external wearables. These are swallowed in the form of a hard capsule and send measured values, such as glucose levels, or images from inside the body to aid diagnosis processes. Since implantables and insideables are only just emerging, they are expected to transform healthcare in the years ahead.

  • Artificial Intelligence in preventing Colorectal Cancer -The growing application and impact of AI in medical technology and innovation is now a force to acknowledge. Empowering physicians to detect colorectal polyps through enhanced visualisation during colonoscopy, the GI Genius™ is designed to meet the challenges of preventing colorectal cancer – with artificial intelligence. It works as an adjunct to the gastroenterologist during a colonoscopy to highlight regions with visual characteristics consistent with different types of mucosal abnormalities, such as colorectal polyps of all shapes, sizes, and morphology.
  • Dozee – Remote Vital Monitoring Technology – It is a contactless sensor to monitor the real-time vitals of a patient developed during the second wave of covid by a Bengaluru Startup. Their Remote Patient Monitoring works on a technology called Ballistocardiography (BCG), a non-invasive method that tracks vibrations from every heartbeat, respiration and smallest of body movements. The contactless sensor, placed under the mattress, captures real-time body vitals without using any external wires or touching the user’s body. Designed and manufactured in India, Dozee tracks key vitals of the human body such as Heart Rate, Respiration Rate, Oxygen Saturation, Sleep Stages, Stress-Recovery and more with a medical-grade 98.4% accuracy. An AI-powered, Early Warning System then converts these signals into biomarkers and uses the data to present an analysis of the patient’s health through a smartphone app, for retail users.

The Covid-19 Pandemic has reinforced the primary understanding of the importance of health care in day-to-day living. This has led to a wider understanding and development of health facilities and being prepared in the future to combat such situations. With the new normal including advanced technology in medicine including robotic surgeries, Remote vital monitors, Gene mapping and editing technologies, we are curious to see what the future holds.

Dr.Shalmali Satpute  – MBBS

Trishtha Agarwal – 4thYear MBBS

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