10 Medical Advances we can Expect to Become Commonplace

Excerpt from an article compiled by Marelize Wilke on health24.com on 12th January, 2018.  Upon reading this article, we decided to feature the same for the students who are aspiring doctors.

We know Medical Technology is advancing at a rapid pace as diseases are also getting more common in a stress-filled modern world.

What are the advances we expect to see in Year 2018 and beyond ?

2017 was an exciting year for pathbreaking research and 2018 shall also be an eventful year.

  1. Drone technology for remote treatment: Remote treatment and distribution for medicines to remote places is possible which shall benefit developing countries with large rural population.
  2. Curing diseases through gene editing (CRISPR technology): “Editing” embryos to avoid genetic diseases is a method that holds potential for the treatment of many inherited diseases.
  3. Stroke or Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients will be able to communicate with their thoughts: The method involves decoding the thoughts in a brain inside a paralysed body.
  4. An artificial pancreas for diabetics: This can supplement insufficient production of insulin by the pancreas. The Hybrid Close-Loop Insulin Delivery System in the first automated artificial pancreas system.
  5. Reduction of LDL cholesterol: A 20% reduction in LDL was reported in a study group of 25 982 patients taking powerful drugs like PCSK9. This drug now get more popularly used in future.
  6. Enhanced post-surgery recovery:  Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocol that provides various methods to speed up recovery after surgery. Post-operative nutrition plans and new methods of pain medication is expected to drastically speed up recovery process.
  7. More targeted, precise breast cancer therapies: Targeted treatments for breast cancer is designed to fight the specific characteristics of the cancer cells. According to Breastcancer.org, It attacks the protein that allows the cells to grow in a malignant manner
  8. Improved treatments for sleep apnoea: The Remade sleep system is an implanted device that treats sleep apnoea by activating a nerve. This nerve sends signals to the diaphragm to stimulate breathing.
  9. Next-generation vaccines: Vaccination manufacturing process will be upgraded by end of this decade to include freeze-drying so that vaccines can be transported to remote areas more effectively. Companies are also trying to manufacture faster so that vaccines is readily available in a cost-effective manner.
  10. The first human head transplant: Sergio Canavero, a neurosurgeon from Italy, was set to perform the first head transplant in 2017. The head shall need to be removed and be reattached to a new body. All the nerve ends and blood vessels also need to get reattached. Spinal cord has to be glued in place with a bio-compatible glue which is a breakthrough in itself. Let us warn you that it is still early days for this procedure.

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