Six Cool Health Technologies You Didn’t Know Exists in 2019
By Space Coast Daily // January 2, 2019
Whether you’ve grown up in the internet age or you are finding yourself asking “what’s Snap?”, it’s hard to deny that technology has changed the way we look after our health.
Today, we have more access to our health and personal data than ever before. This helps us make better decisions when choosing what to eat, how to stay in shape, and what to buy.
Chances are that many of you have an Apple Watch or FitBit to monitor your activity, and if you are passionate about eating well, you’ll also have an app or two for calorie-counting and recipes.
But did you know about these other health technologies that are changing our collective lives for the better?
Virtual reality training
According to Digital Authority Partners, one of the most incredible healthcare technologies available on the market today is specialized physician training via virtual reality modules. We all know how long it takes to train a doctor, and the endless exercises and exams they need to go through before they are qualified to perform life-saving surgeries.
Over time, that training can become incredibly expensive, both for students and for the educational establishments that have to invest to train up young doctors.
Leading pharmaceutical brand Johnson & Johnson is changing the way doctors train by leveraging Medical Virtual Reality (VR) technologies. You may think that VR was designed only for exciting new games and entertainment experiences, but it can also be used to train up docs.
J&J has spent years designing and developing a new interactive VR simulator which currently has 3 training modules designed to assist with orthopedic surgery. Doctors can learn how to carry out a total hip replacement, total knee replacement, and hip fracture operations using a new VR experience.
You’d think that doctors and healthcare professionals would be skeptical about such technology, but initial reports suggest that 80% of surgeons who have tried out this technology would like to use it for their own training, and 92% would recommend the technology to their medical peers.
It’s a pretty remarkable achievement which will bring down the costs of training new recruits, help professionals stay at the top of their game, and improve the efficiency and safety of surgeries on a global scale. We can’t wait to see where this goes!
3D printed bones
3D printing has been a buzzword on everyone’s lips, regularly hitting the headlines and offering up new ways to save time and money during manufacturing. The costs of the 3D printing equipment have come down significantly over the past decade. You can now buy one 3D printer for less than $500 on Amazon.
But while 3D printing is helping car companies, retailers and architects showcase their work, many have wondered whether the same could be done within the health industry.
Well, the University of Arizona has done exactly that – they’ve worked to make 3D bone printing a reality, and hope that 3D bioprinting will become the norm for patients who have broken or missing bone segments in the coming decades.
Of course, you won’t be able to print off a new bone every time you break your leg, but in some circumstances, 3D printing offers the precision and speed needed to treat patients when they need a new bone graft, helping veterans and injured patients live fuller and more active lives.
If you’ve ever had a doctor order you to rest in bed after a medical procedure, you’ll know it can be tough to sit around and do nothing. Add to that the burden to remember the necessary prescription drugs you need to take or the physical exercises you may have to perform regularly to get you back on your feet. Both can be quite a pain!
Text messaging technologies could change all of that, improving patient-physician relations and automating the recovery process so that patients can heal quicker.
A report on Mobile Text Messaging for Health revealed that text messaging could help to address conditions like weight loss and medication adherence, reminding and motivating patients all at the same time.
As a result, new platforms such as TigerConnect or DrFirst have made it easier for their patients to opt-in to receive reminders, alerts, suggestions, and advice.
Sleep apnea detection
One Seattle-based technology company has developed a new sensor, designed to detect sleep apnea. Health technologies such as Beddr could revolutionize sleeping in the way that the Apple Watch and FitBit have revolutionized exercising and health monitoring.
The app assesses sleep during the night, offering personalized coaching and support, and helps users discover their best sleeping position. The app can inform lifestyle choices like stress, alcohol, and medications, and allows users to see information about their heart health, providing predictive analytics on optimizing sleep.
With the help of this new product, users can wake up feeling refreshed every day of the week, and be alerted to issues like sleep apnea which they may not even know they have been suffering from.
Another cool health technology that you may not have known about is the robotic arm. Late last year, a man in Florida became the first in the world to be get a mind-controlled arm. In an exciting development that will no doubt change the lives of many, Johnny Matheny gained an arm that felt entirely natural to move, an unprecedented case that is revolutionizing prosthetics.
There are some drawbacks to this technology. Not only is it incredibly expensive, but it’s still in its infancy and the long-term effects of using this technology are unknown. For example, Jonny cannot get his arm wet, and he’s not allowed to drive while wearing it, but the benefits outweigh these small inconveniences.
Alexa keeps patients on the mend
Finally, let’s turn our attention to smart assistants. Alexa went from a pretty girl’s name to one of the world’s most powerful assistants in just a couple of years, and now researchers are using the technology to help patients stay compliant. Ambrosia Systems has launched a new Alexa skill that’s designed to help diabetics get access to their glucose level readings in a jiffy.
The truth is that this application is only the tip of the iceberg.
With some more innovation and the right licenses, Amazon could become a key player in the healthcare market, using Alexa and other IPs to deliver artificial-intelligence healthcare services and medical professionals access.
The company has already dabbled with opening a healthcare division, after agreeing to acquire PillPack, an online pharmacy business licensed to deliver medicine to patients across the US.
There’s no denying that we’re living in exciting times and that new technologies are only set to benefit our health. Healthcare innovations are entering the market at an unprecedented rate, and as consumers, we’re only going to feel the benefits in the years and decades to come.
This guest post comes from JGBilling, one of Chicago’s premier medical billing companies
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