The healthcare sector is growing at a fast pace. Innovation in this field is responsible for many life-enhancing treatments and advanced diagnostic techniques that are used to provide excellent patient care. Constant advancements in the pharmaceutical and medical field are saving millions of lives and improving patient quality. From breakthroughs in cardiology, biomedical technology, gene therapy, advanced radiology equipment, telemedicine, and the development of COVID-19 vaccines, there is a long list of medical advancements.
It is equally important for medical students, healthcare professionals and medical educators to stay up to date with the latest healthcare trends and medical innovations to create effective treatment plans and provide better care to patients.
Let’s have a look at some of the latest medical technologies and healthcare trends for 2021/2022.
The impact of COVID-19 on telehealth has led to many groundbreaking changes in the telemedicine technology. It has proven to be the best alternative to onsite medical treatment. The wide-scale adoption of telemedicine during the coronavirus outbreak has increased the requirements of remote monitoring tools and screens to provide primary patient care. Both patients and physicians feel positive about the experience and have a solid plan to use in future to seek and provide medical care remotely. Virtual visits will continue to be used to get instant primary care, urgent care, collaboration with healthcare professionals, and mental health services.
Development of COVID-19 Vaccines
The development of multiple COVID-19 vaccines in a very short period of time is one of the biggest medical advancements of 2021. In fact, it is the greatest scientific accomplishment in medical history that is a mutual effort of healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical companies. Vaccines undergo a series of development and testing phases to maintain the highest standard and safety. The urgent need of COVID-19 vaccine has truly transformed the way vaccines are developed. The unprecedented financial investment, clinical and safety standards and scientific collaborations has accelerated drug development. It clearly represents the bright future of drug development.
Targeted therapy is an effective cancer treatment that involves different drugs to target specific genes and proteins to suppress the growth of cancer cells. Thanks to advanced medical technologies, it is now possible to detect cancer early with some blood tests. Several studies have shown that tumors release DNA into the bloodstream. Now oncologists can monitor tumors, conduct sensitive, protein-based tests to detect tumors and check the recurrence of tumor.
With the advanced diagnostic technologies, clinicians, researchers and oncologists modulate the regulatory DNA sequence patterns. Moreover, researchers have also developed the advanced way of drugging genetic mutations. Many researchers are trying their best to develop a drug that degrades the androgen receptor to suppress cancer cell growth.
Though it sounds weird, robotic assisted surgeries are the major breakthrough in the healthcare field. Many basic pelvic and abdominal procedures can now be performed with the help of robots. During robotic surgery, surgeons use a unique set of technologies and different cutting-edge tools, camera and magnified screen.
Surgeons use advanced instruments to view the surgical site and a high-definition monitor provides a 3D image of the surgical procedure. Robotic surgeries help surgeons to make precise, delicate motions by controlling the device. Surgeons guide the machine or robots to take the action. Robotic surgery is minimally invasive, less prone to infection and easy to heal.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
AR and VR have been making promising changes in the healthcare industry for several years. However, the recent medical advancements in these fields made it possible for medical students to get close to real-life experience and polish their clinical skills. Many sophisticated tools enable students to gain the clinical experience they need to perform diagnostic and surgical procedures. Simulated and hybrid environments help them gain a better understanding to create treatment plans, prepare them for medical procedures, patient rehabilitation and recovery.
AR and VR can also be used to learn how to perform physical therapy and help patients recover from orthopedic injuries. With the help of AR glasses and VR headsets, surgeons can see inside of a patient’s body and perform 3D scans, CT scans and minimally invasive keyhole surgeries.
Medical 3D Printing
Whether you are a medical student, surgeon or dentist, you should be aware of the benefits of 3D printing and how it is saving patients’ lives. 3D printing is improving many medical procedures by using plastic, resin, metal and custom-made prosthetics. Medical tools and 3D printing prosthetics are now used for matching the patient’s measurements and creating hands, arms and legs that are compatible enough with the human anatomy.
3D printing is also used for reconstructing bodies, whether it is jaw reconstruction, breast reconstruction, bone reconstruction or dental bridge, doctors use 3D printing for realignment and matching human cartilage. In addition, 3D medical models also help residents and surgeons to practice in a simulated clinical environment and get a handful of training to perform the real surgery. 3D printing is opening many opportunities for dental surgeons and orthopedics to provide personalized patient care and create high-performing medical devices.
These are a few cutting-edge medical technologies every medical student should know to increase their medical knowledge. Staying up to date on the latest healthcare trends will enable residents and doctors to provide better and personalized patient care.