Now that the new year is underway, we’d like to share the medical technologies we believe will take center stage this year. From a simple pacemaker that no longer requires lead, to an intricate smart sensor designed to help medical professionals perform with perfect accuracy, innovation in medical technology is at an all-time high. Read on for our list of the top technologies of 2017!
1. Bio-Absorbable Stents
Last summer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first fully absorbable stent to treat coronary artery disease. Named the Absorb GT1 (BVS), the stent was created to release a drug that would reduce scar tissue while also being naturally absorbed by the body in three years. This new technology eliminates the need to place metallic substances in the body, which often lead to infections and irritation.
2. Virtual Reality Simulation
Many people think of virtual reality in the context of video games, TV and movies, but the medical community is currently using it to save lives. Virtual reality allows for a simulation experience that is as close to real life as you can get. Thanks to the realistic atmosphere that VR provides, surgeries can be practiced in a safe, realistic operating room fully equipped with the necessary tools and equipment. The goal is to train more efficiently and effectively so that medical professionals feel fully equipped to treat patients.
3. Lead-Free Pacemakers
In April of last year, Medtronic received approval to sell the first “leadless” pacemaker. This was the first pacemaker approved for placement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that does not contain any lead. The product is only an inch long and, unlike traditional pacemakers, there are no wire connections. With the removal of wires, patients no longer have to be concerned with electrical damage and infection should any of the wires break or detach. This new technology could keep patients healthier and extend the life of their device.
4. Wearable Tech
According to the American College of Sports Medicine’s 11th annual industry report, wearable technology is ranked as the top fitness trend for the second year in a row. Professional athletes and novices alike are wanting the “latest and greatest” in health-focused technology. This year we can expect to see these devices step it up (pun intended) even more with watches that take a person’s full vital signs while also providing the participant with weather reports and navigational updates.
5. Smart Sensors
Even the most skilled surgeon is not completely immune to human error. With the creation of new smart sensor tools created by a company called Briteseed, surgeons can prevent unintentional bleeding during procedures. These tools are also able to detect bile ducts, blood vessels and other vulnerable sites that can easily get punctured during surgery because of their size and placement.
New medical technology is constantly growing and transforming, leading to an exciting future for those working in this necessary field. Let us know the medical advances that you are most looking forward to this year!