Medical technology continues to advance to produce cutting-edge devices and methods for everyone's benefit. Here are some of the new medical innovations that are sure to amaze and inspire:
Sapien transcatheter aortic valve
Manufactured by Edwards Life Sciences, the sapien transcatheter aortic valve is a piece of equipment that had been utilized in Europe for several years before it reached the U.S. This medical marvel is meant for patients who are eligible for open heart surgery, but at risk of developing serious complications or death. It is designed to replace a patient’s defective aortic valve without the need for traditional open-heart surgery and without stopping the heart.
The sapien transcatheter aortic valve comes in a collapsible form and is introduced into the body through a catheter.
Optogenetics is a method that allows scientists to study specific areas of the brain very closely. This amazing medical technology has been in development for about a decade through the convergence of neuroscience, genetics, optics, and materials science. The technique involves tweaking certain types of neurons in a manner that they become light-sensitive. Scientists can then trigger or suppress the firing of neurons by using light-emitting devices that are inserted into the brain.
Optogenetics offers a better understanding and possible treatment of a wide array of mental disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Vaccination may become ouch-free in the future with the development of a needle-free method of delivering the vaccine into the skin. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the technology involves administering a live vaccine that remains potent even at room temperature. Apart from eliminating the need for refrigeration, needle-less vaccination can also resolve various other issues such as pain, and fear of injections, even the risk of contamination. It will also reduce the cost of vaccination, especially in poor countries as there won't be any need to purchase thousands of hypodermic needles.
Electronic Pain Management
As a simple, over-the-counter pain reliever, aspirin is probably the most common medication available. Recent innovations, however, may end the need for taking two aspirins and calling your doctor in the morning. Scientists have developed a way to treat migraines by using small implants on a patient’s upper gum.
For years, doctors have associated migraine with the sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG), a group of facial nerves, but have yet to find a long-term solution. With this implant, pain is blocked right at the source, which is the SPG, as soon as the patient senses the onset of a headache.
If you have sustained a minor cut or wound, the traditional options for stopping the bleeding are surgical glue, stitches, or applying topical pressure. Thanks to a certain college student named Joe Landolina, the process of putting a stop to bleeding has become much simpler. His discovery called veti-gel is capable of facilitating blood clotting, as well as the healing process. A synthetic form of the extracellular matrix (ECM), veti-gel works by forming some sort of scaffolding in the body, which then holds cells together. These processes can also jumpstart the clotting process.
Medical technology companies are continuously working on new ways to address certain medical issues. The above are just some of the latest innovations that are sure to make a difference in the coming years.
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