These days, it’s hard to imagine a world where technology isn’t at the forefront. Electronic devices, portable gadgets, digital networks and other innovations quite literally control our lives with some of the world’s top industries relying on technology to function – including the NHS and other medical institutions worldwide. Everything from x-ray machines and CT scanners are already incorporated into the medical world, as well as smaller devices such as blood pressure monitors and thermometers from the likes of Brosch Direct – but how does technology continue to advance the world of medical equipment today?
Needle-free diabetic care
When it comes to medical technology, inventors are always looking for a way to make the lives of patients easier. New and exciting developments are already in the pipelines and with needle-free diabetic care kits currently being refined, sufferers might not have to endure endless needle pricks throughout the day.
Instead, technologies are being created that will replace the poke with a patch which will monitor glucose levels without drawing blood. Data collected from transdermal biosensors will be sent wirelessly to a remote monitor which will then trigger an automatic alarm should the readings go out of a patient’s optimal range.
Patients who undergo intestinal procedures often end up with a colostomy bag which helps remove waste from the body. While these types of bags are available on the NHS and help save people’s lives on a regular basis, they can be hard to get used to, with many patients feeling a lack of self-dignity when the bags overflow or leak.
Thankfully, a start-up company in the UK has developed a unique sensor system called Ostom-i-Alert which helps to warn patients when their ostomy bags are full and need changing. These sensors attach discreetly to ostomy bags and send messages via Bluetooth to a mobile app, which then provides the patient with the information they need regarding their bag. The sensor can also track the volume of output and send important information to the company’s website which can be accessed by the patient via a secure log-in.
The Ostomi-i-Alert is a clear example of how technology is advancing medical equipment, but it’s not the first time an app has been used in the medical industry. In fact, NHS England has recently unveiled an app library complete with health-monitoring applications that have been fully checked and approved by the NHS. These include Manage My Pain – which helps people document what they’re going through and provide evidence of pain history to doctors – and Health Mapper, which assists those with chronic conditions to spot health patterns.
Numerous apps are also available for health care professionals to assist with everyday tasks like note-taking and information and time management. Results of lab tests, records of vital signs and medicine orders are usually all dealt with electronically too.
Cutting back on melanoma biopsies
While it’s important to keep an eye on dangerous-looking moles, top medics want to reduce the risk of people going for biopsies by using more advanced and sophisticated technologies. The good news is, devices such as the MelaFind optical scanner provide additional information to doctors that can help them decide if a biopsy is necessary. This handheld tool helps analyse skin tissue morphology and uses missile navigation technologies originally paid for the Department of Defence to optically scan the surface of a suspicious object at ten electromagnetic wavelengths.
Technology is improving the medical industry significantly with many more inventions sure to crop up in the near future.