Developed countries around the world are facing the problem of aging population. More percentage of the population are in their senior years as compared to the younger age group. People are also working for longer. Therefore, advancements in medical technology are becoming more crucial to help people live longer and healthier.
Here are some developments in medical technology that you can expect in 2020.
The idea of robotics in the medical field is not new. Robots are already helping medical professionals, such as the da Vinci surgical robot which help surgeons. But we can expect medical robots to take on even more tasks, such as assisting patients with rehabilitation, helping doctors examine patients, transporting medicines and other supplies. There will also be micro-bots that are developed to treat a specific body part, such as bacterial infections or tumors.
Voice activation is the hype today. In healthcare, its greatest application is for seniors who do not know how to use technological devices or have reduced mobility.
In the field of medicine and healthcare, 3D printing can be used to make personalized prosthetic limbs for amputees and even tissues and organs for transplantation. It is also utilized by dentists, particularly orthodontists.
Wearable devices are not new, but they will become more widespread this year. We already know about wearables that can monitor blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and even brain waves. Medical professionals will receive the real-time data, which enables them to check how their patients are doing. As more people are using wearables and technology continues to advance, the cost of wearables is pushed down, so we can expect increased use of wearables.
With telemedicine, doctors do not have to see their patients directly to examine or treat them. This is especially useful for patients in remote rural areas where the nearest doctor is miles away and travel is not always an option. The recent development of 5G will ensure more reliable and widespread internet connection, which means tele-checkups may become increasingly common. Not only it is more convenient for both the patient and the doctor, but it also cuts down costs by a third.
Extended Reality (Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality)
We have often heard of the use of extended reality in games and other entertainment, but it also has tremendous benefits in healthcare. Virtual reality can be used to aid the lives of visually impaired people or people with neurological disorders such as autism and major depressive disorder. Augmented reality can guarantee doctors the easier surgery, which lower risks. Lastly, mixed reality links the real and the virtual world, which enables more interactive medical education and helps patients understand their health conditions better.
With artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), it is now easier to analyze one’s genes and genetic mutations to develop personalized care, especially for rare genetic diseases. As such, medical professionals can understand the mutation that leads to a disease and how to treat or prevent it.