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Tech has been able to “disrupt” many established industries such as communication, hardware, banking, social networking, science, and fitness. We wrote a blog regarding the disruption of the food industry, and now the natural progression is leaning on medicine. The many layers of the medical and healthcare industries may seem like hard barriers to break through, but with enough support from doctors and medical journalists, it is possible to change from within. According to Dr. Noah Minskoff, “Physicians walk around all day and see tons of problems with the current standard of care that we’re delivering to patients, and we have an idea of how to make it better, but we don’t know what to do with the idea, the process of taking an idea and translating into a meaningful change in healthcare practices is so daunting that these ideas seldom emerge as innovations”. Technological progress might seem hard to come to use, but not all hope is lost. Here are the latest technological trends in medicine and healthcare.
Track your loved ones – Long gone are the plastic neon colored wrist tags that strapped to incoming patients at hospitals and say hello to smart tags. Companies such as the Illinois based CDW are developing disposable ID bracelets that contain each patient’s name, contact information, and physician once they are checked into the hospital. The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), trade group based in Englewood, Colorado, estimates that smartcard and related technologies may save U.S. healthcare payers $2.2 billion per year in admissions costs alone. The U.S. has been slower to adapt the new technology due to privacy concerns, but countries with national healthcare systems such as Germany and France have issued 150 million smartcards, according to the SMART Association in Citrus Heights, California.
3D printed drugs – A group of scientific researchers from the Louisiana Tech University have come to create capsules using the power of 3D printers. Jeffery Weisman, who is a doctoral student in Louisiana Tech’s biomedical engineering program states “”Through the addition of nanoparticles and/or other additives, this technology becomes much more viable using a common 3D printing material that is already biocompatible. The material can be loaded with antibiotics or other medicinal compounds, and the implant can be naturally broken down by the body over time.” The benefits of 3D printed medicines include customized capsules according to the patients’ specific requirements. This was spun off with the possibilities of 3D printers that could create medical devices such as hearing aids and organs.
According to a report issued by the White House in 2009 the share of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) devoted to health care in the U.S. is projected to reach 34 percent by 2040 if health care costs continue to grow at the current trajectory. New technological progress will make healthcare and medicine more efficient for practitioners and patients. It is exciting times for all of us. For the latest news and trends, sign up for our newsletter and stay ahead of the curve!
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