5 fascinating tech trends for healthcare in 2021
Necessity is truly the mother of invention, and with each passing year more and more needs are being discovered in the quest to keep mankind healthy. Fortunately, innovators are always producing new ideas to meet these needs and keep us at the forefront of an ever-changing world.
A wide range of health technologies for use by physicians are increasingly available, but many of them are hospital-side applications and cybersecurity developments. What breakthroughs are being made in medicine and treatment technology for patients? In this article, we will explore 5 emerging healthcare technologies for patient treatment.
New gene therapy for hemoglobinopathies
Hemoglobin, commonly known as red blood cells (RBCs), is the protein that gives blood its red color and is responsible for transporting oxygen through the cardiovascular system.
Hemoglobinopathies are aberrations in the structure of red blood cells caused by genetic factors, transmitted from progenitor to heir. One of these conditions that we hear most often is sickle cell anemia, which causes deformation and sickle shape of the red blood cells.
The product of the latest research in hemoglobinopathies is an experimental gene therapy aimed at giving people with the disease the ability to produce functional red blood cells, shrinking sickle-shaped cells or cells ineffective to prevent associated complications.
New treatments for migraines
Migraine is a disease that has been a headache in finding solutions over the past century. Since its root cause has yet to be fully discovered, doctors, scientists, and researchers have turned to various treatments with varying levels of success over the years.
The most promising in recent years is the use of natural cannabidiol (CBD) to treat pain and inflammation, as well as wearable technologies, such as migraine glasses from Axonoptics.com, which deal with the things that trigger migraines.
Recent advances in research have discovered that a molecule called calcitonin gene-linked peptide (CGRP) increases during a migraine attack, leading to the development of a new class of drugs aimed at inhibiting CGRP activity. These were approved by the FDA and widely prescribed in 2020.
New drug for multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a long-lasting and potentially disabling disease that affects the central nervous system. The immune system attacks and eats away at axons in myelin, the protective sheath that covers nerve fibers, and causes problems with the flow of information in the brain and between the brain and the rest of the body.
About 15% of those affected have a subset known as primary-progressive, whose symptoms are characterized by slow onset and steady progression.
The FDA has approved a new therapeutic monoclonal antibody for people with primary progressive multiple sclerosis, the first and only of its kind.
New drug for cystic fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis (CS) is a condition identified by the mucus that obstructs the airways due to its extreme thickness and adhesion, which results in the trapping of germs leading to many complications, the most common of which are inflammation and the infection.
A defective cystic fibrosis conductance regulator (CFTR) protein is the cause of CS. Drugs called CFTR modulators are used to correct the defect, but until last year they were only effective for certain mutations in a limited group of people.
A new drug targeting the most common CF gene mutation called del F508 has been approved by the FDA. This will provide relief to about 90% of those suffering from the disease.
Pacemakers are devices that generate electrical impulses that are transmitted through electrodes to the heart muscles, causing them to contract and pump blood. Traditionally, this device is monitored by physicians through a bedside console. It is therefore not surprising that adherence to regular monitoring is often overlooked by users.
To close this gap, a Bluetooth pacemaker which can be connected to a smartphone application has been developed. Now, the heart health of pacemaker wearers and their doctors is literally at their fingertips.
With medical technology developing in leaps and bounds, we can expect more interesting technologies to emerge as the year progresses. Hoping that natural relief, cutting-edge science, and the quest for optimal health make even greater innovations for the benefit of humanity in 2021!