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Future Advancements of Medical Operations

by Lee Dover(more info)

listed in clinical practice, originally published in issue 254 - May 2019

Upgrades to Medical Operations

With technology providing rapid advancement across so many sectors, it isn’t surprising that an independent Commission on the Future of Surgery from the UK’s Royal College of Surgeons predicts that medical surgery is going to undergo a huge change in then ear future.

The report, published in 2018, noted that the advancements offered by improving technology could see medical operations becoming much more personalized and predictable. There is also scope for the operations to be a lot less invasive, and potentially have less risk of harm. This in turn would lead to quicker recovery times for patients.

 

advancemedical

 

It’s all sounding hugely beneficial. Richard Kerr, who was the chair of the Commission on the Future of Surgery – a group which involved some of the leading doctors, data experts, engineers, managers and patient representatives across the UK – commented: “We’re standing on the verge of transformative changes in surgery that have the potential to dramatically improve patients’ care, helping them to live healthier lives for longer. We are now moving from the era of freehand surgery to the digitalization of surgery, where surgeons are supported by data, genomic analysis and new tools such as robotics.”

Matt Hancock, UK health and social care secretary, commented that: “Technology has the potential to revolutionize the NHS [the UK’s National Health Service], by equipping staff with life-saving tools, preventing diseases before they develop and empowering patients to take greater control of their own health. I am determined to nurture a culture of innovation in the NHS to allow cutting-edge technology to flourish and make our health service the very best it can be.”

Such advancements have huge potential in supporting surgeons the world over. Award-winning stairlift supplier Acorn Stairlifts explores further…

 

robotsurgery

 

Predicting Illness with Genomics

Using DNA to predict a patient’s likelihood of developing a certain illness is called genomic. One example of this is with liquid DNA analysis, which could see blood tests being used so that patients can get a faster diagnosis and being provided with preventive surgery a lot earlier than they do at the moment. Potentially then, tumors could be removed shortly after they are identified – as opposed to patients needing to have a full organ taken out.

Mr Kerr explains that: “Genomics will likely have the biggest impact as our ability to sequence genomes and identify patients carrying genetic mutations or inherited conditions that increase their risk of developing cancer improves. This will likely reduce the number of cases of breast, colorectal and thyroid cancer requiring surgery.”

 

Robot_assisted_surgery

 

Surgery Performed by Medical Robotics

The near future could also see human surgeons assisted by robots. After all, robots could make operations quicker, safer and more hygienic due to their pinpoint precision, advanced algorithms and outstanding use of artificial intelligence. Get involved in robotic surgery and surgeons should also be able to successfully complete incredibly complex procedures which would otherwise be extremely difficult or simply impossible to perform.

Robots will also have their use beyond the operating table. This is because the technology can be used to disinfect hospital rooms and so reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections developing.

Wearing Technology

Wearable technology is certainly finding its footing of late. According to industry analyst CCS Insight, the worldwide smart wearable device market is set to grow to a point where it’ll be worth over $27 billion and rake in 233 million unit sales by 2022. It’s not only those looking to get fit who can benefit from this technology though, as evident by developments already seen within this sector.

For example, there’s the latest smart watch from Apple, the Apple Series 4 Watch. This state-of-the-art device comes complete with an integrated electrocardiogram (ECG) that is designed to monitor the heart rhythms of those wearing it. It’s a feature which customers who have been lucky enough to get their hands on the device have praised as being life-saving technology, as it enables potentially dangerous heart conditions to be identified much more rapidly than usual.

Plus, in 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved of a revolutionary new pill. Once ingested, this pill contains a sensor that transmits a message to a wearable patch. From here, the patch delivers a signal to a smartphone app so that patients are able to keep track of their medication pattern simply by viewing their mobile phone.

As this market continues to progress, no doubt we will see wearable technology influencing medical operations too.

Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/dec/07/medical-advances-could-soon-spare-patients-surgery-say-experts

https://www.itproportal.com/features/the-future-of-medical-robotics/

https://www.proclinical.com/blogs/2019-2/top-10-new-medical-technologies-of-2019

https://www.pcma.org/new-healthcare-technology/

https://www.medicaldevice-network.com/news/commission-on-the-future-of-surgery/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/paullamkin/2018/10/23/smart-wearables-market-to-double-by-2022-27-billion-industry-forecast/#1add4b772656

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About Lee Dover

Lee Dover BA (Hons) is a senior copywriter at Mediaworks with an interest in sports as well as researching into healthier ways of living. He has a BA (Hons) in Magazine Journalism. Away from work, Lee is also a keen runner and is an athlete and coach for Houghton Harriers & Athletics Club. Since joining the club in 2015, Lee has competed in various road, track and cross country competitions - on a regional and national scale. Highlights of his running career to date include his victories at the 2017 Lambton Run 10K and the 2018 South Shields 10 Mile race. You can follow his progress on Twitter via the handle @leedover1. He may be contacted via lee.dover@mediaworks.co.uk

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