5 technologies that are changing healthcare

Wherever we go, whatever we do, technology is likely to play a huge part. It shapes both our presents and our futures — and world of healthcare is no different.

In fact, such is the prominence of technology in our society, medical advancements and technological advancements go hand in hand. Here are five top innovations that have caught our eye.

BlueDot pandemic risk assessment  

If there was ever a time in human history that the brightest scientific minds needed to scramble for a solution to a healthcare crisis, it was the over this past year. But BlueDot was around beforehand — and was used to predict the pandemic before news had even reached our shores.

‘In a world of COVID-19 data, we deliver COVID-19 insights’ — that’s the opening statement, in big, bold letters on the BlueDot website. The company also boasts the fact that it was the first in the world to identify the emerging risk of COVID-19 in Hubei province — an impressive achievement despite the global implications. But what does it do?

Put simply, BlueDot collects and analyses masses of data from around the world and uses this data to perform risk assessments regarding the transmission and spread of virus and disease. It performs all of this in near-real time, creating detailed reports that have gone a long way to helping keep frontline workers and patients safe and allowing organisations to build response strategies.

Sirius Medical’s ‘Pintuition’

Dutch company Sirius Medical was born out of the desire to make things better in the world of tumour localisation — with a specific focus on breast cancer. Breast cancer is thought to be the most common type of cancer in the world and is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. The team at Sirius Medical developed ‘Sirius Pintuition’ to give more patients a chance of successful tumour removal and, therefore, survival.

Sirius Pintuition is a wire-free, radioactivity-free tumour localisation system that can be used in surgery to pinpoint tumour cells with millimetre accuracy. This makes it easier for surgeons to locate and remove tumours. Check out this video to see it in action.

It’s a huge step in the right direction towards helping as many people as possible survive cancer. Thank you, Sirius!

OssoVR for surgical training

When we hear virtual reality — or VR — our minds often jump to large, cumbersome headsets running rollercoaster simulations, or letting us experience the top of Everest from the comfort of our living rooms. In the healthcare world, however, VR technology is being used for less experiential and more productive means.

Take OssoVR for example, a company that’s using VR to create realistic simulations for training surgeons. According to its website, more patients than ever require surgery, yet there are fewer qualified surgeons to handle the demand. OssoVR has created a learning tool that allows surgeons to practice intricate medical procedures without the pressure and intensity of real-world surgery.

Osso VR uses virtual reality to provide the platform, content and tools to bridge the surgical training gap. The mission is to improve patient outcomes, increase the adoption of higher-value medical technologies and democratise access to surgical education around the globe.

Muse by InteraXon

The health benefits of a good night’s sleep are well documented. But changing sleep patterns and behaviours is easier said than done. For that, you need accurate data that allows you to make informed decisions. Enter, Muse.

Muse is an EEG-powered sleep tracking and meditation device developed by Toronto-based innovator InteraXon. Worn on your head during your night, it collects data on sleep stages and positions to give you a personalised sleep efficiency score. You can then use all this information to help you understand and track how well you focus, sleep, and recharge so you can refocus during the day and recover each night.

Like with all medical innovations, data insights hold the key to progress — and that’s exactly why technologies like Muse are set to become more important than ever.

Viatom Checkme Pro

A pocket-sized, handheld device that can instantly monitor someone’s vital signs? Sounds like something lifted straight from Star Trek. But we can assure you that it’s very real.

The Viatom Checkme Pro is a palm-sized gadget which can measure ECG, heart rate, oxygen saturation, temperature, blood pressure and more — all in just 25 seconds! Aside from being very futuristic and cool, it significantly reduces the time a doctor needs to spend with each patient, meaning they can get round to see — and treat — more people. It’s extremely accurate too, giving both doctors and patients greater insight into their health.

The encouraging thing is that all of the innovations in this article are developing further. Newer, improved versions will become available in the coming years, and more and more people will have access to better healthcare. And who knows what else is on the horizon.

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