4 healthcare tech advances expected to significantly impact in 2018

If you consider the history of humanity, each century is associated with a significant improvement in healthcare. For instance, in the 100 years between 1910 and 2010, human life expectancy increased by more than 20 years, courtesy of developments like the cardiac pacemaker. During this phase, medical technology has allowed practitioners to carry out genetic engineering of human DNA, alter the human brain via transplants, and even repair a distorted cardiovascular system.

In the upcoming years, new capabilities and advancements will keep boosting abilities for researchers and practitioners. At the same time, patients will continue benefiting from new medicines, treatments, and lower wait times. Here’s a glimpse of the healthcare technological advancements expected to unfold in 2018:

EHR 2.0
This 2018 checklist for EHR software selection and evaluation indicates that exciting new developments are on the horizon. Next-generation EHR will come with self-service options that play a vital role in facilitating the patient communication process, in addition to improving delivery of records. Some features to look out for include education materials access, missed appointment reminders, and built-in patient portals. They will also have an increased focus on order management, including order sets and CPOE (Computerized Physician Order Entry). These special features will significantly improve the overall experience of patients as well as operators.

Smart InhalersDoctors often recommend inhaled corticosteroids for treating asthma along with bronchodilators. The latter relieves flares while the former keeps inflammation at bay. If correctly used, inhalers do an adequate job of managing asthma symptoms; but the majority are incorrectly administered. As a result, researchers saw the need for smart inhalers that feature Bluetooth technology. They remind patients when to take inhalers. The device records the place, date and time for each dose, and note whether or not it was correctly followed. Therefore, correct and efficient dosing is encouraged by smart inhalers, which is a blessing in disguise for patients who otherwise struggle with such prescriptions.

ERAS (Enhanced Recovery After Surgery)
For several years, the pre- and post-surgery protocol has been the usual for every procedure: an empty stomach before surgery, recovery with bed rest, and pain reduction with drugs. However, researchers are now reshaping post-surgery processes. The newest development comes in the shape of ERAS (Enhanced Recovery After Surgery). It’s a protocol that promotes regular walking, prescribes alternative medication to reduce opioid use, and permits food intake before the process. It can minimize bed stay, infection, blood clots and more. Patients also get a meal plan post-operation to enhance recovery, which doesn’t include a narcotic prescription.

Artificial Pancreas
The process of type 1 diabetes regulation has been revolutionized with recent breakthroughs in healthcare. One of the recent innovations comes in the form of artificial pancreas (AP systems). These refer to insulin delivery systems that look similar to conventional insulin pumps, but are automated. What sets them apart is the ease with which they work. Artificial pancreases are designed to monitor blood glucose on a continuous basis, offering insulin as required for blood sugar stabilization. An algorithm that integrates an app on a user’s smartphone to the insulin pump manages the devices. AP’s technology is still being perfected, but newer models of the app hope to enhance the efficiency of the invention.

With advances in healthcare technology happening at a rapid pace, these breakthroughs increases the hope of millions of sufferers from around the world.