Reinventing Healthcare With Technology
One of the most painful parts of medical treatment – surgery – too is being made less painful now, thanks to the use of robotics.
Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, is funding a company called Neuralink, which is described as a brain-computer interface venture. It is trying to make devices implantable in the human brain, in order to merge “biological intelligence with digital intelligence” (artificial intelligence). Though it almost sounds to be in the realm of sci-fi, Musk is pretty certain of it becoming a reality sooner than later. For patients suffering from mental diseases, this could pave the way for doctors to be able to “look” into their brain and sort out chemical imbalances.
In the field of medical science, currently electrode arrays and certain implants are used to alleviate the debilitating effects of diseases such as Parkinson’s, epilepsy and some other neurodegenerative diseases. Similar treatments are being given to patients suffering from acute pain in the spinal cord, anorexia and obesity, among others. But these are still in the initial stages. Much work needs to be done before these scientific marvels ameliorate physical suffering in a significant manner.
In today’s world where a technology company like Uber Technologies Inc is rewriting the way the taxi cab industry is run around the world – both for the good, and for the bad – technology exhibits the potential to influence, alter and redesign many seemingly unrelated industries. Healthcare, though not strictly distanced from technology as it takes much of its source from the science and tech-heavy pharmaceutical industry, is one such industry which is seeing massive tech-driven changes that is bringing relief to patients suffering from various ailments.
Take, for instance, one of the latest knee replacement technologies known as the Integrated Precise Jigs Assisted Replacement. It is an integration of CT-derived bone topography, 3D printing, precision engineering, and the knowledge/expertise of the operating surgeons. Now, isn’t that a lot of technology at work for successful alleviation of pain? Once implanted, the positive effects set in fast – the patient is able to get on his/her feet within a matter of days and get on with normal life in just a few weeks.
And then there is the MDM X3, the first Modular Mobile Bearing Hip System developed by US-based medical technologies and devices major Stryker Corporation. A wonder treatment for patients suffering from extreme hip joint pain, stiffness and general atrophy of the hip joint, rendering the patient bed-ridden. The technology is being used widely in India too, now.
IBM Watson is another new wonder. According to the company, IBM Watson possesses the capability to understand various types of data, analyse/interpret data, including unstructured text, images, audio and video, and can interact naturally with humans. The potential of IBM Watson for understanding healthcare issues with the help of doctor’s prescription, x-rays, MRIs, CT scans and the like and giving it an intelligible interpretation can do wonders in developing new treatments for patients suffering from various health issues.
One of the most painful parts of medical treatment – surgery – too is being made less painful now, thanks to the use of robotics. Ever new robots are being pressed into use which conduct non-invasive surgeries, resulting in smaller cuts and incisions, lesser blood loss, lesser pain and faster healing. The scope of doctor errors are curtailed significantly as a result of these precision treatments involving robots.
As the tech-driven healthcare start-up environment takes roots in the country, the use of the above-mentioned tech-driven devices and other such innovations are sure to give an impetus to the current healthcare industry and practices in India. Clearly, there’s much for patients to look forward to.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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