Technology in healthcare never ceases to amaze. We seem to be making incredible advances all the time. It’s somewhat of a shame that the news is always dominated by depressing events and negativity, because what’s going on in the world of medicine is definitely worthy of widespread reportage.
Going into 2017, we’ve got a lot of exciting things coming up in the world of medicine. A lot of incredible advances were made in 2016, many occurring behind the scenes, that we’ll hopefully see the greater impact of in the coming year. If you’re looking for positive aspects of the past year – and we certainly need them! – here are a few of them.
A biopsy is an expensive and very painful procedure that is vital for diagnostic purposes. One of the purposes of a biopsy is to find signs of tumors in your bloodstream. Traces of a tumor, which can include a form of “tumor DNA”, can’t always be found in the sample sizes that biopsies produce, though. Thankfully, this year has seen some amazing advances in liquid biopsies. These make it much easier to check larger volumes of blood, and is accurate enough to catch malignant signs at earlier stages than traditional biopsies can.
We’ve all seen the advances in visual technology. From virtual reality headsets, to advanced GPS, and even to that damn Pokémon Go game, the public has had quite wide exposure to the amazing things happening in visualization technology. 3D and augmented reality are being tested for use in surgery to improve visualization. Advances in mapping technology also suggest great things for diagnostic measures as well as treatments. This can be especially important in the world of cardiovascular medicine. If you want to read more about it, you can learn from Abbott Electrophysiology just how far this technology could go.
HPV test kits
Not enough people know much about HPV, the infection formally known as the human papillomavirus. It’s something that a lot of, if not most, women who are sexually active contract. In itself, it’s not that dangerous a thing. But there are several strains of HPV – and certain strains have been found to be responsible for 99% of cervical cancer cases. So knowing if you have a certain strain of HPV can be crucial knowledge. In 2016, great strides were made in self-administered HPV test kits. They’ve been in the works for several years, and they’re now approaching their final stages. These tests will finally be deployed on a large scale next year – it’s hands-down the biggest preventative effort for cervical cancer yet.
Human head transplants (…?)
It may sound like something out of a David Cronenberg body horror movie, but I assure you that the procedure is nearing reality. Of course, it’s going to be the first time it’s been attempted, so whether or not it will actually work is another matter. Still, the doctor announced his convictions that it has a 90% chance of success earlier this year, and in October it was confirmed that someone had volunteered to undergo the surgery.