Medical Products of the Future

Technology has played an increasingly prominent role in directing trends in medical research for some time now. Many of the newest innovations in medicine are built on the back of technological discoveries, so that rather than seeing products designed to address gaps in our current abilities what we instead see is medical technology companies looking at advances in engineering, science, and technology more broadly and finding ways to incorporate innovations from each of those fields into new medical products.

Therefore, by looking at the current direction of research in a number of areas we can begin to predict what sort of technologies are going to trickle down into the world of healthcare and how these innovations might shape the medical equipment of the future.

Augmented Reality

Google has been working for some time on introducing augmented reality into the mainstream and the potential it has to offer is huge. Already Google are developing a digital contact lens which is currently aimed at diabetics. The lens will provide what is known as a heads-up display (HUD) which will be displayed on the contact lens and overlaid on the real world. The lens can measure glucose levels from a persons’ tears and other fluids around the eyes and will one day be able to provide a read-out of a patient’s current levels as part of the HUD.

Augmented reality could also play a very important role in the future of surgery. Virtual reality is already gaining traction as a safe and effective way of training surgeons. Augmented reality is a slightly different beast, but could allow, as an example, for a surgeon to have a patient’s vital signs constantly (but unobtrusively) in their view on a HUD. Similarly, medical staff and doctors could view a patient’s full medical history simply by looking at their bed.

3D Printed Prosthetics

Another futuristic technology, which is beginning to appear in the real world. 3D printing has been around for a few years now, and since its arrival it has promised to revolutionize medical product engineering at companies like DeviceLab by allowing prosthetics to be produced for individual patients, according to that patient’s particular measurements. As 3D printing objects that make use of multiple materials becomes a reality, 3D printed prosthetics will soon be able to incorporate circuitry and this represents an important step towards prosthetic limbs which can accurately simulate the senses of touch and pain.

Synthetic Organs

Believe it or not there are already people walking the Earth who have synthetic, 3D-printed organs inside them right now! The technology is astonishing, even in its infancy, and is the first step towards addressing one of medicine's biggest problems; that organs are in short supply.

Medicine is a field which has to constantly evolve to adapt and respond to new challenges. The nature of injuries and diseases change with the times, as do our approaches to treating them. The role of technology in this ongoing struggle is becoming increasingly prominent and we are rapidly moving towards a world where delivering advanced healthcare will be as trivial as applying a plaster to a wound.

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