Medicine is a field of study that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. In order to achieve this, researchers and physicians must keep an eye on the latest advancements in the field of medicine.
With that in mind, we’ll be taking a look at some of the most recent medical discoveries that are set to revolutionize healthcare in the future. From new diagnostic techniques to revolutionary surgical techniques, these are 10 of the most important medical advances for 2018.
New diagnostic techniques
Medical imaging is a core part of almost every diagnostic procedure. With better imaging equipment and more efficient protocols, the ability to detect diseases has increased exponentially. Now, doctors can detect cancer with ultrasound scans. They can also, for example, detect pancreatic cancer with a procedure called endoscopic ultrasound pancreaticoduodenocarcinography (EUS-PDA).
With EUS, a doctor can visualize the pancreatic duct system and use the imaging system to spot any abnormalities. The same thing is possible with PET scans. With PET scans, doctors can detect certain cancers, like prostate and lung cancer, earlier by looking at the specific metabolic activity in the body.
They can also look at metabolic activity in certain other organs like the heart. MRI scanning is another major diagnostic technique used by modern doctors. MRI scanning can detect musculoskeletal problems like arthritis or look at the brain to detect certain lesions and lesions.
Robots in surgery
Robotics have been used in surgery for years, but the approach has been very invasive. Now, researchers are looking at lighter and more precise robotic systems that could be used to treat patients without causing damage. The first use of robot surgery was in Japan. In the 1980s, surgeons at the Kintai Medical Center began working on Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery (MIRS).
MIRS is a minimally invasive surgery that uses a robot to assist in delicate surgeries like ophthalmology, urology, gynecology, and orthopedics. MIRS has been used in many countries including the United States, Canada, and the UK. This surgical approach has been incredibly helpful for patients, who previously might have required very invasive surgeries.
With low-risk surgeries, MIRS has been shown to reduce the risk of infection and complications by up to 80 percent. Another surgical robot, EndoPorter, is used to load and unload surgical instruments. EndoPorter can be controlled from an OR table so that surgeons don’t have to leave the OR to load and unload tools. This robot can also be used for minimally invasive surgeries like endoscopy, robotic gynecology, and laparoscopic surgery.
3D printing in medicine
The ability to 3D print custom medical devices has been a major advancement in medicine. With better medical imaging and CAD software, it’s become easier to create custom devices like prosthetics, implants, and orthotics. 3D printing also allows doctors to prototype medical devices in advance of planned surgery. This, in turn, helps to ensure that the device will work correctly, reducing the need for revisions.
A similar approach is also used in dental surgeries. With better imaging software, doctors can create a virtual model of the patient’s teeth and jawbone to help with the planning and design of orthodontic braces. 3D printing has also become more common in the surgical process.
Surgeons can now use the technology to create models of the patient and conduct pre-operative planning. This includes making custom models, planning the logistics of the surgery, and creating visual representations of the surgical instruments.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning in medical research
Artificial intelligence and machine learning have also been used to improve medical research. AI has been used to help automate tasks like reviewing medical research and extracting useful information. With more information, AI can also be used to crunch through large data sets and find uses for drugs. AI can also be used to improve communication between patients and their doctors.
There are many apps that use artificial intelligence to try to make the patient experience more efficient and less confusing. Some apps try to simplify medical explanations and make the patient feel less alone. Another app called Connect is designed to help patients find doctors and get appointments. It essentially acts like a virtual doctor’s assistant.
Augmented reality and virtual reality in healthcare
The use of virtual reality has been growing in healthcare since the technology was first developed in the 1980s. VR has been used to help patients with anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. It also can be used to help patients overcome surgery nausea. VR is also being used to treat certain medical conditions. For example, doctors can now use VR to treat children with ADHD.
They can use VR to help kids adapt to a new environment, like school, by replacing a “virtual” classroom environment with a real one. Another medical condition that can be treated with VR is chronic pain. Pain can be distracting and a barrier to daily functioning. Patients with chronic pain can now use VR to escape the pain and focus on their other daily activities.
The medical field is constantly changing thanks to new discoveries and advancements. Because of this, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest news and developments. While some things may seem like minor changes, they can have a major impact on the future of healthcare. These are just 10 of the most important medical advancements for 2018. And, who knows, maybe they’ll be even more advancements to come in 2019.