Improved medical care and innovations play a vital role in quality healthcare. It’s one of the main reasons why developed nations commit significant resources to medical research and development. For example, the United Kingdom spent approximately £1.6 billion on medical research alone from 2018 to 2019. Meanwhile, the figure is expected to increase significantly from 2020 to the end of 2021, especially with the ongoing COVID-19 fight. What are some of these medical innovations, and how have they enhanced healthcare? Please read on to find out more.
- Gene therapy
According to the medical world, gene therapy solves several conditions that stem from genetic disorders. These illnesses include haemoglobin issues such as sickle cell anaemia, Leukaemia, among several others. Experimental gene therapy began about three decades ago to explore the possibility of altering human genes to decrease the chances of avoidable future medical conditions.
This therapy works by eliminating or reducing defective red blood cells that contribute to genetic disorders. Today, this therapy is no longer a futuristic dream. It’s a reality that’s benefiting many patients who opt for this treatment. Jake Ternet underwent gene therapy in the UK to overcome a genetic eye condition. He received this revolutionary treatment on his NHS. Today, his sight is better than it was before.
- Online patient care
Hospital information systems are an integral part of medical innovation. This development is already a reality in the UK as people can access quality healthcare through an online GP. Additionally, several mobile apps and other digitisation measures have emerged to streamline patient care and records. It’s worth noting that despite the concerns some people have regarding their NHS, they can easily access their online GPs on this platform, enhancing efficiency and convenience. Keep in mind that not all health conditions can be diagnosed or attended to while using the online GP. For example, fractures, chest pain, breathing difficulties, etc., require that you visit the hospital in person.
Enhanced patient care is in demand globally, and the COVID-19 pandemic makes this situation even worse as it has stretched systems beyond realistic limits. Thankfully, as the UK and the rest of the world work towards vaccinations, it will create avenues to improve patient care.
- Smartphone-connected pacemaker devices
Although the pacemaker was invented over six decades ago, it was not until the 21st century that the medical technology world stumbled on how patients could connect it to their smartphones. A few years ago, patients with pacemakers had to regularly visit the cardiologist to check whether the device functioned as it should. However, with Bluetooth connectivity to the smartphone, patients can track their implanted pacemakers. Even more convenient is the fact that physicians can monitor their patient’s pacemakers remotely.
As technology improves, it creates several opportunities for healthcare and related systems to get better. Although the list above isn’t exhaustive, it will hopefully give you an idea of how quickly things are changing in the medical world and how the medical world is adapting in response.