As technology evolves, so does the world of medicine—and 2016 will show us some exciting new techniques and breakthroughs that will change how we approach several diseases and conditions. While some may be unproven or still in the development process, these new innovations could change millions of lives for the better. New treatments and devices also carry the potential to improve the quality of life for countless patients.
Scientists have recently discovered several potential causes of Alzheimer’s disease, including blood transfusions and dental procedures. These discoveries have provided researchers with a wealth of new insights as to how Alzheimer’s occurs. A team of Australian scientists recently restored full memory function to test mice with a 75% success rate. The treatment involves ultrasound waves for a non-invasive method of breaking down the “plaques” that disrupt memory function in Alzheimer’s patients.
While human testing may still be quite a way off, the discovery of potential causes and this experimental new treatment could provide new defenses against Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative neurological conditions.
Gone are the days of traditional plastic and latex prosthetics. Amputees may have access to new prosthetics, including some with cybernetic interfaces that allow control over their prosthetic limbs and artificial skins that provide touch sensations. These advancements in prosthetic technology will give amputees increased range of motion with their artificial limbs and restore some of their touch sensation.
New technology in the form of wearable gadgets may provide additional safeguards for people with diabetes, sleep disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and those individuals struggling with obesity. These devices enable their users to track their conditions in real-time with responsive hardware, measuring blood sugar levels and heart functions, and ensuring that individuals with sleep disorders can sleep safely.
Medicine keeps evolving, and new breakthroughs offer life-saving opportunities for countless patients throughout the world. New research methods and technology like 3D printers are making medical technology more affordable and accessible for innumerable patients. 2016 is an exciting time for medicine, so keep an eye out for new developments in the near future.