Latest Medical Technology: Can it Really Change Your Life?
The NHS is, of course, currently laden with bureaucracy and it’s easy to assume that medical developments are only made by the few trusted ‘giants’; such as the Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) and McKesson.
However, don’t be fooled. There are a surprising number of exciting medical entrepreneurs currently in operation, producing innovative ways of improving healthcare within the UK, using technology-based ideas.
Here’s just a few of the new concepts that promise to change lives for people across the country.
The New Innovators in the World of Healthcare
- Patients Know Best. Medical notes can often prove to be problematic for patients and professionals alike; and often, records don’t provide the ‘full picture’ for conditions, especially when consultants, GPs and other healthcare professionals are involved.
Dr Mohammad Al’Ubaiydli suffered a rare genetic condition, and became frustrated at the realisation that none of his assigned doctors had full, easy access to his entire medical notes. This led him to develop Patients Know Best; a cloud-based platform that puts patients in complete control of their medical history. Using this platform, patients can show doctors all their notes, irrespective of when they were made or who made them. The system is already being implemented in a number of UK hospitals.
- According to Apparelyzed.com, there is thought to be 40,000 people who are currently paralysed in the UK. Paralysis not only causes physical difficulties in terms of movement and access, but can also have a profound effect on mental wellbeing.
Amit Goffer, who was paralysed after an accident, started to develop a system that could help those with injury to the spinal cord walk again. The ReWalk exoskeleton features ‘legs’ that are attached to the patient, and is powered using batteries. This enables the individual to ‘walk’, using crutches for balance. Recently, a 32 year old woman used the system to complete the London Marathon in 17 days.
- For those with diabetes, running out of medication whilst out and about can cause real problems. HelpAround is a mobile app which allows diabetes sufferers to connect with other people in the immediate area, who may be able to supply medication or even provide an injection. The app also features an online community, where diabetes patients can talk to others with the condition and seek support and guidance. Developments for similar apps for those with allergies or chronic illnesses are now underway.
- This videoconferencing system enables patients to connect directly to their healthcare professional online. This means that technically, doctors can reach patients anywhere in the world. iCouch is especially useful for those who struggle to leave the house due to mobility problems, or those who are seeking help for depression or mental illness, but are reluctant to talk to a professional in a recognised clinic or office.
- According to research published in the US National Library of Medicine, only half of patients understand instructions for their medication. It was precisely this worrying statistic that led a team of Israeli doctors and tech-experts to form Telesofia. The system allows doctors to create personalised instructions for their patients, using video technology. The aim is to ensure that all medication is taken appropriately, and that all information not directly relevant for the patient is removed.