What are are some of the medical breakthroughs that happened in 2015? Here are our top 5:
1. “Cancer seeing” Technology
Medical imaging technology developed at the University of Lincoln, UK could revolutionize cancer treatment. The instrument is called PRaVDA (Proton Radiotherapy Verification and Dosimetry Applications) and uses proton beam therapy to localize treatment, which causes less damage to healthy tissue. This will hopefully become a viable treatment for cancer patients.
2. Optical Scanners
Hand-held optical scanners have been developed with the potential to offer breast cancer imaging in real time using a near-infrared laser diode. Hopefully these will be used by physicians in the future as part of regular visits. They are further being developed to be able to determine tumor size and depth.
3. Small 3-D Cameras for Brain Surgery
MARVEL (Multi Angle Rear Viewing Endoscopic tool) was designed as a camera to aid in brain surgery by producing 3D images from inside the brain. The camera is being developed at NASA’s Laboratory in California. It is 4 millimeters in diameter and 15 millimeters long. Use of the camera will lead to faster, safer minimally invasive brain surgeries.
4. Microchip Sensors Placed in Patients
The Mount Sinai Hospital has begun putting tiny microchip sensors in patients with advanced heart failure to better monitor symptoms and reduce chances of returning to the hospital. This allows early signs to be detected before symptoms arise. The device has reduced readmission by up to 37 percent.
5. Dissolvable Surgical Clips
Dissolvable clips were invented that are absorbed by the body after a certain period of time. It can reduce the rate of postoperative complications and minimize diagnostic imaging problems. As many as 30 to 40 clips may be used during a single procedure.
As 2015 comes to a close, we continue to watch healthcare grow and develop in exciting ways. I will continue to keep you updated on the healthcare issues that affect you the most. Happy Holidays!