How Is Technology Driving Health Advancement Forward In 2017?

Posted on Dec 15 2017 - 10:06pm by Editorial Staff

Many people have already made the obvious correlation between technology and health advancement. The last few years in particular there appears to have been some exciting advancements in the health industry thanks to new and exciting technology that has been released. There’s already a huge buzz around technology that has not yet been released but is in the works.

If you haven’t yet made the correlation between technology and health advancement, read on!

Projects And Technologies Helping To Drive Health Advancement Forward

Last September, Microsoft announced their ‘Project Hanover’, which focuses on enhancing healthcare with the help of artificial intelligence, or AI. Their goal is to figure out the code behind cancer once and for all. Once they have figured out what causes cancer and how cancerous cells are formed in the body, they plan to develop a cure. However, machine learning comes with its own set of challenges. In order for this to work, there will need to be computer simulations to get a feel for how cancer begins to develop in the body, and AI will need to be applied to radiology to create biological cells.

Microsoft aren’t the only ones with a project aimed at improving healthcare; NASA, Google’s DeepMind project in the UK, IBM, CRISPR and many other teams and technologies all have the same goal. They want to improve health operations, treatments, and diagnosis for cancer and other ailments all around the world.

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More About Projects Set To Revolutionize Healthcare

The machine learning undertaken by Project Hanover will review a huge amount of biomedical knowledge data from researchers, and then convert it into information scientists will use to save lives. There are many new cancer drugs developed each month, alongside new articles published. Machine learning helps doctors and other medical professionals keep up with the progression in the industry; doing so without these technologies can be a struggle.

It’s worth remembering that cancer is many different diseases that share similar symptoms and growths, rather than a single disease. Every gene in a cancer patient reacts differently to treatment because of this. Precision medicine is a new form of medical treatment that is still being researched, but Microsoft’s project wants to use AI to match treatments with individual patient genes. Scientist think this may be the key to unlocking the worldwide use of precision medicine in years to come. Once scientists use the information gathered to understand how cancer is formed in the body, they will be able to create biological cells that will fight the cancerous growths.

NASA is, of course, using space technology to fight cancer. Their machine learning algorithm is used to identify similarities between galaxies, but will also be used to analyze tissue samples in an effort to find signs of cancer before it develops. In the future, this could mean quick and early detection of cancers that we struggle to find at the minute, such as pancreatic cancer, kidney or renal cell cancers and other neuroendocrine tumor (NET) cancers.

Google DeepMind project in the UK is enhancing radiotherapy scans to detect head and neck cancers. The technology aims to cut the time taken to read imagery down from a few hours to a simple automatic reading.

IBM Watson is also using machine learning to help oncologists develop treatment plans. They do this by interpreting a cancer patient’s clinical information, including physician notes, lab results and clinical research.

The list of technology related health advancement is continues to grow. Here’s an idea of what we’re looking at in 2017:

  • Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) – a genome editing tool used to identify inactive cancer formations.
  • Artificial Intelligence software – can interpret mammogram results 30 times faster than traditional methods.
  • Nanorobotic agents – travel through the bloodstream to attack cancer cells.
  • MR imaging, cobalt radiation delivery and intelligent software automation – see cancer cells easily and avoid harming soft internal organs.
  • Gene editing technologies – a way of using a human’s own immune system to fight disease.

With these technologies in place, we are coming closer and closer to eradicating cancer and other fatal diseases. However, there are many other ways that technology is driving health advancement forward, not to mention the fact that the internet has become a main source of medical information for people all over the world.

Other Ways Technology Is Driving Health Advancement Forward

Using The Internet To Decipher Symptoms

More and more people are researching the internet to find out more about their medical issues and symptoms. People are far less likely to book a doctor’s appointment right away these days, and much prefer to use the internet to get a feel for what they think it may be first. Health professionals even use the internet before and during appointments to aid them in their consultations and diagnosis. The internet is empowering normal people and helping them figure out the next best step to take for them.

Better Treatment And Less Suffering

People are getting better treatment and less suffering with the aid of technology with new machines and medicines. Billions of people now stand a better chance at recovery with the technologies available today. Many are finding doctors easier to reach, and that they are becoming more efficient in their roles. They are able to use computers and tablets to access medical textbooks in a flash, and use online databases to look up case studies. Emails, videos, and conference facilities can also be used to stay in touch with colleagues all over the world. All of these things contribute to a more efficient treatment, and less suffering for patients overall.

Wearable Health/Fitness Technology

Then there’s the idea that wearable wristbands and similar technologies can revolutionize health and medicine. These things are giving regular people a better insight into their health and activity, allowing them to take better control over their long term health. Regular inexpensive pedometers, and even the ever popular Fitbit can be used to track steps, resting heart rate, and other health factors that can help us to improve by setting daily targets. By using something like this, people are able to stop kidding themselves about how much activity they actually do and set realistic goals to do more if needed.

These devices are great for health and fitness, as well as a marked improvement in overall lifestyles of users. You are even able to monitor your sleeping pattern, not only monitoring how much sleep you are getting, but how much of it is quality sleep. It’s also easy to track food and water intake. People are using this technology to become more aware of what they are actually putting into their body and becoming fitter, healthier, and happier as a result.

The element of competition that Fitbit adds by allowing you to send friend requests to people you know and see how many steps they take helps to increase activity levels further. Whether your main goal is to up your daily step goal or get to a healthier weight, you can track and log it all with the help of a wearable tracker. These trackers can be thought of as the perfect accountability partner.

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Online Medical Advice

Now, it’s possible to get real time online medical advice if you’re worried you have an illness or issue that needs tending to. There are sites and even forums where you can message a real doctor online and get a timely reply with professional advice. You can add photos and all relevant information before getting a response. This can help to reduce the number of people sitting in doctor’s offices and hospitals, and continues to protect the health of patients.

This kind of service helps to minimize worry in patients that do not need to get seen to be a medical professional. It can also encourage the poster to book an appointment if needs be. People who have used this service are then free to take a transcript of the chats to a medical appointment to allow for a faster, more efficient service. It can also give a better understanding of how medical professionals come to specific decisions regarding treatment for patients.

It’s worth remembering that even the reduction in anxiety that these services offer is fantastic, as anxiety and stress are some of the biggest problems amongst adults in this day and age, lending to weight gain/loss, hair loss, mental issues, and other problems.

Hopefully, this comprehensive look at how technology is driving health advancement forward in recent years has allowed you to make the correlation, and perhaps even given you action points and hope for the future. Wearable fitness technology and online medical advice can give you peace of mind without having to step foot into a doctor’s office, while the technology available allows for better, faster treatment if you do need to make an appointment.

In the coming year, we’ll all be much closer to understanding and curing cancer, as well as helping ourselves to become healthier and happier individuals. What more reason do we need to love technology?

About the Author
Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at I2Mag is a team of subject experts led by Karan Chopra.