At a time when we need to rethink care pathways, we have new technologies available that can enter the heart of the health service, transform it and enable new sustainable models of research, diagnosis, management, and care. It is a complex transformation that requires the involvement of multiple factors like professionals, families, associations, and companies. By overcoming the boundaries of their own specialist areas and rethinking their role, each one will contribute to defining new models of assistance that actually demonstrate the best results in terms of care and access for all.
A small chip travels through a person's blood flow to warn of a heart attack. From the United States, a specialist advises a surgery in Colombia as if it was present and a 3D printer manufactures part of a patient's jaw.
It is not the future, much less a science fiction movie; It is the present, and some of the medical advances in which researchers from all over the world work, including from Colombia, and which cover three large groups, medications, devices and care processes such as minimally invasive surgeries.
The surgeon Mr. Mauricio, member of the National Council of Human Talent in Health and expert in medical technology, says that with the advances, “the doctor runs the risk of becoming a machine operator. The criterion or clinical eye ’will no longer be enough, because there are tools to be more exact and a society that demands more and better results from doctors in treatments and interventions.
On the new technological possibilities, Mr. Carlo, internist, and rheumatologist, says that there is a very important convergence between the sequencing of DNA, medical equipment and smartphones with applications for all kinds of needs. So, it is possible to objectively measure what it was previously subjective.
Currently, there are advances in engineering, biomedical, robotics, electronics, and nanotechnology to create organs that supplement the functioning of the body. Until recently, for example, the only alternative for the diabetic was to inject insulin, but today it is possible to use a pump with movement that releases the substance. In addition, the artificial pancreas already exists, and the patients are using it.
Another option to replace body parts is 3D printing techniques, which allow you to obtain precise parts in skull and jaw parts tailored to the patient, without waiting for long shifts of donations in bone banks. There are successful models in the United States and Europe. And the alternatives are expanded with the option of organs grown in laboratories. Doctors have been able to create synthetic trachea, skin implants, cartilage, and artificial blood vessels. As for the skin, there are techniques such as mesh autograft, cultures of the patient's own skin, corpse skin grafts, and synthetic products.
It is already possible to know years in advance if a person is at risk of Alzheimer's disease. An MRI of the brain visualizes the deposits of beta-protein (possible cause of this disease). This technology is successful in the USA and is coming to the other countries. What is available in clinics in Colombia, such as the Santa Fe Foundation, is a team that allows specialists - in cases of head tumors - to see the pathways of the brain and conclude how affected could be areas to make surgeries more precise. When it comes to a patient in a coma, the resonance lets you know how preserved the brain is.
With the development of computer networks, the trend of telemedicine grows, which allows doctors to connect with their patients. There are also virtual directories to search for doctors and specialists in flexible hours, such as Doctoralia (USA) or Babylon, created by a British businessman. The repair to this technology, which replaces the office, is that being online; the confidentiality of the appointment can be jeopardized.
Robotic surgery gave precision to delicate operations, such as prostate, heart, neurological, and ophthalmological. One of the best-known equipment for this purpose is the Da Vinci surgical system. It is designed to expand the capabilities of the surgeon. Likewise, in Google's surgery rooms, Google glasses have been used, with good results, with which the surgeon leading the operation receives support from another specialist, who, remotely, sees things from the same perspective, such as If we were right there.
A recognized technology brand has among its plans to create an injectable Nano chip that navigates the arterial vessels to warn in advance of events such as a heart attack. “At Harvard, there was a meeting where we checked the operation of the scanner to examine the entire body. It is an exam that now costs one million dollars, although it will soon be accessible. On the other hand, in some parts of the world with a high risk of diseases such as HIV-AIDS, there is a project that telephones can function as a device capable of taking blood tests and sending them to specialists.
The human genome opened the option for some people to be able to detect cancer and give them personalized medicines without adverse effects. Biotechnological drugs increased the possibility of producing medicine with genetic data and technologies so that cells act as a substance factory and then become medicines.
Until recently, deciphering the genome was a matter of years, and the cost was over $ 100,000. Experts believe that, before 2019, the genome will be available in less than 24 hours and for a cost less than a thousand dollars. This will further revolutionize the medicine.
This University has two projects aimed at Parkinson's patients, one with Xbox Kinect gaming technologies (with motion sensor) that measure the evolution of the disease. The idea is that the patient does not have to go to a laboratory to measure how long their steps are or how long it takes to take them. ‘Software’ makes the calculation and sends the conclusions to the specialist. The second project is an application that includes an agenda with which the patient recorded when he took the drug, how long its effect lasted, at what time he ate, how much his hand trembles, and how unstable his writing is. The data tells the doctor if there is a need to change the doses of the medication, without waiting for an appointment.