There’s no denying how the medical field has improved over time. With increasing technology comes more opportunities for discoveries and breakthroughs. True enough, there have been leaps in the way patient care is administered. Millions of lives have been bettered through scientists’ tireless research on medical treatments and innovation. 2017 saw a year of intense breakthrough. We saw progress on regenerative medicine through tissue nano transfection. 3D printed implants were made possible. DNA editing saw a success as scientists were able to edit embryos by removing a genetic mutation which causes sudden death.
This year is more promising. Medicine can only get better and we can expect more progress these years. If you’re in the medical field or are interested in learning about medical breakthroughs, here are three up and coming things you should know about:
1. Concierge medicine
You’ve heard of members-only shopping and membership clubs with exclusive privileges. Concierge medicine plays on a similar concept. It provides patients with an option to pay an additional fee to receive easier access to their doctors. This includes 24/7 access to a concierge, direct access to their physician, same-day appointments, and most of the time unlimited consultations. On the other side, doctors limit their patient load to accommodate their clients.
A lot of people are now aware of this medical innovation and it has gained a lot of momentum over the past years. Concierge medicine goes by a lot of names: membership medicine, direct care, boutique medicine, and retainer-fee practice. This additional service could run from $100 to $150 per month.
Doctors may find this to be a good business model. They get to see fewer patients, offer more personalized care, and earn more. For patients who can afford it, they get the peace of mind of getting VIP case especially in times of need. However, for patients whose doctors’ decision to switch to concierge medicine, it may be a shock to learn about the retainer fee. Worst case is they have look for a new doctor. The concept of concierge medicine has been widely debated as well, is that it creates a gap between those can afford and those who can’t, making health care too exclusionary. Up to this day, it remains an open discussion but certainly, the concept is a development in the healthcare industry.
2. Synthetic blood
Over the years we’ve tried to find ways to replace human body parts when they get damaged beyond repair. There are prosthetic limbs, implants, and artificial heart and lungs. We’ve broken records on regenerative medicine and are pushing all efforts to better the human body. And now, even human blood can be produced in a lab. In 2017, safety trials were conducted to a small number of people who are given minute amounts of blood made from stem cells. The long-term goal is to be able to produce enough supply to carry blood transfusions for people with rare blood types.
3. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence has played a huge role in the advancement of modern technology. It’s being widely applied in a lot of commercial sectors. From information technology, manufacturing, farming, and not surprisingly healthcare. AI overall aims to create smart computerized systems without the need for human instruction. This speeds up a lot of processes without compromising accuracy. With the help of AI, some conditions requiring immediate action can be addressed immediately. Because of the program’s ability to read and learn about the patient’s previous cases, it can make a fast and accurate diagnosis. AI also helps reduce human errors by helping the doctors’ patient load.
Disclosure: Guest Post
Photo Credit: Peninsula Doctor