Healthcare has seen a great deal of technological advancement in a range of areas from diagnostics, treatment, and communication. Some of these are things from which patients will benefit but never see. Other tech will be front and center in the patient experience. Here are just a few of the articles we’ve seen recently.
A team at Florida Atlantic University combines stretchable tactile sensors, liquid metal, and AI to place over 3,000 sensors on a fingertip of an artificial hand. With the ability to receive sensory feedback through the artificial limb, people will have better control over their handling of objects.
In addition to the hardware improvements, the team trained four machine learning algorithms. As more data is created, the ML will get better, developing higher hand-level perception.
Artificial heart implanted for the first time in the US
Duke University implanted a new generation, artificial heart, into a 39-year-old man. While used in Europe, the device is only now being introduced into the US.
“If the device receives FDA approval, it would provide hope for transplant patients whose hearts require assistance to pump blood through both chambers. Current technology—notably a left-ventricular assist device (LVAD)—supports just one chamber.”
Monitoring surgical patients while recovering at home
At-home recovery is an important part of the healing process. With the pandemic causing space issues, the ability to monitor patients remotely became integral for many medical teams including at Hamilton Health Sciences.
Patients are provided a health kit when discharged. The monitoring equipment is connected to a tablet (also part of the kit), and allows the virtual healthcare team to see the necessary vitals.
Ensuring the elderly can access the tech
Gil Bashe at Health Tech World in the UK reminds us of the digital divide we are seeing among seniors. In his article “As the world grays, it’s time to ensure seniors’ tech literacy”, he shows the clear indication that we are leaving some of our more vulnerable people behind.
“As the developed world seeks to leverage technology to ensure greater remote diagnostic power and access to care, lack of both residential broadband and uncertain digital literacy among the elderly is a gap in care that deserves our full attention.”
To ensure this divide does not continue to grow, we have to do a better job of providing broadband access and creating tools our seniors can more easily access and use.
Improving hearing aid tach isn’t enough
When we get distracted by developing tech and forget about non-tech needs, the tech itself has less impact. Hearing Aids are getting small, less expensive, and more accessible. This is great news. But, as we read in “Making hearing aids affordable isn’t enough. Older adults also need hearing care services” on STAT…
“While consumers may soon be able to directly purchase more affordable hearing aids, many still won’t have access to the audiological support services needed to ensure they can fully benefit from these devices”
The advances in healthcare technology are advancing the care and service we provide to patients. Among the challenges, we must tackle the equitable allocation of or access to these advances.SHARE