The healthcare industry has been bombarded with negative news ever since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic – and while frontline health workers sustained a significant number of infections and, sadly, deaths due to the coronavirus, this does not mean that there has not been great progress in the medical field. On the contrary, the events of the past year have acted as a driver for medical innovation as the industry scrambled for solutions during a time of uncertainty and strict physical distancing protocols. Apart from the new Covid-19 vaccines now being disseminated worldwide, healthcare has seen improvements in many fields. Following is a list of five breakthroughs that are changing the face of medicine in 2021:
- The Rise of Telemedicine – Telemedicine has been talked about for ages, but nothing made it more vital to the industry than this Covid-19 pandemic, where physical distancing protocols had to be enforced. It was needed so badly that the government had to adjust its policies to allow telemedical services to be available to the public, fast-tracking its implementation not just in the USA, but all over the world.
- Detection Of Alzheimer’s Disease via Blood Test – A blood test for Alzheimer’s Disease was made public recently, making early detection far easier than before. There are around five million living Alzheimer’s patients in the US alone, a number the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) expects to increase threefold by the year 2060. Although it is still in its trial phase, this would be a massive step forward in spotting, planning, and preparing for this disease which still has no cure up to this day.
- Improved Hepatitis C Treatments – When talking of deadly diseases, Hepatitis C is not one that stands out amidst more threatening and lethal illnesses such as Cancer, but the fact that it can cause liver damage and result in Cirrhosis means that it should be taken seriously. There is no vaccination available for it and treatments have been linked to severe side effects – but a recent treatment involving fixed doses of Hepatitis C medicines have fared much better and have proven to be far more effective, logging 90% effectiveness.
- Smartphone-Controlled Devices – Think about this – there are now pacemakers and defibrillators that can be controlled and monitored using Bluetooth and a smartphone. What once belonged in the realm of science fiction now exists in our today’s world. This makes it much easier for patients to see and understand the data being generated by these advanced medical devices, as people are well-acquainted with the user interface of mobile phones in general.
- Thalassemia Research Hints at Improvement – Work is under way to provide improved treatments for children suffering the effects of thalassemia and sickle cell disease, as modern research has indicated that there may be a way to help decrease sickle red blood cells while producing healthier hemoglobin at a molecular level. If the research proves effective, then this may spell the beginning of the end of this in-born disease.
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