Innovations In Healthcare That Make The World A Better Place - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Innovations In Healthcare That Make The World A Better Place

Without innovation in healthcare, we would still be in the dark ages. We wouldn’t have anywhere near enough treatment options to prevent and cure diseases or chronic illnesses, especially as the world population increases day after day, year after year.

Whether it’s for eternal recognition or for the goodness of mankind, there are many benefits to leading the fight against illness. Even if it’s just a single life that can be saved, the research and development is worth the investment.

All in all, innovation in the healthcare space makes the world a much better place. Patients, payers and healthcare providers are all waiting for the next big thing that will change their lives for the better forever.

Here are a few outstanding examples of innovations in healthcare in 2019 you should be aware of.

Omron HeartGuide Wearable Blood Pressure Monitor

The Omron HeartGuide was cleared for public use by the FDA at the end of 2017. It was one of the most talked-about healthtech wearable innovations i for quite some time – and with good reason.

HeartGuide went on to win some prestigious awards, including Engadget’s Best Wearable Award, Tom’s Guide’s Best Health Award and Techlicious’ Top Picks of CES Award for its innovation in heart health technology. Omron acknowledged their achievements with the following statement:

“We are honored to be recognized for our advancements in health technology and our mission to eliminate heart attacks and strokes.”

Here’s why there has been a lot of excitement around Omron HeartGuide.

Firstly, compared with other smartwatches, it doesn’t come with any unsightly wires or hoses. The flexible synthetic wristband fits well on the arm and is comfortable to wear. It can also be deflated and inflated easily, allowing customization of the fit to the wearer’s preference.

Importantly, the Omron HeartGuide wearable blood pressure monitor records blood pressure with great accuracy. There have even been reports that it is just as accurate as popular upper-arm sphygmomanometers. It’s easy to take the measurements too as the monitor will keep its shape throughout.

For the 100 million+ people in the US with hypertension and other blood pressure-related health conditions, this innovation in healthcare will make their lives a lot more comfortable. This is also true for anyone that has the potential to suffer from a stroke, heart attacks or total heart failure. The device comes with features such as a fitness tracker and step counter so as lifestyle changes are made, progress can be monitored.

HeartGuide can be just as useful for keeping an eye on health during sleep. While its worn overnight, it tracks other metrics to provide better insights to give the complete health picture.

Hemafuse

Doctors in developing countries after often required to use ladles and cheesecloths for auto-transfusion procedures when patients hemorrhage blood during childbirth. Auto-transfusion is vital in these countries because the machines, equipment and supplies that are used to perform transfusion are too expensive for the hospitals to afford.

For this reason, Sisi Global Health has developed the Hemafuse, a low-cost device for intraoperative autotransfusion of blood collected from an internal hemorrhage, meant to replace or augment donor blood in emergency situations.

It works as follows:

As the handle is pulled up, the blood is pulled through a filter. The specialized design of the filter removes clots and impurities.

When the handle is pushed down, the blood is then pushed through tubing into a blood bag.

The blood bag is then connected to the patient for a gravity-fed transfusion.

The product has been well received. For example, in 2016, the Hemafuse won the Social Impact Prize at the SXSW Eco Awards and has been featured in some of the biggest publications businesses like Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine.

At-Home Health Testing Kit

Innovative healthcare companies are giving people more options to look after or diagnose themselves, allowing doctors, nurses, and hospitals to spend their time treating life-threatening conditions.

One product that is helping with the democratization of healthcare is the imaware™ at-home health testing kit. Patients can keep a close eye on their overall wellbeing while in the comfort of their own home. This health kit is used to screen for celiac disease and other conditions. It uses multiple biomarkers to provide a comprehensive indication of the likelihood of developing or having a specific medical condition.

One of the best things about this testing kit is that the test can be administered at home and the results can also be accessed online. This means it cuts out the long waiting times patients spend at the hospital.

For added assurance, all the medical guidance provided is verified by real doctors for accuracy and reliability.

Prosthetic Hand That ‘Feels’

People that have been paralyzed due to injury, or even born with some form of paralysis, suffer an experience that is unlike anything else. However, progress has been made. DARPA has created a prosthetic hand that connects directly to the brain and gives that person a sense of touch. Not only can they manipulate objects by sending signals from their brain to robotic devices, but they can also sense exactly what those devices are touching.

Here’s DARPA’s report on the case study:

“A 28-year-old who has been paralyzed for more than a decade as a result of a spinal cord injury has become the first person to be able to “feel” physical sensations through a prosthetic hand directly connected to his brain, and even identify which mechanical finger is being gently touched.”

The clinical work involved the placement of electrode arrays onto the paralyzed volunteer’s sensory cortex—the brain region responsible for identifying tactile sensations such as pressure. In addition, the team placed arrays on the volunteer’s motor cortex, the part of the brain that directs body movements. Wires were run from the arrays on the motor cortex to a mechanical hand developed by the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) at Johns Hopkins University.

“In the very first set of tests, in which researchers gently touched each of the prosthetic hand’s fingers while the volunteer was blindfolded, he was able to report with nearly 100 percent accuracy which mechanical finger was being touched. The feeling, he reported, was as if his own hand were being touched.”





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