With all the political discussions that surround healthcare in the U.S., it’s easy to lose sight of the amazing things happening in the healthcare and medical industries today. Millions in the U.S. and around the world are alive and thriving as a result of the prevention strategies, advancements in treatments and care, and cures that exist today. In the last five years, there have been substantial improvements and advancements within the healthcare and medical industries made to boost overall quality, accessibility, and safety for both healthcare professionals and their patients.
At General Healthcare Resources, we love being a part of the healthcare industry and the incredible advancements that are made. Here is a shortlist of some of the most significant developments and achievements that fuels our love of the healthcare industry.
3D Printing of Body Parts
While 3D printing is commonly regarded as an industry-changing technology for consumer goods and manufacturing, it’s not as widely known that doctors and scientist have successfully created body parts using 3D printers. Every year around 120,000 organs, mostly kidneys and livers, are transplanted from one human to another. However, this is not nearly enough organs to meet the demands, as every ten minutes someone is added to the national transplant list. This growing need has led researchers to tinker with building organs from scratch.
Researchers believe that by 2020, medical-technology will be in place to regenerate kidneys and livers. Through this advancement in 3D-printed organs, patients on the list for transplants would no longer have to wait for a donation from another or the death of a stranger to provide them with the means to save their own lives.
Cancer Screening and Therapies
Cancer screenings and therapies have seen substantial breakthroughs over the last few years. Personalization of cancer therapies are now possible with cancer fingerprinting. Cancer fingerprinting helps doctors analyze and understand how specific cases of cancer will react to different types of chemotherapy. Each case of cancer has a unique code or fingerprint. With the help of cancer fingerprinting, medical staff can analyze mutated genes from tumors to create more advanced and personalized cancer therapies.
In addition to the advancement in cancer therapy, some of the deadliest and most challenging types of cancer to identify can be detected by analyzing patient's blood for abnormal proteins, which are produced by cancer. Up until recently, blood tests were unable to identify these proteins. This breakthrough allows cancer treatment to be started at a much earlier stage once detected.
Wide Spread Promotion of Healthy Living
Healthy living isn't just a passing fad. In the last few years, communities across the U.S. have stepped up and made a commitment to promoting healthy living and increasing preventive and educational services to improve the population’s overall health and wellness. Through programs aimed to enhance healthy living for both children and adults such as Let’s Move, Americans are becoming much more mindful of essential factors for managing their health, such as choosing careful diets, regularly scheduled doctor visits, and exercising throughout the week.
Faster Public Health Vaccinations
In the wake of the outbreak of Ebola in 2016, medical researchers accelerated the process of producing vaccines to protect the public against a possible epidemic. With international travel, the fear of a single person being able to infect a significant number of people led to the creation of Ebola immunization in just six months, a task that would have previously taken decades to develop.
One of the most exciting medical developments in recent times has been the use of gene therapy technology to reverse and cure diseases including various forms of cancers as well as cutting out harmful genetic mistakes from a person’s DNA. Gene-editing is a powerful technological tool that allows scientist to correct or edit DNA. Recent successes of gene therapy include curing a teenage boy with sickle cell disease and eradicating leukemia in a child. While there is a debate among ethicists who worry that this technology could be used to alter traits for nonmedical reasons, gene therapy holds a bright promise for the future in combatting common genetic diseases.
Sensors and Wearable Technology
Wearable technology devices are growing at an increasing rate, and it's not just in the fitness and wellness realm. Wearable medical devices and sensors are one of the latest technological advancements used to collect data. These sensors and wearable technologies are as simple as alerting a caregiver when a patient falls, to a bandage that detects skin PH levels to determine if a cut is getting infected. Ultimately, data collected via devices and wearable sensors can have reduced hospital stays and readmissions for those with chronic and serious conditions.
In light of all these technological advancements in medicine and healthcare, it is essential that our healthcare workforce stays current with best practices. In addition, hospitals and medical facilities look for staff that can best meet the changing needs of patients in this ever-evolving field that we love to be a part of. At General Healthcare Resource, we strive to assist in the hiring process to match candidates with the right experience to job openings in need of the best and brightest healthcare personnel.