Building Future in Medical Innovations

The advancements continually made in the medical field were once only seen on TV or the big screen, as they were simply the imaginative product of sci-fi movie writers. While improving patient outcomes, some of the latest technology also decreases the cost for the patient.

Coagulating Gel

A student from New York University discovered that a plant contained polymer-like fibers, proteins and sugars able to make a natural wound covering. Once the natural mixture is applied to a wound, the body's fibrin production hastens to form a blood clot. The discovery proved so effective that he patented the product, which was named VetiGel. The gel is being produced by the Suner is company and is currently deemed safe for veterinary use. However, plans are underway to get FDA approval for use on humans. Once approved, VetiGel may have a number of life-saving applications. The gel has great potential to save lives in the event of severe trauma from an industrial accident, an automotive accident or battlefield trauma.
Inexpensive Baby Incubators
A master's student from the Stanford Business School determined to create a less expensive incubator designed to save the lives of millions of low birth weight or premature infants. Statistics indicate that approximately four million infants die annually in third world countries from a condition known as neonatal hypothermia. Jane Chen and her classmates developed the organization named Embrace. They successfully produced an incubator costing less than one percent of traditional models. The device resembles a small sleeping bag and functions by warming a waxy compound that slowly emits heat and maintains a constant temperature. So far, the innovation saved more than 150,000 infants in 10 countries. Learn about some of the latest technologies innovating modern medicine. Discover Superhuman series by Freethink.
Triage App
When a patient enters the hospital with an emergency, the medical team assesses each individual in order to treat severe cases first. However, statistics indicated that in South Africa, patients were incorrectly assessed 25 percent of the time. The problem is especially apparent when hospitals and medical staff become overwhelmed with excessive admits. To correct the problem, Dr. Mohammed Dalwai established The Open Medicine Project Sought Africa. He and the group developed the Mobile Triage App. The software requires that a medical professional answer a selection of triage questions before calculating a score. The severity of a patient's condition is determined by the score received. The physician recently introduced the HIV Clinical Guide App and is also planning to develop a TB Clinical Guide App.
Lab-grown Bones
TheEpiBone company and tissue engineer Nina Tandon grow artificial bones in a laboratory setting. The process initially involves acquiring a CT scan of the patient's affected area in order to make a 3D model. Using the model, the company fabricates a bone graft, which is grown in a bioreactor. Stem cells obtained from the patient are infused with the graft to prevent rejection. The company plans on using its revolutionary technology to correct cancer, congenital anomalies and traumatic injuries.
Laser Zapping HIV
Taking oral anti-HIV medication may not be as effective secondary to being diluted or broken down by the acidic environment of the stomach. By the time the medications reach the target areas, they are no longer as potent. The problem was recognized by Patience Mthunzi. The scientist is in the process of developing a laser with the ability to create miniature holes through which HIV medications might be delivered to the target site. The technique has proven successful in a laboratory setting. However, beginning human trials requires the development and use of a triple-headed device consisting of the laser, a guidance camera and the medication delivery system.
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