Over the last 120 years, the global population has skyrocketed from 1.6 billion to around 7.7 billion and a big part of this is down to the healthcare industry. Which is continuing to advance and evolve on a daily basis.
Research into new health solutions has resulted in a major disparity in the birth rate and death rate and has led to a natural increase in the global population. Below, we profile 4 of the most exciting research projects which are predicted to make massive strides in the healthcare industry in the coming years.
Boston’s Children’s Hospital, along with a growing number of others, has been using 3D printing to replicate organs and cells, which allows surgeons to practice certain medical procedures. Not only does this allow surgeons to practice, making the process quicker, it allows them to be more confident and test out innovative practices.
Jean Mixer, Vice President Strategy and Digital Health at Boston Children’s Hospital has said 3D printing can “be a game-changer in terms of allowing us to provide precision, customized healthcare, on-demand, at a lower cost.”
Tej Kohli Cornea Program
The Tej Kohli Foundation has launched a partnership with Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital which will accelerate innovative and collaborative research to achieve unprecedented breakthroughs in corneal disease. The Foundation has pledged a donation of $2 million over the next five years to establish the Tej Kohli Cornea Program which will enable Drs. Chodosh and Gilmore to pursue innovative solutions into corneal blindness.
This includes the Nanostring project, which is aiming to develop a rapid diagnostic technology which allows for early detection.
Healthcare startup RDMD is using AI to analyse data from medical records to find commonalities in rare disease cases. One of the co-founders, Onno Faber, was diagnosed with a rare disease called neurofibromatosis in 2014 – a disease which causes tumours and caused Faber to go deaf in one ear.
The Californian company aggregates the data from these diseases, analyses it and then sells it on to pharmaceutical companies who can then start developing medicines and drugs which can start attacking these diseases. So far, RDMD has enrolled 150 patients with neurofibromatosis and is continuing to work towards the elimination of the disease.
VR glasses in healthcare
Another startup, XRHealth (previously VRHealth), is using virtual reality to ease certain situations for patients, reassuring them and easing their stress. The company was founded in 2016 by Former Israeli Air Force pilot Eran Orr, who was inspired to launch the company after undergoing rehab for whiplash he sustained when flying his F-16.
The idea is that patients will be given VR glasses during stressful procedures, such as childbirth, minimizing stress and easing their anxiety about the process. Not only does this make the patient experience better, but it also gives the surgeons a better environment to safely perform the procedure.
The projects outlined above have the potential to change the lives of everyone in the healthcare industry. Particularly patients, forever. By continuing with research, more resources become more available, opening up a whole new range of possibilities to advance the healthcare industry even further.