The world of medicine is constantly being impacted by updates in technology, new scientific research, and healthcare reform initiatives. Today’s innovations would have blown away our ancestors, and it seems like we’re only just getting started! The 4 future trends in medicine that will be important to look out for are:
3D printing involves creating a 3-dimensional, solid object by adding layer on top of layer until the whole object is formed. Currently, 3D printing is being used to create custom prosthetics (at a lower cost), personalized implants, and protective devices and aids. In the future, researchers predict we are going to be able to use the technology to print biomedical material (think heart valves and bones). However, we need more FDA approvals first.
Virtual Reality (VR) is not just a hot commodity for the gaming industry. VR is being used to see X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans turned into high-resolution 3D images. Additionally, psychologists are hoping to use it for patients with anxiety to reduce stress by viewing simulations of peaceful landscapes or calming environments. According to Goldman Sachs‘ projections, VR will soon be integrated in these industries: healthcare, real estate, retail, events, video production, education, engineering, and army.
Genomics is a way to customize medical care to your body’s unique makeup. Some people call it personalized medicine. Genomics is being used to detect, identify, and treat cancers more quickly than before. Researchers believe that companies’ interest is expected to catapult the genomics data market, with a prediction to hit $27.6 billion by 2025. Picture this: custom medicine, individualized vaccines, and personalized care based on your genetic makeup.
Nowadays, it seems like nearly everyone has a smartphone. People use apps all the time to plan, share, watch, and more! Medical apps are expected to change our future as well. Physicians can use them to record and look up data, and patients can use them to gain advice and fill prescriptions. In the future, we think there’s going to be more digital therapeutics (i.e. treating illnesses by modifying patient behavior and monitoring to improve long-term benefits). This could entail completely replacing medication with app-based treatment such as using visualization exercises to help insomnia sufferers.
The future of medicine looks bright. We may have personalized medicine tailored to the needs of the patient, 3D printing of prosthetics or even human tissue, and using virtual reality to practice surgeries or calm anxious patients. Where do you see the field going? Stay on the lookout for these trends in medicine.