Health Technology Healthcare Innovations

The artificial pancreas, electronic skin displays and more

The artificial pancreas, electronic skin displays and more

2018 has been a revolutionary year so far in terms of technology incorporation in healthcare practices. Numerous new inventions have been added to the current “smart health system” inventory. Let’s take a look at what new tech innovations are in healthcare!

Artificial pancreas

Artificial pancreas – automated insulin delivery system, hybrid closed loop, Bionic Pancreas, predictive low glucose suspend, all are common names for an analogous system whose goal is to automate blood-sugar management by monitoring glucose levels continuously and providing insulin that can stabilize blood sugar levels as required, instead of taking the same fixed-dose every time. These devices are worn like conventional insulin pumps and are designed using continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) and logical algorithms that connect this system to a smartphone for automatically adjusting insulin delivery via pump.

World’s first automated insulin delivery device, Medtronic, has been approved by FDA since 2016, but novel and better versions are anticipated in coming years. On the other hand, some do-it-yourself automated insulin delivery apps such as OpenAPS and Loop are also available in the market that are being used by a number of interested users.

Smart inhaler

According to a study published in Journal of Aerosol Medicine and Pulmonary Drug Delivery, 94% of asthma patients don’t use inhalers correctly. Standard care can only prove effective if taken in a correct manner and as prescribed. Smart inhalers can provide an effective solution to this problem. These smart devices are designed to perceive inhaler use, notify patients if they haven’t used their medication, inform about proper use of the device, and gather data about a patient’s inhaler using pattern that can help doctors in monitoring patients better. Data such as time, date, place and whether the dose was taken properly or not, is recorded every time the inhaler is used and sent to a person’s smartphone via Bluetooth or an app. These devices can provide valuable insight to physicians for determining how correctly patients are using their medications as prescribed as well as what specific conditions trigger each patient’s asthma individually.

Propeller Health’s smart inhaler is gaining huge success and customer satisfaction in the health market, according to a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research mHealth and uHealth.

Electronic skin

A team of researchers from the University of Tokyo, Japan have invented an electronic skin display or an e-skin that can display a person’s health such as vital signs and show it to nearby people. Its design consists of a lightweight and breathable nanomesh electrode that is easily blended to the skin, along with stretchable wiring and an arrangement of some 100 micro LEDs that can demonstrate basic images such as thumbs-up sign or numbers. This can help in monitoring a person’s health as people can easily know what’s wrong with him in case of any emergency and call for help immediately. The sensors used in the e-skin can also transmit a patient’s data to a smartphone or cloud storage.

This invention can prove to be valuable for home care patients whose health status will constantly be monitored by surrounding family members or sent to a doctor’s smartphone. The design developed this time is more stable than any of the previously designed e-skins and is likely to get launched by Dai Nippon Printing in the upcoming 3 to 4 years.

Needle-free Injections

Many of us suffer from a needle phobia whenever we have to get a flu shot or tetanus injection due to being too “adventurous”. But innovation in health technology has saved us from this deathly scenario. There are certain health companies that have developed needless injections for a painless vaccination experience. These devices eject a stream of the medication into the skin with a high-pressure, reaching depth of tissues and bloodstream without requiring any needles. Portal Instruments and PharmaJet are two of the major health companies providing needle-free injections.

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