20Sep

Health and tech: How they are making a change for the better

 

Our rapidly increasing life expectancy can be mainly put down to technological advances. There are many mobile apps and wearable gadgets which can be used to monitor our vital stats, activity levels, food intake and many more. We all agree that technology is improving our health for the better, so let’s find out how exactly this is happening.

Medical staff are always pushed to work long hours in difficult conditions, but a new robotic health-checker could put an end to that. These devices can be cost-effective in the long run, as they can be used to patrol hospitals checking on patients as they go. It features a screen so someone on the other side can speak to the patient, and it also has equipment attached allowing doctors and nurses to check patients’ vital stats.

Diabetics have a bright future ahead thanks to needle-less blood sugar monitors. Prototypes are being made for skin patches which can detect changes in blood sugar levels, and the user can be notified as to whether or not they need to take insulin. There has been work into ‘smart’ contact lenses which are also capable of monitoring blood sugar levels.

There is also wearable tech such as the Fitbit which allows users to monitor their own activity levels, for example the number of steps they’ve taken that day, and their heart rate. The device can also be used to monitor sleeping patterns, so you know if you’ve had enough sleep, and can be set to gently wake you in the morning. There is a mobile app available to store all your data to, so you can keep track of trends and patterns too.

3D printing has enormous potential in the field of medicine. Almost anything can be 3D-printed, from cartilage to skin cells and even whole organs. Whilst this technology is still being tested, it has huge potential to save lives and reduce the need for organ donors.