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5 Emerging Medical Technologies for 2017: Opportunities and Dangers

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 30-Jan-2017

Technology constantly evolves, and some of the most exciting – and worrisome – innovations are poised to reshape the healthcare industry in the coming year. Here are five emerging medical technologies with great potential:

  • Prosthetics. Soon, amputees will be able to use neural interfaces to control advanced prosthetics that afford a much greater and more realistic range of motion and fine motor movements. However, this technology could be extremely expensive for amputees with limited resources.
  • Smart sensors. Sensors can survey a patient’s environment and monitor changes to a patient’s health status. Smart technology reacts to stimuli, so healthcare professionals can program sensors to react to specific patient changes. Cybersecurity is a major issue with smart sensor technology, however, and some present systems are vulnerable to hacking.
  • Real-time health monitors. Using wearable, internet-connected devices, doctors can monitor a patient’s health in real-time for things such as heart rate, blood composition, insulin and glucose levels, and blood pressure. One challenge presented by real-time monitoring is the logistics of getting devices to patients and ensuring they are programmed correctly for each patient’s needs.
  • Machine learning. Robots can manage prescription medications from production to distribution with a much smaller margin of error. However, machines are incapable of intuition, and the coding behind smart machines is extraordinarily complex. Small errors can result in botched results affecting vast quantities of products, so machine learning in any application will require extensive testing before implementation.
  • Assistive robotics. Robotics is improving disabled peoples’ quality of living in numerous ways. Wearable robotic systems can allow a paraplegic to walk again, and other forms of wearable robotics assist users with tasks like lifting and carrying heavy objects, or even patients between beds and wheelchairs. Similar to advanced prosthetics, however, assistive robots are likely to be very expensive for the average patient.

Be mindful that not all that’s new is useful! Read about the Defective Medical Device News Roundup we compiled last month to stay educated.

Hurt by a new medical technology? Poorly tested, improperly used and defective medical devices injure thousands each year. Advocate strategically for your rights by calling our D.C. medical malpractice attorneys for a free consultation.

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