6 Scientific Breakthroughs that Could Change How We Get Treatment

Cropped SingleCare logo By | August 25, 2015

When it comes to medicine, the future is arriving much faster than you might think.

Ten years ago, the thought of being constantly connected to a touchscreen device that replaced our need for a computer and our wallets was unheard of — yet today, iPhones and Android smartphones are everywhere.

And the pace of advancement in modern medicine is equally astounding. It’s not unheard of for a robot to help perform a surgery (as is detailed here by Mayo Clinic), or for someone to receive an entirely new face via medical transplant (as detailed here by the University of Maryland Medical Center).

In other words, new advancements in medicine are being made every day, and it’s only a matter of time before they become commonplace. Check out these six new amazing improvements in the world of medicine before they become common procedures.

1. The Bionic Eye

A green iris.

It once seemed as if the legally blind would never see again, but thanks to researchers at Duke University, that doesn’t have to be the case.

In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration approved the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System — also known as the bionic eye.

The bionic eye has three parts: a video camera, a video processing unit, and a small eye implant. While it currently only shows the user the difference between light and shadows, it’s a big step that could make a huge difference for the visually impaired in the very near future.

2. 3D Printing

A 3D-printer in motion.

In tech circles everywhere, 3D printing technology is the hot topic of the day. Whether it’s parts for planes or violins, the 3D printer is being introduced into countless different settings — and that doesn’t exclude medicine.

Perhaps most exciting of all is the fact that scientists have successfully used 3D printing to recreate body parts, as was reported by Forbes. Specifically, researchers have been able to print blood vessels, skin cells, and even a human skull, suggesting incredible potential for those in need of transplants, but struggling to find compatible donors.

3. Prosthetics of the Future

A bionic hand handles a ball.

Even without 3D printing, life could soon become much easier for those who have lost limbs, thanks to the help of new advancements in prosthetics, as the DEKA Arm System can turn muscle signals into better and more accurate motions.

No, it’s not entirely lifelike, but it can help recipients do things like eat, shake hands, and move objects more effectively than any current form of prosthetic. For those who thought that they had lost control, this new development could offer some back.

4. Lung Preservation

Belgian scientists have recently kept a human lung outside of the body for the longest amount of time on record: 11 hours. These scientists were able to maintain the organ and prepare it for transplant long after it was removed using a machine called the OCS LUNG, which continually supplied the organ with fresh oxygen.

For those awaiting transplant, this is a major breakthrough, nearly doubling the previous amount of time allowed for the transfer.

5. Reviving and Transplanting Dead Hearts

While we still can’t resurrect the dead, scientists in Australia have figured out a way to restart a dead heart, making it more possible than ever to help someone in dire need.

Similar to the OCS LUNG, the OCS HEART supplies the organ with the oxygen it needs. In addition to offering a solution that helps keep hearts preserved and working outside the body, this amazing piece of technology has dead hearts beating once again.

6. SingleCare

Of all the innovations on this list, none is more readily available today than SingleCare. SingleCare provides its members access to health services at rates discounted up to 50%, with no sky-high monthly premiums or deductibles.

Singlecare’s pay-as-you-go system offers a network of doctors and medical professionals that you can make appointments with as you need them. And all services are organized for you on the basis of price, location, and specialty, so you can quickly locate what you need. Experience the latest in medical advancements by signing up for SingleCare today.