We’ve all seen a scary movie or read a horror novel which was set in a hospital. Why are hospitals considered such spooky places? Probably because they generally carry a bit of the unknown. But medical technology is growing at an insanely swift speed, which is minimizing the unknown. Here are five new medical patents and innovations that aim to make medical spaces even more hospitable.
1. Self-cleaning surfaces of the future
A company known for their superior materials, Agienic, has recently announced three new patents that they hold for antimicrobial materials. The materials are made of a special copper that can be transformed into self-cleaning surfaces. They can block such germs as Salmonella and Staphylococcus, along with other molds and viruses. The uses for these materials seem endless. They provide protection in a variety of ways – acting as deodorants in textiles, support in wound care, and preventing the spread of diseases through cleaning products in hospitals.
2. Reprogramming human skin cells, into what?
Some very smart biomedical engineers at WPI (Worcestor Polytechnic Institute) have just acquired a patent to regenerate human skin cells. They got the idea from frogs and other amphibians, because they can regenerate their lost limbs after a traumatic injury. WPI scientists take adult human connective tissue fibroblasts, or skin cells, and encourage them to culture and replicate for longer and longer periods of time. And all of this means that in the near future, doctors will easily encourage faster healing time in patients after heart attacks, diabetes, and other traumatic injuries.
3. Glucose sensors on contacts
Verily, Google’s medical wing of research, has partnered with another (unnamed) lab to develop a glucose sensor embedded in contact lenses. This novel approach to monitoring blood sugar levels will make the current finger prick approach a quick memory. Not only is it less painful, but it is a more constant reading.
4. Next-best thing to X-Ray vision
If you’ve been to the hospital in the past year, you’ll know that x-ray vision is now a real-life thing. The Vein Viewer Vision2 acts similar to those fishing videogames of the late 90s. Doctors and nurses simply place the device over a person’s arm to see a projected image of where their veins are on that arm. This assists medical personnel with finding veins that can sometimes be wiggly or escapable.
5. Med students learn through AR
Both Case Western and the Cleveland Clinic are piloting a test program to educate their medical students with augmented reality. In the novel program, students will be wearing a Microsoft Hololens, which are more similar to glasses than the full headgear normally seen with AR devices like Oculus Rift. Not only will students be able to discover and learn through a 3D cadaver, but they will also get easy access to class lectures and one-on-one teaching from class instructors. Students are already reporting that this new program saves them dozens of hours in the cadaveric lab.
We’re guessing after you read the medical sci-fi fantasy breakthroughs of today and the near future, you’ll feel excited at the possibilities. If you would like to keep your finger on the pulse of medical technology, we recommend you checking out the Medical Futurist website.
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