The future of healthcare is increasingly personalized, with smartwatches that can monitor key vital signs from the comfort of the living room to genetic testing that can tell people vital information about their health. Tracking information within the body and having doctors able to prescribe personalized cancer treatments demonstrate how technologies are creating a new future of healthcare.
Wearing a smartwatch does not take a second thought, so remembering to check blood pressure will not either. Smartwatches are now being cleverly designed with built-in sensitive sensors to keep on top of any abnormalities in heart rate, heart rhythm, and, in the future, blood pressure. People could soon go about daily activities such as watching TV while being monitored for high blood pressure, giving far more accurate results than just a few minutes in a doctor’s office.
Miniature continuous glucose monitors have been mainstream amongst people with diabetes for some time, but for people with other chronic conditions, self-monitoring has been less available. For those with cardiovascular conditions, ECGs from home have been on the rise. Philips ePatch is a small, waterproof sticky patch that can record and store heartbeats and patterns, so data can be taken in different environments, such as in the shower or in a restaurant, to assess which activities might trigger any changes. The patch is advanced enough to store medical-grade data, which can then be transferred to a doctor to be analyzed more closely. Comfortable and wearable technology like this can result in people feeling safer and more in control of their conditions.
Other companies, such as Alivecor, are on the same page, developing credit card-sized devices that can carry out high-quality ECG recordings while simply being held between fingertips. These devices are game-changing for healthcare systems, as they could free up routine appointments while giving people peace of mind that doctors can access their health data at any point necessary.
Movement sensors can be used in conjunction with other equipment for older people living alone. They work together to track daily activities to ensure people are not vulnerable or unable to carry out normal tasks while being non-invasive. While visits from healthcare workers are good for sociability and interactions, monitors can keep track of the hours when people are alone and could signal to relatives through smartphone notifications when regular movement is not detected.
Bigger yet smaller
Much like the equipment used for remote patient monitoring, DNA sequencing is an example of how science and technology can create personalized treatment plans for patients, ensuring they get the best care possible for their bodies. Sequencing allows scientists to take an unfathomably close look at the genes and programming that make up individuals.
Oncology is a sector that, for the past twenty years, has utilized this process to make incredible advancements in prescribing personalized medications. By sequencing DNA, doctors can see which specific cells can be targeted and design medication accordingly.
This revolutionary progression in the healthcare industry is also seen in the advancing ability of doctors to diagnose certain cancers through a blood test by isolating tumor DNA. This technology, being developed by companies such as Grail, enables earlier detection and, thus, earlier treatment of cancers.
DNA sequencing can play a huge role in prenatal testing for women expecting babies. By using a simple procedure to access the baby’s DNA, doctors can uncover any potential genetic abnormalities, helping parents make fully informed decisions going forward. This enables parents to plan for their future and keep detailed track of the pregnancy. Using remote patient monitoring systems, pregnant women will be able to keep track of their own health as well, ensuring everyone is healthy and getting the care they need.
The effects of COVID-19 have caused scientists to look further into using DNA sequencing for outbreak surveillance. Random sequencing replacing molecular diagnostic tests can give a better indication of which virus variants exist within a society and identify mutations that can be monitored and dealt with efficiently.
With the combination of self-monitoring and DNA sequencing, the future of healthcare industries is becoming more personalized. Patients’ best interests will be able to be more effectively considered, allowing them to feel properly seen and cared for. Remote patient monitoring encompasses a number of possibilities to manage chronic health conditions from home, meaning less strain on healthcare systems and people having a better understanding of their bodies and conditions. The fascinating process of DNA sequencing provides the opportunity for scientists and doctors to help people get better and have more understanding about their own genes, which in the future will allow personal treatments and diagnoses to be much faster, saving all important time.
Explore the growing possibilities of monitoring and DNA sequencing further in IDTechEx’s reports, “Remote Patient Monitoring 2023-2033: Technologies, Markets and Opportunities” and “DNA Sequencing 2023-2033: Technologies, Markets, and Forecasts.”