Biotechnology & cardiac care: What to look for next

Biotechnology uses living systems and organisms to create products. It is widely used in medicine as a tool for diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases.

One of the early pioneers of such technology was Simon Stertzer, who was part of a team which brought coronary angioplasty to the United States in the 1970s.

This is a procedure which widens narrow or blocked coronary arteries to help those at high levels of risk of heart disease to have a better quality of life.

Coronary angioplasty is just one of the great advances in technology over the last thirty years which has made a huge difference to the world of medicine and how healthcare professionals choose to prevent and treat heart disease.

What else should the health industry be looking forward to in the years to come?

Here are six examples:

Drugs will become more and more personalized

It’s becoming heavily obvious that people now have a real interest in their own health more than ever, and people will pay good money to stay well.

As the healthcare industry learns more about the effects drugs have on different people, it is becoming more likely that the market for certain drugs will start to become very niche.

People will cling to this as a higher chance of getting well and the healthcare business will no doubt make a lot of money out of it.

Technology will start to notice more about our health

Many fitness trackers and health apps now do a lot more than track steps and exercise. In fact, the FitBit Charge 3 now has the ability to pick up sleep apnea, something which usually relies on the watchful eye of a partner or an overnight stay in hospital to pick up on.

1 in 3 Americans die every year because of cardiovascular disease. If every person who wears a smart watch, predicted to be 160 million of us by 2020, we could pick up the symptoms or heart disease quicker and start treatment to prevent deathly issues such as heart attacks.

This will also save the health industry a lot of money in overnight stays and more costly medicine because a problem wasn’t caught sooner.

Stem cell technology will save lives

Stem cells are body cells which can separate and become differentiated. Stem cell technology is rapidly growing area of expertise which works through stem cell transplants to replace damaged cells caused by malignant or non malignant diseases.

This technology will help to treat cardiovascular disease in the future  administering certain blood cell types directly into the heart muscle via a specialised catheter system.

This aims to improve cardiac function may even be seen to regenerate the heart muscle in the coming years.

Artificial intelligence make care easier

In late 2018, the FDA granted device designation to an artificial intelligence software which is set to breakthrough the healthcare barriers when it comes to cardiovascular patient care. Bayer has been given the go-ahead for CTEPH, Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension Pattern Recognition.

The technology aims to support radiologists to identify CTEPH in computed tomography pulmonary angiography, also known as CTPA scans. These scans are used to see how blood is flowing through the body, which can point out key indications of a heart disease sufferer.

CTEPH is pulmonary hypertension which affects five out of every million people per year globally.

Using CT scans will allow the pulmonary arteries to be checked over for signs of clots, which can be life threatening.

The pattern recognition artificial intelligence used in this process is key to identify signs of CTEPH. The software views different images to detect how well lung perfusion, cardiac muscle, and pulmonary vessels are working within the body of the patient. The clinical history of the patient is also taken into account to ensure no corners are cut.

If this software is given the go ahead,  radiologists will be able to analyze CTPA images to the highest standard in order to pick up the signs of CTEPH earlier.

Heart failure treatment will grow

As much as we’d all like to think heart problems will not get to a point where high amounts of medical attention is the only way out, it does happen.

At one point heart disease was almost always linked with death and there seemed to be no way around it. However recently companies such as BioCardia have been looking at heart failure treatment it has named CardiAMP to help with the serious effects of heart failure.

The process will use the patient’s bone marrow cells to stimulate a response from the body to begin naturally healing. This procedure is done once again via a catheter, making it less stressful on the body.

Mobile apps will take even more pressure off the health industry

Everyone wants to take matters in their own hands when it comes to their health nowadays, and apps have grasped this opportunity with both hands.

Step trackers, calorie counters, heart rate measurers and sleep watchers are all readily available on the market, with the majority completely free for customers to download and use.

These work really well as a preventative measure, which is something becoming big as more people try to avoid getting ill further down the line.

According to Pranjal Bora at DAP, these apps not only increase and encourage movement, they also spread awareness of health issues, offer social support, give users knowledge and create a sense of self efficiency. Healthcare practices need to start looking ahead and adapting these technologies now to not only create healthier and happier patients, but take the pressure off staff too.

Many health problems people find themselves stuck with can be dealt with at home, and by providing your own applications, you’re providing people with a trusted method to take actions into their own hands.

Another thing to consider incorporating into these apps is the use of telemedicine, providing patients with an easy access to healthcare support from their own home.

As the world searches for convenience, we need to keep up and give people exactly what they need to fit their health into their day to day lives.

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