The medical industry has produced some of the most amazing and life-changing technological advances in recent years. On 26th and 27th April 2017 in Coventry, the Med-Tech Innovation Expo will discuss and explore all the latest developments in medical technology. Here, MPE Electronics, whose printed circuit board assembly capability is ideal for medical technology applications, takes a look at the type of technology that is changing the world of medicine and medical training.
Although virtual reality is nothing new, it is now increasingly coming into the mainstream and being developed as a tool to train medical students and rehabilitate patients. Clearly, virtual reality is very helpful in surgical training, allowing students to practice their skills in a realistically simulated operating theatre environment but where any mistakes will not cause harm to real human beings.
Virtual reality is also being used in the diagnosis of conditions that require accurate visual assessments, such as Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. Patients can also benefit directly from virtual reality-based therapies to aid rehabilitation from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and strokes.
Sophisticated Computer Diagnosis
IBM is known to be developing a system called Medical Sieve, which will help reduce the workload of doctors by analysing test data, such as X-rays, ultrasounds and MRI scans to aid diagnosis in cardiological and radiological areas. It uses sophisticated medical text and image processing, pattern recognition and machine learning techniques to create summaries that identify any abnormalities it finds. The company hopes this system will overcome problems caused by radiologists and cardiologists being overworked and suffering from eye fatigue, which could result in misdiagnoses.
New technology means we can find out exactly what we’re eating using a mobile phone app and a food sensor that employs spectroscopy to analyse exactly what is in our food. This is useful, not just for those looking to lose weight or carefully control the amount of fat or carbohydrates they are consuming, but also for diabetics to monitor their sugar intake and those with food allergies to ensure they aren’t going to eat anything they shouldn’t.
This idea has been around since 2002, when scientist Makoto Nakamura realised that a single drop of ink used in an inkjet printer was a similar size to a human cell. Experimentation has now advanced to the stage where scientists across the world are creating bio-printed human skin and bones. One of the challenges, however, was to create a substance that would hold the cells in place while the printing was taking place. That challenge has now been solved, making it increasingly likely for human beings to have transplants to replace defective organs with brand new bio-printed ones soon.
These exciting developments are made possible by innovators like those attending the Med-Tech Expo but they are supported by suppliers who can provide reliable components, such as our printed circuit board assemblies.