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Top Medical Innovations for 2019

After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, treatment, and lifestyle are important.



Overview - New Medical Advances

In 2018 and 2019 many researchers have worked hard to find significant cures for diseases with good results. They have tried to find alternative therapies for pain. They use artificial intelligence in healthcare. New innovations have enhanced healing, and new procedures are treating patients who have had a stroke. Immunotherapy or biologic therapy are being investigated to treat cancer with promising results. Robotic surgery has advanced as well. There will be many changes this year.

Pharmacogenomic Testing

Pharmacogenomic testing is being developed to find ways to relieve pain in light of the opioid crisis. Pharmacogenomic testing actually uses a patient’s DNA (genetic makeup) to tailor medical treatments for pain based on an individual’s metabolism. This includes opiate-based drugs. This testing determines how a patient will respond to pain medication. The goal is to reduce opioid abuse.

While this sounds wonderful there are those that are optimist, but some are not. Implementation of pharmacogenomics has been slow even though there have there have been technological advances in this field. Researchers in the USA and in Europe are working on this technology.

Top 10 Medical Innovations: 2019

Acute Stroke Treatment

New guidelines were introduced in 2018, to treat acute strokes by thee American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Stroke Association (ASA). The primary revision was the extended time for acute stroke treatment.

My husband had a stroke at 59 years of age, and it happened at 1 AM. I called 911, the ambulance came quickly, but when we got to the hospital they would not treat the stroke with tPA due to their rigid time frame. He was fine when he went to sleep, but they said they didn’t know what time the stroke occurred even though he had not been asleep for that long. The intravenous tPA can now be given within 4.5 hours of the last known normal activity.That probably would have reversed my husband’s symptoms. He was totally paralysed on the left side initially, but that reversed to some degree. He ended up with surgery on an artery in his neck, but he still has balance problems.

Hemorrhagic Strokes - Early Diagnosis

Hemorrhagic strokes occur in 13% of all cases, and they have a 40% death rate. If blood leaks into the brain it can cause damage and swelling. Rapid diagnosis is essential to save lives. The technologies used for diagnosis is a hemorrhage scanning visor.

Pre-hospital hemorrhage scanning can speed up the diagnosis and save lives. Arm weakness, facial drooping and speech difficulty are signs of a possible stroke, plus time to call 911.



Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

Artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare means using digital computers or a computer-controlled robot to perform some medical tasks that intelligent humans once performed. The robots cannot adapt to the higher human intelligence concerning wide domains of information, but they are improving.

AL assists in medical diagnosis, and it aids “physicians in identifying pathology on image analysis. Additionally, AI aids the physician because “machine learning algorithms have the ability to highlight problem areas on images, aiding in the screening process.” The end result is that physicians work smarter, not harder.

Robotic Surgery Advances

Physicians work to make surgeries as short and least invasive as possible. Surgical platforms are highly advanced, and they are used for numerous types of surgeries, including spinal, endovascular procedures and numerous other types of procedures. The benefits are shorter recovery times, so less time in the hospital, plus surgeries have improved outcomes.

Innovation in Robotic Surgery

Immunotherapy to Treat Cancer

Cancer immunotherapy and immunotherapy programs have made great strides for treatment. It leverages the immune system to treat cancer tumors. The role of inflammation in cancer has been studied and new treatments, such as antibody-based therapies, cancer vaccines, and CAR-T cell therapies are the result.

Solid tumors, such as non-small cell and melanoma cell lung cancer. Immunotherapy will hopefully cure all types of tumors someday.

3D Printing for Patient Specific Products

Medical devices can be very well matched to the patient using 3D printing technology. Medical devices are matching an individual’s natural anatomy. This minimizes patient risks. This technology is used for external prosthetics, cranial/orthopedic implants, in complicated heart surgeries and customized airway stents for diseases of the airway. Cleveland Clinic uses this technology for total face transplants also. Prosthetics are more comfortable, so they work better for the patient.

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Cardiac Valve Replacement Surgery

The tricuspid and mitral valve replacement can now be done in a percutaneously way. More recent is the aortic valve replacement as well. A catheter is inserted into a vein in the skin or arm into a vein to replace these valves whenever possible. The aortic valve was still considered an open heart surgery until recently when some hospitals have been successful in the percutaneous method.

I worked in critical care recovering open-heart surgery patients, and this is a difficult, painful surgery. Replacing valves through the groin or arm is a huge advancement.



RNA Based Therapies

RNA-based therapies are a newer innovation in labs everywhere. This therapy gives scientists a way to intercept a patient’s genetic abnormality “before it is translated a functioning (or nonfunctioning) protein.”

This therapy can treat rare genetic diseases, such as Huntington’s disease and cancers. The hope is to alter genetic data.

In Summary

Medical education now uses VR/MR technology that adds a new element to medical education. This type of education appeals to all types of students who learn through audio, visual or kinesthetic training.

The numerous new innovations and therapies are exciting as more people will be cured. The robotic surgery is a great tool to allow patients to have less pain and a faster recovery. Each one of these new areas of technology is certainly an advancement for patients.

This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Pamela Oglesby


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 24, 2019:

Hi Maria, I love all the new medical improvements too. My brother-in-law had valve replacement surgery in this more modern way, and he did so well.

I use to work in the ICU and recover the open heart surgery patients, and it was sure no walk in the park for them.

Thanks so much for commenting again. Love and hugs Maria.

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on March 23, 2019:

Dear Pamela,

Thanks for detailing these medical innovations - exciting and mind-boggling for sure.

I especially appreciated the improvements in cardiac valve replacement surgery - with reduced pain and faster recovery time.

Informative and hopeful post!

Love and hugs, Maria

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 16, 2019:

Hello again Miebakagh, I agree that the best medicine for all is the goal. Thanks for your comments.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on March 16, 2019:

@ Both Pamela & Alyssa I think so likewise. The best of medicine to all mankind. Thank you.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 16, 2019:

Hi Alyssa, I am interestng in seeing the future in medicine also. I appreciate your comments.

Alyssa from Ohio on March 16, 2019:

These new technological advancements in medicine are exciting and fill me with hope. It seems like modern medicine continues to move forward and is trying to better human lives, one step at a time. I'm interested to see what the future holds!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 28, 2019:

Hi Lorna, I am glad you enjoyed the article, and I think you are right about the benefits. I appreciate your comments.

Lorna Lamon on February 28, 2019:

Hi Pamela, I thoroughly enjoyed this informative article. I believe that the advancement of technology will be to the benefit of all.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 21, 2019:

Hi Linda, I have the same hope. It gives us hope that technology will continue to advance and cure more diseases.

Thanks for sharing your comments.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on February 20, 2019:

The information that you've shared is very interesting, Pamela. The new advances in medicine are exciting. I hope they help many people and that the techniques improve rapidly.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on February 20, 2019:

Hey, Peggy, thanks for the update about robots andthe 3D technology that makes the healing process more awesome! You are much welcomed in weighing in and commenting. Have a glorious day ahead!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 20, 2019:

Hi Liz, I know these advances are in the UK, so I'm glad you found this article helpful. I appreciate your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 20, 2019:

Hi Peggy, I am sure all nurses have stories to tell. I hear different terms now for equipment that wasn't around just a few years ago when I was working.

Watching Dr. DeBakey performing a heart transplant had to be a treat. I use to recover open heart surgery patients and I was in the operating room as a observer several times. I worked in ICU for several years. Thanks so much for your comments.

Liz Westwood from UK on February 19, 2019:

In the UK we can be a little hasty in criticising medical care. This article is helpful in balancing this out, by highlighting some of the breakthroughs and advances.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 19, 2019:

The practice of medicine is continually evolving, and for the most part, it is terrific. The new smaller surgical techniques using robotics leaves much smaller incisions which helps the healing process. 3D technology is just amazing!

I still remember being in a viewing room above the operating room watching Dr. DeBakey performing a heart transplant in the late 1960s. That was revolutionary in its day and time.

As an OR nurse, I went in on Saturdays to learn about the phacoemulsifier machine which is now used everywhere when cataracts are removed. Before that, a large incision was made in the cornea, in place of the tiny one of today.

I am sure that you have many stories you could tell of being a nurse.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 19, 2019:

Welcome to Hubpages Anusha, I will look forward to what you write and I am glad you enjoyed this article. As a retired RN I like to write about medical issues and put it in terms everyone understands. As a medical undergraduate I would imagine you still have hard work ahead. I wish you the very best.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 19, 2019:

Hello Miebakagh, It sounds like you had a very good job. I agree with your view concerning government agencies. I am glad you enjoyed my writing. I wish you a good day too.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 19, 2019:

Hi RTalloni, I am fascinated by the way technology has been used with science also. I appreciate your comments.

Anusha Nimrod on February 19, 2019:

Reallly informative!! I'm a medical undergraduate and joined hubpages as a write yesterday. Impressed to find such rich articles like this here. :-)

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on February 18, 2019:

Hello, Pamela, you are welcomed. I am a retired civil servant, a Chief Administrative Officer. Health insurance schemes are not something taken seriously by the government agencies, despite the fact that it is one of the benefits for a worker. Persons who work in big companies enjoy such. Your story line is very educative and informative. Good day!

RTalloni on February 18, 2019:

Thanks for this look at science and technology holding hands in the arena of healthcare research and advancement! We have so much to be thankful for in this day and time. It really is amazing to get glimpses of what can be accomplished.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 18, 2019:

Hi ms. Dora, I am glad you found this information informative and I certainly appreciate your comments. Thank you. Have a wonderful week.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 18, 2019:

Hi Peg Cole, I found much of this information fascinating as well. I am glad there are so many advances in medicine. I appreciate your comments on this article.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on February 18, 2019:

These innovations are all very brave procdedures,and they benefit us in common situations like strokes and cancers. I appreciate this information. Thank you.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on February 18, 2019:

This fascinating insight into the world of medicine brings science fiction to the table of reality. Never thought I would see so many advances in medical treatments in my time, especially in the area of DNA and RNA adapted therapies. Thanks for sharing this important information.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 18, 2019:

Hi Flourish, The important thing with strokes is recognizing the symptoms and getting to the hospital ASAP. A stroke at 33 is horrible!

My husband was totally paralysed on the left at first but several hours later he had some movement. Now he limps with a cane and he has fallen more times than I cn count, but at least he is alive and hasn't had a second one, which is common.

Thanks so much for all your comments Flourish.

FlourishAnyway from USA on February 18, 2019:

I’m especially interested in the work on stroke advances. That’s something that could happen to any one of us and alter our lives significantly. My father-in-law had a stroke when he was 33 and spent the rest of his life paralyzed on one side. I’m glad your husband at least partially recovered. I’m sure it was not easy for either of you.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 18, 2019:

Hi Pop, I am sorry to hear you lost your parents so young. Today's

medical advances could have helped many people. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 18, 2019:

Hi Bill, I do remember the iron lungs. What an awful exsistence! The 3D stuff is so innovative and even something like a prosthesis (my mother has one) can fit comfortably. Since I haven't worked in a long time I was also impressed with the medical advances.

I appreciate your comments. I hope your snow has melted. Have a good week Bill.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 18, 2019:

Miebakagh, Even with my comments, health insurance can be very expensive if you do not work for a company that offers insurance for those that want it, but they still pay for the insurance. No society is perfect, and the wall is not perfect either. I appreciate your input.

breakfastpop on February 18, 2019:

My parents died in their early 50's. Oh, how they would have benefited from today's medical advances.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 18, 2019:

The 3D stuff is fascinating, isn't it? I remember,way back when, when they no longer had to use the iron lungs. Remember those? I thought my God, what an incredible innovation that is...and now look where we are in the medical field.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on February 18, 2019:

Hello, Pamela, thanks for weighing in and commenting. It is awesome that persons who cannot afford the cost of robotic surgeries are given cool treatment! Your input about the wall being put up is noted. I agreed with you since it can help who can not to some extent. I was one of those who gave President Trump a thumbs-up on Tweeter for the venture last year. But my concern for medical care is because they are some persons who can not afford such. Many thanks again.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 18, 2019:

Hi Clive. "Doctored article" - cute! Thanks for your comments. I loved being a nurse, and I would like to think that I have helped people.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on February 18, 2019:

A very "Doctored" Article. Just giving you a Jamaican BIG UP. As a registered nurse, I am sure you have contributed tremendously to the healthcare of others.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 18, 2019:

Hello Miebakagh, Yes, the new technologies are important. The robotic surgeries mean a surgeon uses a robot for some surgeries. Where I live one hospital that uses robitic assistance treats all the people that can't afford surgery and many are on Medicaid.

I use to work there as a head nurse and many trauma patients had no insurance at all, but they were treated with top care like everyone else. Robtic treatments don't depend on money as they are there for the doctor to be more efficient and to help diagnose medical problems to treat them.

I think the amount of money to build the wall may help people, as it may decrease the amount of drugs, like Fentanil, Oxycodone, etc. that get into the country. Also, the large number of people entering cannot be vetted properly, which has let in criminals. If you live overseas and come into the country as a legal immigrant you are vetted properly. However, their are certainly people that deserve asylum.

I don't have all the answers as healthcare costs are expensive, even for my husband and I. We could certainly use a better healthcare system for all. Thanks for bringing up some interesting points and concerns.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 18, 2019:

Hi Chitrangada, I agree that new technologies give us hope, and it sure sounds like there are numerous new treatments.

I appreciate your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 18, 2019:

Hi Eric, It sounds like you have had a quite a rough time with some serious illnesses, but I sure respect the fact that you haven't let it slow you down much. The hiking and time with your son keeps you active!

I didn't think about medicine being a constant experiment, but you're right because that is how advances are made. Thanks so much for you comments my friend.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on February 17, 2019:

Hello, Pamela, all these medical advances and innovations are wonderful. It means in effect better health care and treatment. That robots can now be used to perform surgeries in hospitals is a welcomed development.

But can robotic surgeries be afforded by every person? Recently, I was reading a story by another hubber that President Trump is on course to build a wall against the Mexican border. I weigh in by saying that though the venture is cost intensive, such money is hardly spent on health care and education, and should be channel into such.

Can the government provide free robotic surgeries, or subside it? Or should it be left in the hands of private practitioners?

Thank you for sharing all these medical advances with the public. Have a nice day.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on February 17, 2019:

Excellent and informative article about the latest innovations in the medical field. Thanks for the education and the updates.

It’s heartening to know about these new technologies, because it means better healthcare for so many, who might need them.

Thanks for sharing this information!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on February 17, 2019:

Oh Pamela this is great. Dengue fever may have hit me the worst. Stage four cancer was rough and this stage 2 is a pest. Bi-Polar is no big deal but this arthritis is tough on my bones. My docs. are the best in the world and these breakthroughs make me prosper. I have met a few sick people but we had nothing in common. Medicine is a constant experiment. It works well for me. Dad was a great doc and mom a great chairman of the board of our hospital. I am just a wemt I don't know much.

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