Are you a tech professional looking to move into the healthcare industry? If so, there are several new medical technologies for tech professionals you should be aware of. If wearable medical technology, telehealth, or medical 3D printing sound interesting, there could be a career for you!
What Is The Newest Medical Technology In 2022?
As with all technology, medical technology continues to advance, with new developments happening on a regular basis. From pacemakers to MRIs, medical technology has helped to enhance the effectiveness of healthcare and improve medical outcomes.
The newest medical technologies bring together the worlds of engineering, computing, and healthcare to stunning effect. The most promising of these new technologies include:
- Wearable medical technology
- Telehealth and telemedicine
- Medical 3D printing
We’ll examine each of these areas in more detail.
Wearable Medical Technology
Wearable medical technology refers to any device that someone wears on their person that tracks and records medical conditions or biological data. Some wearable devices, such as smart watches, have other functionality beyond recording medical data. Others, such as blood pressure monitors, are function-specific.
Different Types Of Wearable Technology
There are three major types of wearable technology today that have medical applications — smart watches and similar devices, ECG monitors, and blood pressure monitors. All these personal health monitoring devices are small and light enough to be worn unobtrusively. Many sync to an individual’s smartphone via wireless Bluetooth technology to record specific data. Some use the smartphone’s cellular connection to send data to physicians in real time.
These smart wearable devices are increasingly popular in both the consumer market and as prescribed by physicians. According to eMarketer, about 78 million people in the U.S. currently own smart wearable devices. That number is expected to grow to 93.7 million by 2025.
- Smart Watches/Devices
Smartwatches are more than watches. Most smartwatches include a variety of smart functions, like alarms and reminders, text messaging, phone calls, and streaming music. These devices often provide apps and sensors to monitor sleep, heart rate, and blood oxygen levels.
The most popular smartwatches come from big-name consumer tech companies, such as Apple, Fitbit, and Samsung. These and other companies also offer dedicated fitness trackers with additional exercise-related features.
- ECG Monitors
ECG monitoring is available in some higher-end smartwatches and fitness trackers, or consumers can opt to wear a dedicated ECG monitor. The dedicated ECG devices typically offer more functionality than smartwatches, such as the ability to detect atrial fibrillation and send readings directly to the user’s physician.
- Blood Pressure Monitors
Individuals who need to watch their blood pressure can take advantage of wearable blood pressure monitors. These devices, about the same size and shape as a smartwatch, can take blood pressure readings on demand. Readings are then transferred via Bluetooth to the user’s smartphone for further analysis and storage, as well as sharing with their physicians.
Benefits Of Wearable Technology In Healthcare
Wearable medical technology offers numerous benefits to both patients and healthcare providers. Patients get real-time monitoring of important functions and medical alerts under extreme conditions. Physicians get more frequent and regular monitoring than they get from in-office visits alone, and insights into how specific activities affect their patients’ health. The fact that most wearable devices are stylish and perform additional useful functions help to integrate them into peoples’ normal lives.
Another medical technology to watch in 2022 is the entire field of telehealth. Telehealth and telemedicine took a giant leap forward in awareness and demand since the onslaught of COVID-19 in 2020. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, roughly one in four Americans have used telehealth services since the beginning of the pandemic.
What Is Telehealth and How Does It Work?
Telehealth refers generally to all healthcare services delivered remotely, outside of a physician’s office, clinic, or hospital. Telemedicine is a subset of telehealth, encompassing remote clinical services only. Telehealth includes telemedicine plus non-clinical services, such as patient education.
One common application of telehealth technology is the use of virtual physician appointments. In this instance, is telehealth a phone call or video? The answer is it can be both. Instead of traveling to the physician’s office, a patient receives a phone call from their physician or signs into a video chat using their computer, tablet, or smartphone. In some instances, physicians can retrieve basic health data from remote patients via their smartwatches and other smart wearables.
Telehealth and the technology behind it offer numerous benefits to both patients and healthcare providers. For patients, telehealth promises:
- Convenience (no need to travel for an appointment)
- After-hours consultations
- Improved access to care, especially in rural areas
- More frequent and more effective preventive care
- Less exposure to illness and infection
For healthcare providers, telehealth offers the following benefits:
- Lower overhead
- Additional revenue stream
- Less exposure to illness and infection
- Increased patient satisfaction
What Technology Is Needed For Telehealth?
Basic telehealth services require a broadband Internet connection and a video chat platform. That can be a consumer platform, such as Zoom, or a proprietary platform designed specifically for healthcare professionals. Looking forward, there is a huge opportunity for robotics technology to be used for remote telesurgery.
Medical 3D Printing
The final important medical technology in 2022 is medical 3D printing. 3D printers have long been used in the manufacturing space and have gained ground in education and with consumers. The technology is just now being adapted by healthcare professionals, and the applications are many.
How Can 3D Printers Help Doctors?
3D printers have significant potential in doctors’ offices, clinics, and hospitals. Physicians can use 3D printers to print highly personalized prosthetics for their patients. Surgeons can use 3D printers to print realistic replicas of a specific patient’s body parts, so they can practice difficult surgical procedures in advance. These applications can be game-changing.
What is the Role of the 3D Printer in the Medical Field?
The use of 3D printers in healthcare extends well beyond the physician’s office. Some of the more significant potential applications include:
- Personalized 3D-printed implants and prosthetics
- Customized and highly accurate 3D-printed surgical instruments
- 3D-printed medications
- 3D-printed skin grafts, blood vessels, and organs
Find a New Tech Job Today
The many advancements in medical technology represent a significant opportunity for tech professionals interested in working in the medical field.
Whether it’s wearable medical devices, telehealth and telesurgery, or medical 3D printing, the opportunities are extensive.
If you are interested in a career in medical technology, turn to the employment experts at Quadrant.
Our experienced professionals will help you find the best position for your unique skill set and help you accomplish your long-term career goals. Click here to view technology jobs.
Contact Quadrant today to learn more about careers in medical technology.