Medical Advancements in 2018

We all know that researchers in the medical field are constantly discovering new ideas, and sometimes it can be hard to keep up with everything that is happening in the world of medical advancements. This century is poised to see some unprecedented developments, thanks to the hard work of companies, and governments around the world, but what can we expect in 2018?

Gene editing
One huge breakthrough that could be a reality this year is the Gene editing of Embryos to avoid genetic diseases. It’s been reported in November 2017 that the FDA in America is about to give clearance for gene editing to take place to treat inherited retinal diseases. This could potentially pave the way to start editing the genes of Embryos for more serious and complex issues, such as Cystic Fibrosis.

Artificial Pancreas
As many of you will know Diabetes is on the rise across the world, mainly due to poor diet and lack of exercise. However, researchers have now found a way to make an artificial pancreas for diabetics, which can modulate insulin levels. As of May 2017 the first artificial pancreas systems were beginning to infiltrate the market and 2018 should see them becoming more common. The Hybrid Close-Loop Insulin Delivery System is reported to be the first artificial pancreas system to market.

Sleep Apnea control
Sleep Apnea is a serious sleeping disorder that affects millions across the planet. It causes interruptions to peoples breathing as they sleep, and if it remains untreated it can lead to people not being able to breath while they’re asleep. A recent study found that Sleep Apnea impacts as many as 21 million Americans. The continuous positive airway pressure device is the gold standard for treatments, but 40% of Sleep Apnea sufferers refuse to use the device, patients complain of nose irritation, nasal congestion and bloating as a result of using the device.
A solution has been found and will come to market this year. Companies are marketing a small implant that delivers stimulation to keep airways open while sleeping. It’s controlled by a remote or a wearable patch, and is a similar idea to that of a pacemaker. This neuromodulating equipment has had very positive reviews in clinical trials.

Scalp cooling
Cancer treatment is extremely taxing on anyone, both physically, and emotionally. The new scalp cooling system will hopefully remove some of the emotional side effects of cancer treatment by helping patients keep a full head of hair, and thus give them one thing less to worry about.
The practice of scalp cooling is done by reducing the temperature of the scalp by a few degrees before, during and after chemotherapy by using a cap that fits over the patients head like a hat. This practice is set to become much more common in cancer treatment centres around the world as it has shown to be highly effective in preserving a full head of hair.

We still have a long way to go, but new steps are being taken every day that are making lives better. I hope this research and innovation continues, and each year brings us medical advancements and inventions that improve the lives of people around the world.

Stephen Marshall