Telemedicine, bioprinting and mobile monitoring identified as major trends in the development of medical services, an overview of which was presented at the forum “Open innovations”. In the near future we will be able to monitor vital signs and diagnose with the help of smartphones, and hospitals will be printing organs, and see patients via Skype.
The development of medicine and pharmacy became one of the Central topics of discussion at the forum “Open innovations”. According to one of the guests of the forum, the partner of consulting company Frost & Sullivan of the Dorman Followill, quality of health care is becoming a global challenge and should make every effort to make health services more accessible in the future, cheaper and more efficient.
One of the major current trends, achieving this goal is the convergence of medical and information technologies. Access to health services remains a problem for most of the world’s population, and the increase in life expectancy and the growth of chronic diseases only further increase the demand for them. This demand cannot be met in traditional ways — the opening of new hospitals and increasing the number of doctors, because it doesn’t have enough money. A possible solution may be the proliferation of telemedicine, and when the doctor and the patient won’t need to spend time on the appointment, and will need only a computer monitor. On the one hand, will reduce the cost of services for clients and will help to establish effective exchange of experience between experts through webinars.
Another future way of saving resources is the voice recognition technology that will help physicians to reduce time spent on paper work (now it takes up to 30% of the time). Also the introduction of new information technologies will allow to solve one more important problem — the need for processing large amounts of information (now 80% of electronic information in the field of medicine is not structured). This is fundamentally important, as it will improve the quality of research and medical decisions — now the proportion of medical errors in the different countries varies from 7% to 30%.
Processing and mapping of a huge number of already existing statistical information using supercomputers ideally will automatically put the patient a diagnosis and offer treatment options. There is a bright future of a unified database of personal medical information, which also will allow the doctor to reduce the time he spends on the reception of one patient, because he didn’t have to re-assemble a complete medical history and to spend time on already surveyed. The access to such a database will increase and self awareness among patients for whom it is becoming increasingly important. So, according to Boris Zingerman, head of the Department of information technology, national research center RAMS, more than 40% of patients in the USA are ready to change your doctor because of insufficient access to information about their own treatment.
In the future independence of patients in any case will increase, because, coming to the doctor, they will already have the results of the studies collected independently. This will help them mobile personal medical device that originated due to the miniaturization and development of sensor technologies. Such devices are able to track key indicators of human activity that will allow you to recognize the symptoms of the disease at the earliest stages and not involve doctors. The first direction of the development of such devices contactless devices, such as camcorders that will be able to determine the vital readings on grounds such as redness or microvibrations of the body surface. In addition to individual use of these cameras can be installed in crowded places.
A second promising direction for such technologies — implantation of sensors in the human body that in the future it will be possible to implement since birth. For example, such sensors could transmit data on the screen of Google Glass or a smartphone that would allow the doctor to see a baseline of the patient and to save time and resources at the reception. In addition, such sensors would immediately signal to the patient and doctors about negative changes in the body. However, while the accuracy of the measurement of some indicators is still not high enough. In addition, the use of this technology constrains relatively low capacity batteries for sensors: now they would have to be replaced regularly, which is clearly not suitable for implanted devices. Possible currently an option — the introduction of sensors into the fabric of casual wear or create a special “smart” patches, which can capture data and transmit them to your mobile device.
This kind of constant monitoring of the condition of the body in the future will allow to predict and prevent possible diseases. If now the share of expenditures on preliminary examination and prevention in the world is 30% of the total treatment costs, in 2025 it will increase to 49%. At the forefront of proactive medicine, which will help to prevent disease, including through DNA analysis of the patient. Now full genome sequencing costs about $3 thousand but in the near future the price will drop to $10 and will be publicly available. The use of DNA analysis will warn the patient about the features of his body and the time to start prevention hypothetical diseases. If to prevent disease will fail in some cases, the affected organ can be partly or completely replaced by implants.
The main types of modern implants are devices that simulate the tissues of the body issuing medication or monitoring of any process of life. One of the main tasks in this area at the moment is to reduce the risk of immune reaction of the organism to the introduction of the implant. One way to avoid immune response — development of so-called food electronics. In this case, the implant enters the body through the gastrointestinal tract, as a tablet. Here, as in the case of implantable sensors, have yet to find a solution to the replenishment of the energy of such devices: they may be disposable or can be used to work with completely new biomaterials. The demand for this type of medical devices is huge: according to forecasts, only in Europe by 2015, sales of implants will reach $35 billion In Russia a similar figure will be only 6.5 billion, although the pace of demand growth in the next three years will be about 30%. The greatest interest, as now, will cause orthopedic implants — mostly joint prostheses, which are among the most technically simple. However, given that the main cause of death of Russians are cardiovascular disease, the proportion of the respective implants (pacemakers) will continue to grow. For example, in the USA the number of people having at least one implant is 11 million people — according to statistics, leading knee replacement.
Another option for replacement of an organ may become bioprinting technology that will allow you to “print” as stem cells and tissues, and entire organs. The first such authority (“printed” a kidney) can be created already in 2030. While using 3D printing you can create only small vessels, cartilage and skin segments, but the “printing” of the vascular tree has not yet managed to master, and most importantly, what prevents to create a full body. Material for such a “print” are spherical clusters of cells (spheroids) receives them, suffusing suspension of cells in microwells. Further, by computer reconstruction to the desired body is created in the drawing and bioprinter fits several types of pre-manufactured spheroids. Then their are layers to apply to the image the necessary authority in 2D, after which construction will be put to ripen in a special bioreactor. Most importantly, these organs can be rejected by the body of the patient, as will be created directly from his own stem cells. In case of successful widespread dissemination of this technology all modern Institute of foreign donation of organs, the risk of rejection is always there, will be cancelled. The development of this method is conducted in Russia, with the world’s first patent for printing, is a resident of SKOLKOVO.