The healthcare industry has always been at the forefront of technological advancements. Designers, engineers, and researchers are always looking for ways to treat more people more effectively with technology. Everywhere you look in healthcare, technology is being used. Doctors rely heavily on it when they’re conducting surgeries. Administrative staff members are using advanced practice management software to ensure all of their records are in order and easily accessible.
But there’s one part of the healthcare industry that people are always eager to improve. And that is cancer treatment. Fighting cancer is one of the hardest things that many people go through every day. This struggle diminishes their physical, mental, and emotional health.
On the bright side, experts are continuously making breakthroughs in cancer treatment with technology. Over the last few years, these are some achievements they’ve reached and have helped many individuals who are trying their best to survive their fight against cancer.
Artificial Intelligence Technology
Many might find this surprising, but artificial intelligence (AI) technology has been transforming cancer treatment. So, clearly, this branch of technology is so much more than just the AI virtual assistants, such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, that we have at home. It’s actually helping in saving people’s lives.
The most significant breakthrough of AI tech in cancer treatment is being made in Google. Among the many branches of the large tech corporation is Google DeepMind. This team of researchers and software engineers is dedicated to integrating AI technology into our daily lives. They developed an AI system that helps in detecting cancer at a much faster rate.
With this technology, they can detect breast cancer in individuals before the symptoms even readily present themselves. This AI system is also being used to detect lung cancer more efficiently. The algorithm that the team developed was able to find five percent more cases. Apart from that, it also lowered the rate of false positives by 11 percent.
Even though technology is transforming how we detect cancer in individuals, it’s also transforming how we prevent it from developing further. This is what a cancer vaccine does for them. Through immunotherapy, patients could acquire vaccines that would treat cancerous cells before they mutate and the situation worsens.
The problem with this treatment, however, is that tumors in patients vary. They come in different sizes and different locations inside the body. But BioNTech tries to overcome this issue by developing personalized cancer vaccines. With the help of technology, they can help patients fight their unique tumors through a vaccine.
Sean Marett, one of the heads of BioNTech, expressed that personalized cancer vaccines can be more useful in fighting types of cancer that have higher rates of mutation.
In May 2019, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved an innovative way of detecting lung cancer more effectively. This time, the medical procedure entails using robotics, software, and data science. This is the Monarch robotic platform. It was developed by Auris Health, a company that specializes in developing new technologies for surgical procedures. Their Monarch robot was acquired by Johnson & Johnson for $3.4 billion.
The Monarch performs an endoscopic procedure to confirm if a patient has lung cancer. What’s great is that this advanced technology has a higher accuracy rate and can detect lung cancer at an earlier stage. Thus, it would be much manageable to treat. In fact, the technology was reported to be successful in locating lung nodules in 92 percent of its patients. Apart from that, the technology also lowers the risk of complications.
Smart Surgical Equipment
Today, it’s commonplace for people to own a couple of smart gadgets. They rely on iPhones, smart TVs, and virtual assistants daily. This is why it’s not surprising that this technology level can also be found in operating rooms. One of the notable smart surgical equipment is the iKnife. This tool was developed by Zoltan Takats, a professor at the Imperial College London.
Surgeons have been using scalpels in surgeries for generations. But the iKnife does more than what an ordinary scalpel does. It doesn’t just cut through tissue. Instead, the electric blades of the knife burn the tissue. This way, the surgery lowers the rate of blood loss. And it helps doctors make more precise movements during surgeries.
With these technological innovations, it really isn’t surprising that the healthcare industry continues to advance and thrive. Don’t get it wrong. There’s still much to do for the industry. There are still many diseases that doctors struggle to cure. But, with the help of technology, there’s hope that they can overcome such challenges.