6 Advances In Healthcare 2017 | InteliHealth
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6 Advances In Healthcare 2017

6 Advances In Healthcare 2017

ONE: 3D Printed Drugs

Stereolithography, or 3D printing, can create almost anything. By fusing layers one at a time, 3D printers can combine different materials into complex components with specific characteristics. Healthcare has taken a special interest in the opportunities for highly customized durable goods, equipment, live tissue, and delivery vehicles.

  • Personalized medicine is just one new frontier of 3D printing. In its simplest form, oral tablets are set to start FDA approvals. 3D-printed medications may serve particularly well for patients who respond to the same drugs in different ways. Doctors and pharmacists will customize medication doses, to each patient’s individual requirement. Instead of standardized dosages, information such as age, race, and gender will now be considered in the final product. 3D printing also allows pills to be printed using different compounds in each layer, which provides for timed release of complimentary drugs that treat multiple ailments at once. This not only reduces the number of pills that a patient needs to take but also provides for better tracking and reduced over or under-dosage.
  • Unique dosage forms. Inkjet-based 3D printing technology can be used to create unique dosage forms in the pharmaceutical production process, thereby providing for limitless dosage forms. You can expect the major drug manufacturers to lobby heavily against this as it will completely disrupt current manufacturing and usage.
  • Greater control over drug release profiles. By adapting different profiles to specific printing process, 3D printing of drugs will allow for greater control, design, and testing of practically any profile desired. By layering exact amounts and thicknesses of medications and binders, researchers are able to study the impacts more closely. This area in particular is receiving an accelerated amount of interest. Expect big pharma to allocate substantial R&D dollars in hopes of big returns.


TWO: The Fountain of Youth! Young Blood Antiaging

The concept is simple, take the key proteins in plasma from a person under 25 that rejuvenate human tissues and then reintroduce them into an aging patient. Although in early stages (don’t expect this for 10 – 15 years) substantial investments are already pouring in. Grifols, a Spanish blood company, recently pledged $37.5 million for a stake in Alkahest. Alkahest is one of the pioneers in this field.


THREE: IoT of Course.

While we could write article after article on this subject (and we will) lets focus on the broad impacts.

  • Decreased Costs. The ease and speed that IoT connectivity provides will make real time patient monitoring both affordable and widespread. This will significantly cutting down unnecessary visits by doctors. Home care facilities are certain to cut down on hospital stays and re-admissions.
  • Improved Disease Management. Real time monitoring of patients and health care provider will provide accurate invaluable data showing geographic information about epicenter, contagion rates, and population impact. Doctors will be able to finally get ahead of the curve.
  • Error Reduction. Absolute accuracy of data, automated workflows and ITTT decisions will reduce errors to a minimal rate as well as show new areas of opportunity for efficiency and increased care levels.
  • Improved Treatment Outcomes. By removing data silos and creating network wide connectivity, Healthcare professionals will have access real time information. This will allow for informed decisions as well as offer treatment that is evidence based. This ensures health care provision is timely and treatment outcomes are improved.
  • Increased Quality Scores. With IoT’s ability to monitor practically everything, quality scores will improve dramatically. Value will come from, environment monitoring, automated healthcare recording, visit monitoring, error recovery and more.
  • Patient Experience. Monitoring leads to discovery and places the emphasis ultimately on the needs of the patient. Patient care will become timelier as well more comfort centric and proactive. Improved accuracy of diagnosis, timely intervention by physicians and enhanced treatment outcomes will increase the value and trust by patients.
  • Drug Dispensing Management. IoT will track in real time the removal and movement of drugs in hospitals as well as match that information up with the doctors, staff, and patient locations. Systems will even go so far as to notify staff when an unauthorized person is relocating medications.
  • Medication Usage. Drug / Patient monitoring will track usage and remind patients when to take medications. Additional breakthroughs are seen in micro monitoring coupled with the monitoring of vitals.


FOUR: Blockchain.

The security benefits of blockchain will disrupt the way health records are stored, accessed, and owned. Personal medical records will become the property of the patient who will distribute revocable secure access as needed by anyone in the Healthcare chain of care. Once a record is introduced into the patients record chain, it can not be removed or altered. This will ultimately resolve prescription abuse, duplication of care, mistreatment, and many other industry maladies.


FIVE: Tricorder.

Once only found on Star Trek (thank you Bones). Qualcomm’s $10 million XPrize competition is making Tricorders a health care reality. Final Frontier Medical Devices won the first prize of $2.6 million, led by brothers Dr. Basil Harris, an emergency medicine physician, and George Harris, a network engineer. A second-place prize of $1 million was granted to Taiwan-based finalist, Dynamical Biomarkers Group, led by Harvard Medical School Associate Professor Chung-Kang Peng, Ph.D. and supported by HTC Research.

Small portable Tricorders are expected to non-invasively diagnose real time patient vitals in any location. Hospitals and EMT’s will find them invaluable. The real impact will be the widespread adoption of Tricorders in homes, public transportation and offices, where they can be used by the average person while the patient information is received in real time by medical professionals.


SIX: T-cell Immunotherapies (CAR).

Pending FDA approval, chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies are to be used by a host of cancer centers. CAR extracts white blood cells from a patient, treated at a special laboratory, and then returned to the patient. By altering the patients T-cells and reintroducing them patients are showing substantial success rates against cancers such as multiple myeloma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and some types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). This list should grow dramatically as adoption and success rates rise.

Joey Petelle

Joey Petelle is a best selling author and one of the lead brand strategists at InteliHealth. He has spent three decades establishing market leaders including his own company on the INC500 list.