Recent Healthcare Technology Advances – Part 1

As the industry continues to shift into the value-based care model, healthcare organizations are looking for the right tools to support the move. This tech will support the improvement of patient care and, in some instances, cut operations’ costs. The topics and tech which were most influential this year are:


Liquid biopsies – A genetic testing mechanism, liquid biopsies use a patient’s blood, plasma, serum or urine, instead of biopsied tissue which makes it easier to obtain and less risky for the patient. Over 40 companies are currently developing and marketing liquid biopsies in the U.S., and the FDA approved the first liquid biopsy for cancer in June 2016.

Genetic testing and biosensors for opioid addiction – Researchers are using genetic tests to identify individuals at the greatest risk for opioid addiction. Though the current tests aren’t ready for wide use, they are in the pipeline. Additionally, biosensors that are worn like wristwatches can detect relapse episodes for opioid addicts using skin temperature, electrodermal activity and movement.

Abdominal surgery initiative – These initiatives include a web-based, risk-assessment algorithm and patient coaching. They can help in combating poor outcomes and reduce costs of patients facing major abdominal surgery.

Horizon scanners – As a way to better make decisions on infrastructure, equipment purchases and predict inpatient cases, organizations should designate a leader to conduct tests and future planning on technology developments and care processes.

Ultraviolet-C LEDs for disinfection – This latest LED option comes in strips and emits UV-C light with the greatest germicidal effect and helps in reducing power usage, stabilizes power output, extends lifespan and can disinfect hard to reach areas. Developers are also working on sanitizing wands and UV disinfecting cabinets for mobile devices.

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