Medicine – a prelude
The science of diagnosing, preventing and curing diseases is called medicine, which may or may not involve surgery. Also, medicine is the composition of different chemical substances called drugs that aids in curing or preventing the diseases. Medicine has its roots in the humankind since long time ago. Before the realization of scientific knowledge, traditional medicines were in existence. These medicines lack the backing of any scientific experiments. Instead, people followed or administered what was passed onto them by their ancestors. Most of these traditional medicines failed to cure deadly devices prevalent during that time. After the invention of science and technology, numerous scientific experiments paved the way for powerful medicines and vaccinations, thereby eradicating the endemic diseases. Yet, new diseases are surfacing still, and scientists are working hard to discover medicines to prevent and cure them. We have come a long way in this medicinal field and still, we have a long way to go.
Types of medicinal practices
Different types of practices in the medicinal field are followed all over the globe. To name some important ones, such as,
Allopathy is also referred as the modern systems of medicine, western medicine etc. In this form of practice, drugs are used to oppose the effects of the disease, thereby controlling and curing it. The drugs administered here are as the resultant of various chemical compounds backed by approved scientific experiments.
Homeopathy works on the principle of ‘Like cures like’. It is often considered as pseudo-science. Homeopathic medicines are derived from animals, plants, mineral etc.
This form of practice is very popular in India. Here the medicines are prepared using various concoctions of extractions derived from plants.
In this form of practice, needles are used to prick particular significant parts of the body to alleviate pain and cure the disease.
Top 5 technological innovations in medicine
We are here concentrating on top 5 technological innovations in medicine pertaining to allopathy field of medicine.
Needleless diabetics care
Diabetes testing involves painful procedure of using needles to draw blood. Even modern insulin monitors are not completely prick-free. To overcome this problem, Echo therapeutics, a Philadelphia-based company is developing a technology involving patch testing. Using a transdermal biosensor the device will read the blood sugar levels, thereby eliminating the usage of needles.
Cure your heart with a ‘Valve’
‘Edward Life Sciences, Irvine CA’, have discovered a replacement for the painful open-heart surgery. Called as ‘the Sapient trans catheter aortic valve’ is a valve administered into the patient’s femoral artery using a catheter. The Valve is blown using a balloon after placing it properly in the valve space. This method also assures less hospitalization with quick recovery as opposed to the surgery.
‘Neural dust’ sensor to cure nerve related issues
Engineers from Berkeley have discovered a dust-sized sensor called ‘Neural dust’. This sensor when administered directly into nerves can help in diagnosing and treating neural disease like epilepsy. This is accomplished by ‘stimulating’ the nerves.
Implants to cure migraines
Scientists from ‘Autonomic Technologies Inc., Redwood city, CA’ have discovered a permanent implant to cure migraine by blocking the SPG signals, which are responsible for headaches such as, migraines. By placing the implant in the upper gum near the head, the tip touches the SPG nerves. Whenever the patient senses pain he/she controls the SPG nerves using a remote controller.
A company called Nano-retina has developed an implant to help people who have lost vision due to retinal degenerative diseases. The implant, named NR600 consists of implantable chip and an eyeglass. The implant when administered acts in the place of damaged photoreceptor cells, there by stimulating the other healthy retinal cells.