Medical innovations in 2021
Experts in healthcare are continuously striving to develop new innovations that can improve and save lives. Even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists, physicians, and researchers continued to advance medical knowledge, enhance screening and diagnostic tools, and improve disease management platforms, bringing new hope to patients in 2021.
When it comes to medicine, there's a lot to be excited for in the new year. Here are the top innovations you should know about and the potential impact they may have on healthcare.
Novel blood test detects over 50 types of cancers
While current guideline-recommended cancer screenings in the US are critical, they are limited, testing for just five cancers and screening for a single cancer at a time. The Galleri test from GRAIL strives to transform cancer care and save lives by detecting a multitude of cancers at once and at earlier stages. Clinical validation studies have indicated that Galleri demonstrates the ability to detect more than 50 types of cancers - over 45 of which lack recommended screening today. It will be commercially available this year.
Life-changing vaccinations for COVID-19
With pharmaceutical companies accelerating vaccine development timelines to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, and healthcare researchers around the world collaborating and exploring solutions, hope is on the horizon as the long-awaited vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna have been approved and are in the process of being distributed to be made available to vulnerable populations and frontline workers. Several other vaccines have followed suit and soon the competition for takers will be fierce.
Smart-device connected pacemakers
Pacemakers and defibrillators are implantable devices that regulate and correct heartbeats through electrical pulse. Remote monitoring of these devices is essential to ensure proper functioning. In 2021, patients will soon have new pacemaker options that work through wireless communication to a mobile app that provides data to their physicians.
Telehealth and remote patient monitoring
Resource constraints and a global pandemic has positioned telehealth to be more widely adopted, with many experts predicting remote healthcare to become standard practice for a multitude of applicable purposes, including routine checkups and mental health appointments. Insurance policy changes are also supporting this option for connecting patients and their providers, even when physically distant.