Tech and medicine have worked in tandem for years to provide consistent advances in the medical field. The innovations have gone on to save multiple lives and improve the quality of life for millions of others. As the amalgamation of medical science and tech continues to deepen, we can only expect newer, more effective medical treatment options to emerge. For now, we’ve rounded up four key advances in medical technology, happy reading.
1. Smart Pacemakers
Myocarditis is identified by the inflammation of the heart muscle (myocardium). The myocardium is tasked with contracting and relaxing, a function that allows for blood to be pumped in and out of the heart, to other parts of the body. Because this inflammation enlarges the heart, the heart is forced to work at an overcapacity, working harder to pump oxygen and blood throughout the body. Consequently, this strain on the heart may result in an abnormal heart rhythm. difficulty breathing, chest pain, and shortness of breath. In cases where the inflammation is severe, blood clots form resulting in heart failure, a heart attack, or death.
In some cases, the main cause of myocarditis is not known. But, when the cause of myocarditis is detected, in most cases, it likely developed when the heart muscle was infected by viruses, parasites, fungi, or bacteria. The Myocarditis Foundation finds viral infections to be the most common cause of myocarditis. An autoimmune disease (as in arthritis, and lupus, for instance) flare-up in other parts of the body can also cause autoimmune myocarditis.
The American Heart Association finds one of the greatest challenges to myocarditis treatment and diagnosis to be the lack of clear symptoms. Some individuals may fail to show/experience symptoms at all and when these symptoms are prominent, they tend to suggest unrelated cardiac problems or point to the viral infection itself. Knowing this, some common symptoms to look out for include fatigue, heart palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, and swelling in the hands, ankles, and feet.
Now knowing just how difficult it is to diagnose myocarditis, your doctor may perform an endomyocardial biopsy. This involves sampling the heart muscle tissue to test for any abnormalities. An electrocardiogram (ECG) may also be performed to monitor abnormal heart rhythms, which in some cases may indicate a damaged heart muscle. Echocardiography can be used to help detect abnormal structural issues in the heart, and a chest X-ray can help rule out potential heart failure.
Myocarditis can affect adults of all ages including the physically fit, infants, and the young and old alike. Currently, there are no known medical treatments that can prevent myocarditis. However, ongoing myocarditis research has found that new technology of implantable smart pacemakers can be used to transmit electrical pulses to the heart muscle to help it pump blood to the body. The pacemakers can be used to correct heart arrhythmias (uneven heartbeats). These pacemakers can be remotely monitored through a bed-side console that transmits the pacemaker information to the attending physician.
2. Respiratory Therapy
Respiratory diseases are listed as some of the common health conditions in the United States. Lung disease is the most common form of respiratory illness within the United States, with cigarette smoking ranked as its most common cause. There are three main groups of lung diseases namely, airway diseases, lung tissue diseases, and lung circulation diseases. Airway diseases block the pulmonary tubes that transport oxygen into and out of the lungs. Common examples of airway diseases include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and chronic bronchitis.
Lung tissue diseases affect the shape of the lung tissue and scarring of the tissue makes it almost possible for the lungs to fully expand and contract. When this lung function is inhibited, it becomes difficult for the lungs to take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. Pulmonary fibrosis is an example of lung tissue diseases. Lung circulation diseases are the third group of lung diseases and they affect the blood vessels present in the lungs. They develop when the blood vessels in the lungs clot or become inflamed. They are similar to lung tissue diseases in that they affect the lungs’ ability to take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. Hypertension is an example of a lung circulation disease.
If you have been diagnosed with pulmonary disease, Brunswick Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine is here to serve you. With over 20-years of experience in providing first-class pulmonary disease treatment and testing in Somerset County, New Jersey. Regardless of the lung disease you’ve been diagnosed with, they have an effective treatment program that upholds the highest quality of care. With innovative treatment options that incorporate innovative medical procedures such as pulmonary rehabilitation, oxygen therapy, lung volume reduction surgery, lung transplants, to mention a few, these healthcare professionals help improve your quality of life.
3. Food Therapy Clinics
Food psychology/therapy clinics can help with dining nutrition tips, especially in older individuals. With the help of a licensed dietitian, you can learn to rebuild your relationship with food by combining psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and cognitive-behavioral change techniques. This is a great option if you would like nutrition advice, nutrition information, a weekly menu, to stop emotional eating, are¬†struggling with an eating disorder. These techniques can identify the cause of your food issues and help you make lasting changes.
4. Primary-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis Medication
For individuals living with multiple sclerosis (MS), their immune system attacks the myelin sheath that covers the nerve fibers, resulting in a communication breakdown between the brain and other parts of the body. In severe cases, this communication breakdown can result in death. Within the United States, an estimated 15% of individuals with MS suffer from a strain of the disease known as (primary- progressive MS) where the symptoms develop gradually. The novel drug siponimod (Mayzent) is an FDA-approved antibody that has been developed specifically to combat primary-progressive MS.
As pharmaceutical and innovation in healthcare continue to improve, we can project that life expectancy will increase and fewer diseases will be termed incurable. However, before embarking on any of these treatment plans, consult your healthcare providers on the best treatment option for you and available clinical trials you can participate in.