Remarkable Medical Breakthroughs In Recent Years

June 3, 2015

Surgeons in the operating theatre Every century has seen its fair share of lifesaving medical breakthroughs and each of them has contributed to the way the healthcare scene has shaped up today. With the promise of bigger and better things to come, there’s no doubt this is an exciting time to be in medicine. Take a look at some of the more remarkable lifesaving medical breakthroughs in recent years. 



A High-Tech, Super-Quick DNA Test for Detecting Infectious Diseases

A new trial uses highly advanced diagnostic computer technology to sift through a person’s DNA in just a few minutes to detect the presence of infectious diseases. Unlike the traditional method of testing, which takes a sample of the patient’s blood and then tests separately for different diseases, this technology goes through the entire sample to see if any known diseases match the markers in the blood. This means that instead of trying to find one specific disease, the computer can now analyse the entire DNA for any potential diseases that may be present.

Diagnosing an infectious disease as soon as possible is crucial since it is often a matter of life or death. With this new technology, a number of lives will be saved thanks to the faster turnover time of these results.

A New Vaccine for Cancer Treatment

A new cancer treatment for pancreatic cancer is currently undergoing clinical testing. This immunotherapy makes use of a person’s immune cells to fight off the cancer. It is a two pronged process which identifies the destructive cells and then gets rid of them. First, the patient’s immune system is ‘taught’ how to identify the destructive cells by making use of two pancreatic cancer cells. Then a particular strain of bacteria is injected into the patient. This bacterium stimulates the system and helps the system fight off the cancer cells.

A Cure for a Deadly Intestinal Disease

Faecal transplants are now being used instead of antibiotics in order to treat intestinal diseases. Healthy bacterium is obtained from a stool sample and it is then used to treat a weakened intestine in order to fight off the disease. It may sound gross but this treatment is proving to be much more effective than antibiotics, which often don’t treat the infection completely. Antibiotics also sometimes cause other adverse effects.

A Pacemaker That Lets You Dance

The latest wireless pacemaker is a tiny device that is the size of a regular vitamin pill. Because it is so tiny and wireless, it can be threaded through an artery from the groin directly to the heart muscle via minimally-invasive surgery. This pacemaker only stimulates one chamber of the heart. This means that all the earlier side effects such as dizziness, fainting and fatigue that were associated with a dual chamber pacemaker are now no longer a problem.

A Hearing Aid for Fading Volumes

Traditional hearing aids only helped when a person suffered from complete loss of hearing. Now, new hearing aids have been designed that can treat patients who have trouble hearing high-pitched sounds. These patients, who suffer from a damaged cochlea (the inner part of the ear), can usually hear low pitched sounds perfectly but cannot hear high pitched sounds. This condition could be hereditary or it could occur due to illness or old age. The hybrid hearing aid combines the features of a traditional hearing aid with a cochlear implant. When surgically implanted, it allows the wearer to hear a wider range of notes, making it easier to follow conversations or listen to music.