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8 Exciting Innovations in Pediatric Care

8 Exciting Innovations in Pediatric Care

pediatrics

As Kahlil Gibran, the famous theologian once said, “Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but advancing what will be”. The advancement of technology seems to move at such a rate that even ‘before you blink’ a new innovation is already introduced. The smart phone was a breakthrough technology just a short time ago, and now, it is fully integrated into life’s everyday experience. It is almost a certainty that today’s medical innovations will follow suit.   

Smart Pill
Smart Pill

My number 1. is The Smart Pill: this pill is not just smart, but is borderline genius. A sensor is built into this pill which enables physicians and medical teams to accurately assess a patient’s condition from afar. Recently, this technology has been used by Children’s Health in Dallas- the first pediatric system to use this innovative device to treat 75 transplant patients by. Next is the whole new world of 3D printing creating prototype hearts that is revolutionizing pediatric cardiology and changing lives. (https://give.childrens.com/latest-news/latest-news-entry/smart-pills-help-doctors-monitor-patients-from-a-distance) 

2. Advanced Imaging and Modeling was developed in 2013 through the collaborative efforts of cardiologist, Dr. Mathew Bramlet, Children’s Hospital of Illinois and Jump Simulation Engineers. Together, they developed a procedure changing two dimensional images of the heart into 3D Printed Models. This work helped change the life of a 9 year old girl who needed complex aortic surgery.

3D Printed Heart Model
3D Printed Heart Model

Today Jump Simulation Engineers are working together with University of Illinois School of Engineering. Together, they have produced models of anatomical digital images. These images can either be printed or integrated into virtual settings such as “augmented and virtual realities”. Another technology that could change lives of patients especially children who suffer from diabetes is the digital tattoo. (https://www.jumpsimulation.org/research-innovation/innovation/advanced-imaging-and-modeling) 

Graphene Patch
Graphene Patch

3. Blood Glucose monitoring using digital tattoos looks to be a great solution to spare patients-both adult and children-the discomfort of monitoring glucose. Researchers have developed an amazing electronic skin patch (graphene patch) that detects a higher than normal level of glucose in the patient’s sweat. It automatically releases drugs through heating up microneedles that enter the skin. The first model is the creation of Dae-Hyeong Kim, assistant professor at Seoul National University together with researchers from MC10. The MC10 Company is experimenting with a variety of microchips and bio stamps that measure an array of vital signs simultaneously. Telehealth technology has so far made a huge impact on the lives of pediatric patients. One innovation created by Children’s Mercy research team is the CHAMP APP. (http://medicalfuturist.com/the-future-of-diabetes-management-8-reasons-why-we-face-extraordinary-times/)

CHAMP App
CHAMP App

4. The CHAMP App is a cutting edge PC tablet-supported application that simplifies at-home monitoring. This device is tailor made for families of children born with a single ventricle heart defect. This app is the first to offer effective inter-stage monitoring. Parents and medical teams are able to “track everything from the child’s oxygen saturation levels to nutritional intake”. (http://www.childrensmercy.org/research/translational-research/)

Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition that can cause heart disease, hypertension or diabetes. Research shows that between 1-4% of children –most commonly

Motio HealthWear Watch
Motio HealthWear Watch

between the ages of 2-8- develop sleep apnea. Thankfully Neogia have designed an effective solution to sleep apnea…(https://www.sleepapnea.org/treat/childrens-sleep-apnea/).

5. in the form of a wearable “smart watch”. This watch includes a MOTIO HW. The MOTIO HW picks on sleep apnea enhancing sleep quality through a “personalized” artificial intelligence that adapts to user behavior. (http://medicalfuturist.com/10-best-health-technology-innovations-ces-2017/)

Our next entry into the list is a world first procedure that has changed the life of a boy with no hands who longed to swing a baseball bat.

Double Hand Transplantee
Double Hand Transplantee

6. The first double hand transplant on a pediatric patient: the advance of technology has enabled more complex surgery – changing the lives of the children that need it. The world’s first hands transplant was performed on an 8 year old child. This enabled him to fulfil his dream of swinging a baseball bat for the first time with two functional hands. This research and procedure was a successful collaboration involving the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Penn Medicine. From the world’s first double hand transplant to the amazing technological world of cloud based technology. (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/318495.php)

Cloud Thermometer
Cloud Thermometer

7. Cloud based Technology Thermometer: New cloud based technology is becoming increasingly popular these days. The CliniCloud system developed in San Francisco, California includes a wireless thermometer and a stethoscope that attaches to a smartphone. Parents are able to create a record of their child’s temperature and breathing sounds from four places on the chest. These outcomes can be sent using a portal to their physician. Their physician can access these recordings and make recommendations of what further action should be taken. (http://contemporarypediatrics.modernmedicine.com/contemporary-pediatrics/news/best-tech-pediatrics-2016?page=0,1)

From the CliniCloud device to the D-Eye and Peek phone technologies. These innovations have the potential to revolutionize the work of pediatricians and ophthalmologists around the globe.

D-Eye iPhone App
D-Eye iPhone App

8. The new D-Eye and PEEK Phone Technology a device that is transforming the practice of pediatricians and their patients. This technology enables the physician to accurately visualize the retina and optic disk and make an accurate diagnosis of potential retinal hemorrhages or papilledema. Another similar device is called PEEK Retina (created by Peek Vision London). This device was created by a team of interdisciplinary ophthalmologists, engineers and optics experts from London’s Moorfield Eye Hospital. This technology was designed for Android based technologies “that makes the phones camera confocal with the optical sensor so it can illuminate the retina and capture a clear image”. (https://www.reviewofophthalmology.com/article/a-review-of-portable-retinal-imaging)

The advancement of technology can only enhance the health of patients. This is especially the case with devices that can accurately monitor a patient’s condition from afar. In the pediatric healthcare field, revolutionary technology development continues to gain pace. This spirit of innovation is shared by surgeons who were able to change the life of the 9 year old now able to swing a baseball bat freely. In the words of Kahlil Gibran, “Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but advancing what will be

By: Jonathan Gordon, Merraine Group, Inc®

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