Technology is Changing the Rare Disease World

Across the globe, countries are transitioning their healthcare systems to provide more care within the patient’s home and less in a hospital setting. Why? Simply put, it’s because there’s beginning to be more patients who need care than hospitals can physically manage to care for on-site.

Why Are There More Patients?

Basically, the population of the world is aging and the number of chronic disease diagnoses is continually growing. By 2050, 17% of the world’s population will be above the age of 65 and within the next two years the incidence rate of chronic disease is estimated to increase to 57%.

To accommodate, healthcare systems are being forced to find ways to serve more patients faster. However, while doing so, they don’t want to lose any quality of care.

So What’s The Solution?


The biggest downside concerning patients spending less time is a hospital is the loss of constant monitoring of their condition by doctors, nurses, and machines. Researchers have been working to find technological solutions to fill this gap.

“Real-time monitoring of a person’s physiological and biophysical parameters, and relaying health information to care providers has become essential.”

Not only could technology solve the concern of monitoring, it could provide patients a better experience. Monitoring devices could mean less trips to the doctor, less time tediously tracking and documenting your own symptoms, and an overall better quality of life.

Some Current Developments

  1. Skin censors which are non-invasive have been found to help in the diagnosis of illnesses like diabetes and cystic fibrosis. Not only that, but they can help to monitor patient’s stress levels and mechano-acoustic ones can help determine how well stroke victims are responding to rehabilitation.
  2. Conductive gels and patch censors work to supplement blood tests by monitoring cardiac activity in addition to brain and muscle function.
  3. Implants can deliver treatment directly to the target site by crossing the blood-brain barrier. This not only ensures the treatment is received, eliminating room for patient error, but it can improve the drugs efficacy and minimize side effects. Some types of implants can even stimulate the body’s muscles in a way that can improve motor skills for patients who have a condition which impairs muscle function.

Looking toward the future

Not only could technology like this greatly improve the healthcare system as a whole, it could immensely improve the lives of patients who previously did not have access to the system at all. For instance, in countries like India, there are many remote areas that suffer from a lack of qualified doctors. These new technological devices could completely change the level of care that a patient in areas like that could even receive otherwise.

As healthcare revolutionizes, there’s still a lot of things we still need to figure out. Patient privacy and the security of patient data is something that isn’t 100% foolproof yet. Additionally, researchers around the world are still working on standardizing different types of data that technological devices like these can collect. But the progress is promising. Developments like this could improve patients lives and more accurate data from more people could mean improved research. This could ultimately better outcomes for the rare disease world as a whole.

You can read more about these developments and new technology in the works here.

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