Exploring Cutting-Edge Technologies and Their Impact on Patient Care

By Katie Brenneman, Writer, Researcher
X: @KatieBWrites93

The quality of care physicians can provide to patients has almost always evolved in conjunction with developing technology. From the invention of the stethoscope in 1816 to the development of MRI scanners in 1978, all the way to modern health records systems created in 2013, technology has always unlocked new methods of disease treatment, allowing physicians to keep pace with patients’ changing medical needs.

Despite this, the modern attitude toward technology in healthcare has been very much wary. Patients and providers alike worry about technology replacing the human element or adding a degree of error to clinicians’ diagnoses.

Are these fears warranted? In short: no. The tools that physicians use to administer to patient needs may change, but only to become more effective. Healthcare industry veterans can and should be excited about the possibilities exploding from the development of these technologies, as their potential use cases address a wide variety of scenarios that, before, had no easy answer.

Here is what we are seeing as some of the newest technological innovations and what healthcare providers should keep an eye on. What are their practical uses and how can they be leveraged today? As these technologies continue to develop, what might the their future’s bring?

Advancements that Improve Patient Well-Being Today

Before we dive too deeply into speculation about the future, let’s explore how technology is actively working to facilitate care today. Modern technological advancements have revolutionized patient care, closing gaps in service, broadening the public’s health awareness, and facilitating ongoing monitoring of serious conditions. With modern devices, patients can connect with doctors quickly, receive care promptly, and predict and resolve concerns before they become serious issues.

Let’s briefly take a look at some of the innovations that unlock these capabilities:

  • Wearable Tech: IoT-connected devices like smartphones, tablets, and smart-watches are everywhere; and even if a patient doesn’t have a device directly provided by their doctor (which is also available), they can leverage several healthcare apps to monitor, record, and report on their well-being. These devices can help patients take healthcare outside the office and to the home, providing incentives to continue healthy habits and reporting to doctors when risk factors emerge.
  • Telehealth conferencing: Patients may have trouble scheduling an hour to visit the office, what with the hustle and bustle of modern life. Telehealth unlocks instant connection wherever a patient is, allowing doctors and patients to bypass any and all obstacles to meeting.
  • Virtual reality: No, it’s not just for gaming. Virtual reality can be used to better educate patients on how the body works, what risk factors are, and why corrective measures will work. Advancements in 3D modeling and diagramming specificity were helpful precursors to what this technology will unlock for patients and providers.

And these are just the small things; really, advancements in technology have already unlocked so much for healthcare providers. From leveraging advanced scanning technology to identify and isolate potential threats to back-office efficiency improvements provided by advanced record-keeping software, the medical field is benefiting greatly from a higher level of digitization.

Anti-Aging: Increasingly Powerful Tech

Looking toward the future, we can predict several powerful advancements that are to come. The question of how to live in such a way that the passage of time inflicts limited damage on the body has been asked, answered, and asked again. However, our answers were previously limited by the scope of our knowledge; knowledge that has expanded and deepened in conjunction with our evolving tools.

The concept of anti-aging, once reserved for sorcerers in fantasy novels and dystopian sci-fi films, is no longer necessarily outside the bounds of reality. Scientists and healthcare professionals have been working on a number of potential treatments to achieve this effect, including:

  • Cell reprogramming: Reverting a small cluster of your body’s cells to their embryonic state, then re-coding that cell for transplant into a damaged part of the body. This treatment is currently used to repair damage from certain diseases, but is not without complication: cells tend to get damaged in transit, and can occasionally worsen the problem by causing cancer. As technology continues to evolve, however, the problems with this method may be isolated and resolved.
  • Gene therapy: A way to re-code genes, isolating malfunctioning code that causes disease and either replacing it or outright turning it off. Enabled by CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology, this is a fully functional method as of today that’s often used to treat monogenic diseases. However, scientists anticipate a broader range of use cases as the technology continues to develop, including complex, multi-gene diseases, cancer, and age.
  • Telomere extension: Extending the life of cells by lengthening telomeres. This is another method that is fully possible as of today, though it also has its complications. Editing cells in such a way has a reduced risk (compared to cell programming) of causing cancer, though it’s still there; and telomere extension also increases the risk of blood disorders. This method is still being explored, however; and there’s always the possibility of finding a way to mitigate those risks.

The technology is in the early stages, but the fact that we’re even seeing signs that one day this may be possible is incredible. Scientists and healthcare professionals are working in tandem to crack the code of anti-aging, and it may not be long before science fiction becomes a science fact.


We hope this brief primer was enough to put your mind at rest. Technologies like AI spark a lot of alarm, but that alarm is unwarranted. In truth, physicians stand to benefit a great deal from recent and future technological advancements. We may not know with 100% certainty what they will unlock for us, but we know one thing: the patients stand to benefit the most.