Recent advances in medical disciplines
Healthcare is ever-changing and innovations such as cancer immunotherapy and pharmacogenomics are set to significantly transform the medical field. Moreover, alternate therapies for pain, use of artificial intelligence in different specialities and breakthroughs in surgery, have enhanced the healing process.
Every second one person will reportedly die from cardiovascular disease somewhere in the world. The big question is why do people have a heart attack? In spite of extensive research, the definite answer is not available yet, but the “risk factors” include hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, unhealthy diet, stress, genetic factors, ageing, and hormonal factors, among others. However, many of these risk factors are modifiable and strict control on these can reduce the chance of having a heart attack.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains one of the leading causes of fatality in the Middle East. Faulty heart valves are a common cause of CVD and can be a result of age-related changes to the heart. In recent years, there have been a number of advances in cardiology that have helped to increase the quality of life in heart patients. These include a number of new lifesaving alternatives that have been developed for patients with faulty valves. These innovative options are suited to those who are at increased risk from conventional open-heart surgery, or who might benefit from a minimally invasive approach.
There were around 54.8 million diabetics in the MENA region in 2019, according to IDF Diabetes Atlas. This condition is present in 12.8 per cent of the MENA population and almost half of the cases remain undetected. Out of these, almost 20-25 per cent suffer from some sort of visual impairment due to diabetes. One of these conditions is diabetic retinopathy, where high blood sugar levels damage the retina, the nerve layer lining the innermost part of the back of the eye. Some of the most recent advances in diabetic retinopathy screening, depending on the severity of the retinopathy, include laser, injections or surgery.
Emergency clinicians face the challenge of treating patients in short encounters with the possibility of not seeing the same patient again. These short spells of interaction and the rapid pace of the workflow in the Emergency Department (ED) represent fertile ground for unexpected circumstances to take place at any time. Challenges occur under circumstances that could range from minor injuries to life-threatening cases. Developments such as automation of the ED is a solution to build a robust risk management process by utilising and analysing all the data collected. Digital innovation will enable the ED staff to produce effective tools and policies to mitigate risk and predict threats and defines excellence in emergency medicine.
Obesity is a multifactorial disease with a complex pathophysiology. There exists a strong link between genetic, environmental and social factors and obesity development. Bariatric endoscopy is becoming more commonplace in obesity care today. The endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG) and the primary obesity surgery endoluminal (POSE-2) narrows and shortens the size of the stomach significantly and induces weight loss. Extensive experience in performing these procedures has resulted in significant total body weight loss which can be sustained with continued follow-up.
Orthopedic surgery is a treatment procedure performed on the musculoskeletal system in case of injuries or various conditions. Some of the most recent advances in orthopedics include laser-assisted Arthroscopic surgery with the correction of Biomechanics that provides a logical solution to patients. Laser promises to fill up a huge lacuna in the Orthopedic surgeon’s arsenal. It has many advantages over the suction-shaver and the radiofrequency apparatus.
The development of paediatric health innovation such as personal health devices, robotics, 3D printing, biosensors and data analytics, have transformed pediatric care. These current pediatrics trends provide the opportunity to move away from repurposing adult technologies to promote the development of bespoke health technology that is designed for children.
Moreover, recent advances in maternal and Foetal medicine have taken many pregnancies to term and improved the well-being of preterm babies as well as twin/triplet pregnancies. Foetal Medicine is an advanced area of medicine that addresses the specific and unique health concerns of expectant mothers who have health issues, including high blood pressure, bleeding, and multiple miscarriages, and their unborn babies.
Medical imaging data is one of the richest sources of information about a patient’s well-being. At the same time, the interpretation of extremely high-resolution medical images is a complex task. With a staggering amount of unstructured data packed into X-rays, CAT scans, MRIs, and other testing modalities, it is no surprise that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is slated to be a valuable ally for radiologists, pathologists, caregiver institutions, policymakers and public health governance.