‘Point of Care’ Devices are the New Trend in Diagnosis and Treatment

‘Point of Care’ Devices are the New Trend in Diagnosis and Treatment

A contemporary health system relies on the contribution of human resources and health technologies. Medical devices, one aspect of health technologies, equip health care providers with tools to perform their functions effectively and efficiently.

Technology plays a very important role in enhancing the world of equipments, thus helps to develop the lifestyle of the patients. These equipments make prior identification of the diseases and prevent the serious ones. In the field of hospitals, the medical equipments play a vital role in the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of different kinds of medical conditions.

These devices are designed to maintain rigorous safety standards in order to ensure the safety of patients and the absence of these medical tools could significantly pull down the medical industry and become detrimental to the lives of billions of people worldwide. Now the trend is bring in “Point of Care’ (POC) devices so that there is no need for the patients to visit hospitals or laboratories for diagnosing diseases. It is used in doctors’ room, hospitals, and in patients' homes which gives quick feedback on many sorts of medical tests.

POC devices are commonly used for testing glucose and cholesterol levels, do electrolyte and enzyme analysis, test for drugs of abuse and for infectious diseases and for pregnancy testing. Blood gases, cardiac markers, and fecal occult blood tests can also be done with POC diagnostic devices. But, the technology had developed with more medical devices companies using most modern technology for manufacturing POC devices. New techniques have helped to reduce the radiation level of machines for treatments like chemotherapy and also for X-rays.

According to Nithin Besent, Bio Medical Engineer at Medical College Ernakulam, Kerala, the new trend in the medical device industry is to replace the conventional machines to hand- held machines. Earlier, there were huge machines seen in Intensive Care Units and now it is slowly disappearing with doctors getting all the data of the patients in their tablets or smart phones.

“ Technology has developed to such an extent that the use of huge Ultra Sound machines are now confined to small machines. Now there is no need for the patients to wait for hours in hospitals for examination and getting the test results as ‘point of care’ concept is developed where the machines will reach to the patients”, he said. He also pointed out that the smaller machines also do not compromise on technology. The technology development helps doctors to diagnose disease quickly and take decisions for treatment.

Now X-ray machines with low radiation to patients and staff are available. Now the machines are designed in such a manner that the machines could position itself to whichever area the X-ray should be taken without the movement of the patient. Arun Warrier, consultant, Medical Oncologist, Aster Medcity, pointed out that new devices have been developed for scalp cooling during chemotherapy. There is no need for fear of hair loss during Chemotherapy, if this device is used.

“This machine will eject a liquid which will cool the scalp and there will not be any hair loss. The machine has liquid gas inside it and it also prevent from medicine entering into the scalp” he said. There is no need to go to hospitals for detecting cancer as hand- held devices have been developed for mammography. Most of the hospitals have this facility so that screening has become very easy.

During colonoscopy, the doctor uses a colonoscope, a long, flexible, tubular instrument about 1/2-inch in diameter that transmits an image of the lining of the colon so the doctor can examine it for any abnormalities. But now swallowing a tablet will enable the doctor to get images inside the body. 

The tablet will transmit the images to a machine, tablet or the mobile phone of the doctor. The tablet will be dissolved when it reaches the intestine. In dentistry too, medical devices play a vital role in most modern treatment. The manually operated dental chair is now transformed to automated ones with changing of positions of the chair being done mechanically.

Dental Surgeon Deepak Babu B confirms that the treatment has become more efficient with the introduction of new devices. Laser technology is used for surgeries in mouth without any blood coming out and even there is no need for anaesthesia. 

“Digital X-rays, using a small machine at the size of a swipe machines in banks, are used to take X-rays which will help in finding out that the root canals have reached the accurate position. Drilling and filling of tooth are being done using air compressor which is more accurate than the conventional technology”, Deepak Babu says.

For sterilisation in hospitals, ultrasonic scaling is used which will ensure that the medical devices used in dentistry are free of all micro organisms like bacteria. Now this is mandatory for all the hospitals. Apart from this, it is highly imperative that the equipments should be properly taken care of to guarantee the functionality and their reliability in hospitals. The most  perfect medical product is one that provides, at zero invasiveness, an immediate and permanent cure at very low cost.

The medical device industry is important due to the fact that Medical devices or equipment like Medical monitors, IV Infusion pumps, PCA pumps, Medical stretchers, etc. are very much necessary for proper care of a patient in Hospitals.Innovations in the delivery of healthcare can result in more convenient, more effective, and less expensive treatments for today’s time-stressed and increasingly empowered health care consumers.

New drugs, diagnostic methods, drug delivery systems, and medical devices offer the hope of better treatment and of care that is less costly, disruptive, and painful. IT innovations that connect the many islands of information in the healthcare system can both vastly improve quality and lower costs.

Innovation can help in getting patients’ needs right, connecting medical device to its users such as doctors, lab technicians and patients, leveraging latest technology and innovative and more efficient ways for compliance to various regulatory requirements. From electronic medical records (EMRs) and personalized genomic information, to lifestyle and personal health data – along with the ability to analyze the data, represent another revolutionary force driving unprecedented insights and facilitating scientific breakthroughs in the development of new drugs and therapeutic devices.

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