These Are a Few of my Favorite Things: Recent Medical Innovations

It’s hard to believe we’re almost halfway through the year! It feels like time is accelerating, and some of us are already living in the future. The number of medical breakthroughs seems to be picking up as well – here are just a few recent favorites that caught my eye:

(Set to “My Favorite Things” from “The Sound of Music” – Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…)
Vaccines for cancer and CRISPR gene cutting,
Implants for brains and tooth diet tracking,
Needle-less shots and digital skin,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Ok, so I had a little fun with that, but these ideas solve very serious problems:

  • Human trials to test a potential cancer vaccine: injections of immune-stimulating agents eliminate cancer and prohibit the build-up of metastases.
  • CRISPR gene editing to cure disease at the genetic level and restore cells back to a healthy state.
  • A “pacemaker” implant for the brain, which could help improve memory and minimize the effects of epilepsy, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
  • A “wearable” for your tooth that can track real-time data on your dietary consumption, including sodium, glucose and alcohol.
  • A high-pressure medication system that delivers through the skin – no needles, pokes or prods required.
  • Biometric monitors that can measure your body’s vital signs and display them on a thin plastic material placed over your skin.

The common theme with all of these is that they represent upgrades to our delicate bodies, either on a molecular level or a system/functional level. No wonder there’s a new movie out called “Upgrade.”

What do you think about these ideas? Are there any you’d sign up for? And which should be covered through your employer’s health plan?

I think I’d go for that memory upgrade…

Chris Chan
by Chris Chan

Principal, Innovation LABS, Mercer

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