New 2018 Heart Technology Advancements
With the never-ending advancements in technology, it is no doubt that we will find better ways to stay safe and remain healthy. Science is an evolving practice that changes as technology improves. This is especially beneficially in the health and safety field, where heart technology is concerned. The AED for example, once did not exist. It was not until technology improved, and we realized that electrical shocks could be administered to the heart to save a life, that these lifesaving machines came into being! Heart technology has advanced to impressive and astonishing heights, and we can only expect it to continue to expand. For now, here are the newest 2018 Heart Technology Advancements!
One of the latest heart technology advancements is the use of drones to carry an AED to an emergency location. The AED drone was created by the Swedish Transportation Agency, and now more nations are beginning to install this AED assistance technology as well. The AED drone arrives at emergency situations 16 minutes before first responders. This means that the survival rate of an individual with cardiac arrest will drastically increase. It is said that each minute without the assistance of an AED will decrease the survival rate by 10%. Having an AED already installed in a location nearby can assist with this, but in the case where an AED is unavailable, the public are able to use an AED brought by a drone.
Beating Heart Technology
Imagine if we were able to transport hearts in a box that kept them beating? A heart transplantation team at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical has been researching the ability to keep a heart beating while being transported. Normally transplant hearts are kept in a cooler and delivered as quickly as possible to the person in need. The problem with this is that the heart is slowly beginning to decay, and if not delivered quickly enough, can become unusable. The new Beating Heart technology is a new form of technology ‘in a box’ that allows the heart to beat in a similar physiological state to the body. This technology could be a potential opportunity to allow donor hearts to last longer until a matching recipient is ready for the transplant.
3D Printed Hearts
Engineers at the ETH in Zurich have come across new potential within the heart technology realm. Using a 3D printer, an artificial heart was created out of ‘implantable material.’ This heart was actually able to beat for up to 30 minutes, and although it does not currently last long enough to replace a heart, there are benefits to take away. Continuing studies have been testing whether the 3D printed heart can be used in other applications, such as replacing blood pumps and other damaged parts of the heart. CNN Health reports that researchers are hopeful that these silicone hearts may be able to act as a donor heart for those needing transplants in the future. More years of study and research are needed before this may be a realistic option, but hopes are high that this technology will advance even further!
Wearable Heart Tracker App
We are all well aware of the advancements in technology that bring us new apps and wearable technology for health tracking. The FitBit, Apple Watch, Heart Rate Monitors – all of these small pieces of technology have been found to have a huge impact. In recent news, Apple has paired up with Stanford Medicine to identify if the Apple Watch app could recognize potential heart problems. The hope is that if the Apple Watch can correctly monitor your heart rate, it could act as a heart technology advancement to notify you when medical attention is required. The research is trying to see if the app can identify irregular heart rhythms that are associated with heart disease and cardiac arrest. Having this information on our wrists could be the difference between life and death.
BONUS – Compressions Only CPR
Although it may not be a piece of technology, the research behind CPR has advanced to help us improve our skills and increase survival rates. Over the past few years, it has been found that CPR does not need to include mouth-to-mouth to be effective. People were turned off by giving breaths when a pocket mask was not available, and many times would not offer CPR because of it. Research has found that if you do not want to give breaths, you can still do compressions only with success. The compressions only version of CPR has been found to still have a very significant impact, and can be what a person needs to save their life. While breaths are an added level of life-saving and should be incorporated whenever possible, it is great to know that there are options.
It is truly heart-warming to see the advancements in the heart technology realm continuously improving to keep us healthier! Who knows what type of knowledge we will gain in the next few years that improve our hearts and keep us living longer. Only time will tell! For now, increase the survival rate by having an AED nearby. Wherever you live/work/go, stay safe and be prepared!