5 Health Innovations That Are Saving Lives [LIST]

Technology and creativity are the building blocks for living healthier lives


An X-ray of the RNS® neurosimulator that prevents seizures

(Lia Koltyrina / Shutterstock.com)

Innovation is more than just creativity - it’s about asking the right questions, then looking at an existing problem or need and finding the solution or the expert twist. In the health sector, that means constantly striving to change human lives for the better - in every way. Creativity and technological know-how are the building blocks for these five health innovations, which are saving lives and enhancing wellbeing in new and exciting ways.

1. Q-POC™ - The handheld DNA lab

Picture this, a handheld laboratory that gives health workers the ability to diagnose, manage, monitor and track emerging infections and drug resistance. This handheld DNA lab is a low cost diagnostic device that takes 10 -15 minutes to test infectious diseases like malaria, sexually transmitted infections and tuberculosis, while also providing the right medications and dosage according to the symptoms. Still not out for commercial release, the Q-POC™ will be an asset in resource limited countries where molecular testing is oftentimes expensive, time consuming and complex.

2. RNS® NEUROSTIMULATOR– Preventing seizures as they happen

For those with epilepsy, a neurological condition which affects the nervous system, seizures are a common occurrence. The responsive neurostimulation or RNS® is a device that is surgically implanted into the skull and directly stimulates the brain to help stop or control seizures. The neurosimulator delivers brief pulses of stimulation when it detects activity that could lead to a seizure. Created by NeuroPace, brain electrical activity can be monitored and the data shared with a physician.

3. VISION CORRECTING DISPLAYS – Seeing clearly without eyewear

Far-sighted folks, or those needing assistance to read properly, will rejoice in the innovative Vision Correcting Displays. The technology removes the need for eyewear by adjusting a screen's prefiltering algorithms to make the images clearer and easier to see for the user.  The technology is still being perfected and will hopefully be on the market in the near future.

4. MEDISAFE – Reminding people to take their medicine

Keeping track of which medicine to take at which specific time can be tough, and sometimes even dangerous. MediSafe was created to help people remember to take their medications by involving friends and family to serve as a support system. The mobile app is available on iOS and Android, and alerts friends and family to whether their loved one has taken their medication.

5. SAMSUNG PT60A ULTRASOUND – Emergency diagnosis 

This portable ultrasound machine was the brainchild of Dr. Roy Yamada, EMS medical director for Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas; and was created in an effort to better assess injuries and communicate from the ambulance en route to the hospital. The information amassed during the trip from the ambulance to the hospital prepares doctors for incoming patients, and the wirelessly sent images aids them in properly diagnosing and treating patients.