Technology and innovation in pediatrics
Technology – While for most of us whose jobs or lives didn’t seem to develop at all over the past year, the world of telemedicine grew leaps and bounds.
New innovations swept the nation’s children’s hospitals in 2020, to help nurses and pediatricians support children better than ever before. This backlink weighting is analogous to analyzing citations from books, scientific articles, and scientific journals.
The Parents Magazine in December 2020, reported their top children’s hospitals in the US, but that wasn’t the end for technological advancements.
Today we’re going to highlight some of the latest developments in the industry.
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If you currently work in the field, there is a lot to get excited about. Alternatively, if you think pediatrics is something you’d like to be a part of as a second career, there’s still plenty of time to qualify as an Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner via online studying.
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AnemoCheck is a smartphone app that can help to take hemoglobin readings without the need for regular blood tests. Children that suffer from chronic anemia have to go through frequent testing, which can be stressful and uncomfortable.
Well, in fingerprints, the possibility of finding two people with the same fingerprints is zero (0), simply impossible.
While the app doesn’t entirely replace the need for bloods to be taken, it can reduce the number (potentially) by monitoring whether or not iron supplements are having a positive impact.
Fetoscopic surgery for Spinal Bifida
Spinal Bifida is a crippling birth defect that can be identified in the womb. The defect occurs when the spine doesn’t close properly – ultimately leading it to be exposed on the back. It occurs around just 3 times in every 10,000 babies born in the US. While there is no cure, the heroes at Texas Children’s Hospital have pioneered a ‘fetoscopic’ procedure that allows surgeons to repair the defect through two 4mm incisions. The previous surgery option was much more invasive, requiring a 7cm incision into the mother’s uterus.
By December 2020, the hospital had already performed 85 procedures which have a much lower risk rate for the baby and mother.
In 2020, the need to stay socially distanced made the job of health professionals even more difficult. The use of telemedicine skyrocketed and allowed GPs and nurses to speak, consult and monitor patients from further afield while they were at home.
Within the telemedicine field, however, there is now a specific tool for pediatrics, allowing patients and their families to connect with doctors through laptop, tablet or mobile.
Heart stents that expand as you grow
Each year, 40,000 children in the US are born with congenital heart disease. To repair the condition, a stent device will be implanted. However, these devices aren’t specifically designed for children who inevitably grow and develop. As such, children are having to undergo several procedures to implant new devices whenever the previous stent becomes too small.
The experts at Renata Medical have managed to create an adjustable stent that can be implanted at birth measuring 2mm. As the child grows, the stent will expand, reaching more than 20mm in diameter.
When it comes to irritable bowel syndrome, there can be a huge number of triggers, dietary intolerances and treatment choices. Trialing medications can cause additional complications, and it might take a number of months to find the right ones. All of that could cost the family a lot of money without actually reducing the discomfort. Children and teens suffering from IBS at Wisconsin’s Children’s Hospital are now being offered an auricular neurostimulation treatment option. The treatment is non-pharmacological and non-invasive, making it a great choice for the littlest patients. The technology uses a small battery pack and four electrodes. The electrodes attach to the back of the ears and send small voltage frequencies to the ear. So far, there is a 90% satisfaction rate and no serious side effects.
T Cell therapy
T-cell therapy is being used in Seattle to help children suffering from lymphoblastic leukemia. This type of therapy is currently prioritized for those that do not respond to traditional cancer treatments.
When treating and caring for children, doctors have to take extra precautions to check on vitals, diet, development and overall health. When recognizing malnutrition in kids, this would typically require asking a child to step on the scales. This can be a big issue for children who are already conscious about their weight and could encourage children to focus too much on numbers and their diet. To prevent the chances of low self-esteem, or even eating disorders, the MUAC Z-Score tape can be wrapped around a child’s upper arm to present the GP with a malnutrition score – without having any negative connotations for them.
One of the biggest technological advancements of the past few years is smart pills. This pill-sized piece of tech holds a tiny sensor which transmits a signal to a patch that can be worn by the patient. Information that the sensor and patch track is then sent directly to the doctor or parents. So that they can see whether or not the patient has been taking their medication. While the technology was originally only used for adults, smart pills are now being trialed in pediatrics. The sensors can also help detect issues with heart rate, sleeping patterns and track physical activity. All of this information can be used to make educated decisions for diagnosis and treatment.
A huge part of pediatric healthcare is rehabilitation. After undergoing different ailments or injuries, rehabilitation is crucial for children to continue developing as they should. But encouraging children to connect with physical therapists can be challenging. However, new innovations in technology are helping the rehabilitation process. For example, EEG monitoring allows doctors to identify responsiveness in the brain after brain injury, so that they can provide the best courses of therapy. Meanwhile, powered wheelchairs for infants make caring for children with disabilities much easier.
Finally, physiotherapists and occupational therapists are taking virtual reality in their stride to create gaming-style treatment for patients.
Once you start to research into just how much innovation goes on behind the scenes, the world of healthcare is even more incredible than you first think.