3 Big Medical Trends for 2024

2024 is here. 2023 was a successful year for medicine – the approval of gene-editing treatments1 that could cure sickle cell disease was one of the most remarkable. Now, it’s time to see what 2024 will bring.

Generative AI Platforms in Healthcare

Generative AI, despite being in its infancy, promises to revolutionize doctor-patient communication and patients’ relationship with health issues. Soon, we can anticipate chatbots and chronic health management apps based on GPT-4-like algorithms designed explicitly for medical purposes. These applications will assist patients in their daily lives, translating medical jargon into understandable language and offering easy-to-understand summaries of medical notes.

Current trials, like Google’s Med-PaLM 22 in major US hospitals, indicate a potential shift where AI becomes the first point of contact due to a shortage of healthcare workers. While the regulatory framework needs development, the transformative potential of generative AI in healthcare is undeniable.

Using More Innovative Surgical Tools

Surgical tools are evolving to be more practical and cost-effective. One of the standout innovations in this field is the introduction of more advanced surgical instruments designed to enhance precision, reduce patient recovery time, and improve overall surgical outcomes.

A notable example is the June Medical self-retaining surgical retractor. This innovative tool is revolutionizing surgical procedures by offering superior visibility and stability in the surgical field without needing additional hands. That makes surgeries more efficient and potentially reduces the risk of complications.

Laser scalpels, another exciting development, offer a level of precision previously unattainable, minimizing tissue damage and bleeding. Smart surgical glasses3 equipped with augmented reality are helping surgeons visualize the operative field in ways that were once the realm of science fiction.

Reimagining Blood Testing

Blood tests, a cornerstone of diagnostics, are transforming. And there’s an extension into the home – no need to visit a doctor for some tests. Home lab tests and DIY blood draw devices, like those from Tasso, reflect a growing demand for convenient and accessible testing. These innovations aim to minimize the need for travel to labs and streamline the collection of blood samples at home.

The advent of blood-drawing robots4, exemplified by Vitestro’s device in clinical trials, hints at automation becoming a standard in blood collection. These advancements enhance convenience and contribute to the evolution of diagnostic practices.

Blood tests, the bedrock of diagnostics, are undergoing a remarkable transformation. The surge in popularity of at-home lab tests and user-friendly DIY blood draw devices5, exemplified by Tasso’s innovations, mirrors a surging demand for convenient and accessible testing solutions. 

These groundbreaking advancements aim to alleviate the necessity of visiting traditional labs, providing users with a seamless experience of collecting blood samples within the comfort of their homes.

The emergence of cutting-edge blood-drawing robots, with Vitestro’s device6 currently undergoing clinical trials, suggests a future where automation becomes a standard in blood collection practices. These revolutionary strides enhance convenience and contribute significantly to the ongoing evolution of diagnostic methodologies7.

2024 will be an exciting year for medicine – we should witness the convergence of advanced technologies like generative AI, multimodal systems, and innovative approaches to blood testing. While these trends may not revolutionize healthcare overnight, they lay the foundation.

  1. Liu, Wenyi, et al. “Applications and challenges of CRISPR-Cas gene-editing to disease treatment in clinics.” Precision Clinical Medicine 4.3 (2021): 179-191. ↩︎
  2. Harris, Emily. “Large language models answer medical questions accurately, but can’t match clinicians’ knowledge.” JAMA (2023). ↩︎
  3. Lareyre, Fabien, et al. “Applications of head-mounted displays and smart glasses in vascular surgery.” Annals of Vascular Surgery 75 (2021): 497-512. ↩︎
  4. Tulcan, Elida, and Erwin-Christian Lovasz. “RESEARCH ON ROBOTS USED IN SURGICAL APPLICATIONS.” Robotica & Management 27.1 (2022). ↩︎
  5. Wickremsinhe, Enaksha, et al. “Do-it-yourself blood sampling for pediatric clinical trials.” Applied Clinical Trials 29.3 (2020): 20-25. ↩︎
  6. Giesen, Luuk, Laurie Bax, and Jurgen Riedl. “Automated real-time 3D ultrasound mapping of vessels [3D-ULTRAMAN].” ↩︎
  7. Zuluaga-Gomez, Juan, et al. “A CNN-based methodology for breast cancer diagnosis using thermal images.” Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering: Imaging & Visualization 9.2 (2021): 131-145. ↩︎

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Icy Health Editorial Team

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