If your doctor told you she was going to give you a pill camera to swallow so she could see inside your intestines, would you be afraid? Already by 2008 pill cameras had been used in more than two million procedures since they were approved by the FDA in 2001, and they are becoming more common every day. When faced with the choice between a scope and swallowing a tiny pill, which sounds like a more pleasant experience? Nanotechnology in medicine is making procedures that once required anesthesia and hospital stays as simple as swallowing a pill. So what’s next for nanotechnology in medicine?
Wound care is probably one of the most interesting advancements in the world of nanotechnology. There are bandages that can detect infection and dispense antibiotics right to the point of infection, both preventing the overuse of antibiotics as a preventative measure and also ensuring patients don’t need constant monitoring during the healing process.
Nanotechnology can also be used to track the dosing and compliance of medications, ensuring patients who are already feeling poorly can get their medications at the right doses at the right times without forgetting whether they took it or not. Treatment non-adherence costs $290 billion in the United States from subsequent medical issues, and smart pills can help to curb those costs.
There are a wide variety of smart pills that solve a multitude of problems in a minimally invasive way, from clearing blockages to testing the gut microbiome. The question now is when will these technologies become affordable enough to be used en masse? There are also ethical concerns with certain types of technology being able to track patients or leading to vulnerabilities from hackers. What’s more, some tracking devices can enhance and confirm feelings of persecution from patients with certain types of mental health disorders.
Are you ready for the world of minimally invasive nanotechnology in medicine? Learn more about the future of nanotechnology in medicine below!