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5 healthcare breakthroughs Pakistanis would love

Edible sensors, cancer detectors are on the horizon

SAMAA | - Posted: Feb 25, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
Posted: Feb 25, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago

Edible sensors, cancer detectors are on the horizon

Doctors and patients in Pakistan would be only too happy if technology made healthcare cheaper, easier and less painful. Fortunately, some breakthrough innovations have been given the green light abroad. It is worth keeping up to date with these developments.

Here are some of the latest and most fascinating discoveries in the healthcare world, which are starting to help patients worldwide.

  1. Medical drones
    Drones were invented as a military tool but many other uses for them have since been discovered. A medical drone can revolutionize urgent testing in healthcare. More than 10 companies in the United States have already started production of these drones. Johns Hopkins researchers were able to send a blood sample in Arizona dessert in 2017. The distance covered by the drone was more than 160 miles. Depending on the use, the medical drones can perform several duties, like picking/dropping off test results and supplies.
  2. Potassium detector
    You might have heard about ‘hyperkalemia’. It is a medical condition that develops when the level of potassium in the body goes out of control. Higher potassium not only damages the kidneys but may also lead to heart problems. This medical condition is generally recognized from a blood test, but the process takes too much time. This challenge led AliveCor to the invention of “KardiaK Software Platform” an AI-powered breakthrough device that detects level of potassium in the blood. The device does not require any blood; instead it uses an ECG to produce a quicker result. While shipments have already begun in the United States, we hope it’ll go global within the next few years.


  1. Needle-less injections
    Yes, it is true a needle-less injection exists now. The device is a true breakthrough for healthcare. It has a nozzle instead of a needle and the medicinal fluid sprays like a jet stream through the nozzle. The stream hits the skin with very little or no pain at all. The fluid is immediately absorbed and enters the bloodstream.
    The device’s name is Prime and it has been invented by a startup from MIT. With the help from some Japanese investors, they are planning to commercialize it soon.
  1. Pill sensors
    Healthcare will never be the same again because of pill sensors. These sensors from Australia are edible. The sensors are of the size of an average pill and can detect gases in the intestine.
    Intestinal problems are generally discovered through procedures such as laparoscopy, however, with this invention, patients will only have to swallow some pills. These sensors are also the result of a collaborative effort by researchers from MIT and Brigham universities.
  2. Cancer prediction
    Cancer research has been at a deadlock for some time. This next invention has however, changed everything. A team of researchers at the Case Western Reserve University have trained computers to decide treatment options for lung cancer. The biopsy tissues are presented to the computer for analysis. The computer analyses the immune cells and their spatial arrangement. Based on this analysis the computer can predict whether the patient will respond to chemo or not. This invention can save both time and money.

It is estimated that the global healthcare technology industry will surpass a market size of $600 billion by 2021. Global healthcare systems are embracing new technologies and undergoing massive transformation but Pakistan is still playing catch-up. It still grapples with basic services such as the availability of trained healthcare staff and the integration of modern technologies.

Digital health companies are trying to come up with solutions for providers and patients and support from government and the private sector would go a long way.

This article was produced in partnership with, a digital health company in Pakistan. Using oladoc, you can find the best doctor in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad and book an appointment online.

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