Top 10 new medical technologies of 2016

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Technology and medicine have gone hand and hand for many years. Consistent advances in pharmaceuticals and the medical field have saved millions of lives and improved many others. As the years pass by and technology continues to improve, there is no telling what advances will come next. Here are the top 10 new medical technologies in 2016.

10. Naturally moving prosthetic limbs

Over the past few years, prosthetic limbs have become more and more advanced. However, in the last year, a major advancement has been made. According to, prosthetics are now able to be controlled by the human brain. This new discovery was made by “connecting an artificial limb to a different part of the brain.” Technology will now allow those with artificial limbs more natural mobility and enable them to naturally control their limbs.

9. Cell-free fetal DNA testing

Pregnant women sometimes need to have cells of their fetus tested for chromosomal defects such as Edwards Syndrome and Down Syndrome. These tests require an acquisition of cells that are quite invasive for the unborn baby. The test brought risk of miscarriage and increased stress for pregnant mothers. With medical advances, it is now possible for doctors to test cell-free fetal DNA by using the mother’s blood. This advance has become more widely used and accepted internationally in the past year.

8. A life-changing antibiotic

This year, scientists from the University of Bonn in Germany and Northeastern University in Boston collaborated to discover a new antibiotic. This innovation in pharma is especially impressive because this is the first new antibiotic to be discovered in 30 years. This antibiotic has the potential to fight infections that can be potentially fatal such as pneumonia, tuberculosis and soft tissue infections, accordingly to Reader’s The new drug is called Teixobactin and is “highly unlikely to lead to drug resistance”, which has been a common problem in antibiotic discoveries in the past.

7. Three-dimensional printed body parts

If you haven’t heard, 3-D printers have quickly become one of the hottest technologies on the market. According to, the future holds “custom-printed drugs and prosthetics, and even replacement body parts”. These printers can be used to create implants and even joints to be used during surgery. The use of printers can create both long lasting and soluble items. According to the site, “some 3D printers are designed to print with living human cells, forming sheets of tissue that could be used as grafts to repair damage.” This is a true example of technology and medicine working together.

6. Robotic surgery

The use of robotic surgery is set to grow incredibly in the upcoming year. According to, robotic surgery is said to aid in precision, control and flexibility when it comes to minimally invasive procedures. “Using robotic surgery, surgeons can perform delicate and complex procedures that may have been difficult or impossible with other methods.”  Although robotics are not widely used now, they are beginning to become more popular and will continue to grow.

5. Wireless brain sensors

Thanks to plastics, medical advances have allowed scientists and doctors to team up and create bioresorbable electronics that can be placed in the brain and dissolve when they are no longer needed, according to This medical device will aid doctors in measuring the temperature and pressure within the brain. Since the sensors are able to dissolve, they reduce the need for additional surgeries.

4. Food scanners

According to, food scanners allow people to see what they’re really eating. Food scanner brands such as Scio and Tellspec have been around for a few years. However, this year these products are going to be more widely available. The scanners are perfect for those who are looking to watch their weight, or monitor their intake of salt and fats. If someone has a serious allergy, the scanner can prevent a bad reaction. Scanners break down what is in your food by nutrients, calories and even quality, and show it conveniently on your smart phone.

3. Virtual reality for medical experience

Virtual reality has been around for some time. However, recently, with medical and technological advances, medical students have been able to get close to real life experience using technology. According to, in 2016, sophisticated tools are becoming more readily available and medical students will be able to gain the experience that they need to see actual patients. The devices will also serve as a great tool for preparing patients for what procedures they are facing.

2. Algorithms to merge wearable data

The demand for wearable devices has grown since their introduction in the past five years. If they don’t have an external device, they use their phone to track everything from their steps, to their heartbeat, to their sleeping patterns. In 2016, more advanced algorithms have immerged to help to identify trends in this data to better serve individuals. According to, this data will provide “more emphasis on prevention {to encourage people to} have a healthier lifestyle.”

1. Cancer nanotherapy

Nano devices and technology are already in wide use, and as the years pass, the technology in pharmaceuticals and medicine will only continue to improve. One of which is an emerging cancer treatment technology that implements nanomaterials in a more aggressive method. For example, researchers at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University have developed nanobots to target and deliver drugs to defective cells, while leaving healthy ones unharmed.

The 25-35 nm devices are made from single strands of DNA folded into a desired shape – for instance, a clamshell-shaped package that protects a drug while on route to the desired site but opens up to release it upon arrival.

As the years pass, technology in pharmaceuticals and medicine will continue to improve. People are living longer and fewer diseases are deemed incurable. Jobs in the pharmaceutical industry are in higher demand now than ever. Who knows what the next year will bring in medical advancements!

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