People are living longer than ever, yet chronic diseases increasingly affect their treatment needs, quality of life and productivity. Diseases such as type II diabetes and Alzheimer’s require regular monitoring to prevent the patient from suffering debilitating and expensive medical interventions down the line. Enter the era of remotely controlled instruments. Inexpensive portable devices will allow patients to conduct their own lab tests and download their results. 3-D printing will give patients access to new skin, prosthetics and limbs. Nearly 200 telemedicine networks are operating in the nation, and seven million Americans are currently using a remote cardiac monitor. Patients worldwide are using telemedicine to monitor their vital signs and reduce hospital time. The global market for telemedicine technologies is expected to reach 43.4 billion by 2019.
Arizona’s Telemedicine Program, launched decades ago, optimizes technology to drive medical services to rural communities around our state.
Techniques under design in Arizona could also be the key to defeating highly infectious and difficult to treat diseases. Fast disposable blood tests detect HIV pathogens, wearable sensors could monitor balance and gait of a diabetic and chemical sensors could detect changes in enzymes in under two minutes for diagnosis of cancer tumors.
Arizona imagination and tenacity do not stop there. Our ideas today ask fresh, new and multi-disciplinary questions that envision a future where we do more and have better lives. The global human and economic power that will be unleashed when entire communities face fewer diseases and enjoy quality healthcare is extraordinary. Arizona researchers and entrepreneurs will be key players in facilitating these advancements for the benefit of all.