An article published in MIT Technology Review late 2016 revealed the incredible rate of acceleration in technology innovations. The article focuses on the field of medicine, where amazing technological advances, such as 3-D imaging and robotics are radically changing the way we confront health issues. One of the more significant consequences of these developments is that through each technological breakthrough we become more empowered to take care of our own health. The article discussed some of the hottest medical tech innovations that focus on the critical health concerns facing women

Accessible Birth Control

Nurx is a startup on a mission to make birth control more accessible to today’s women who have little time to wait in medical offices. With the Nurx platform, all a woman seeking birth control has to do is log on, input her medical history and choose which birth control method she prefers. A doctor then examines her online form, makes a follow-up call and submits the prescription to a pharmacy. This enables the woman to purchase the birth control she needs easily and quickly. In today’s fast-paced world, women need every tool available to de-complicate their lives

Tackling Breast Cancer

Many women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer today are making the difficult decision to opt for a double mastectomy. If they choose breast reconstruction surgery, they must undergo a preparation phase that involves expanding breast tissue through painful needle injections. This could change if the FDA approves a new technology out of Columbia University. Researchers have developed a needle-free, patient-controlled device that expands breast tissue with small doses of carbon dioxide

DIY Pap Smear

Cervical abnormalities, some of which can leave a woman vulnerable to cervical cancer can be detected early through routine pap smears, but many women do not visit their health professional for the examination. Sometimes the reason is a lack of time, but equally prevalent is embarrassment and discomfort with the procedure. Eye Medical, based in Toronto, has developed an answer: a kit that a woman can use in the privacy of her home to swab herself. It will test for human papillomavirus (HPV), chlamydia and gonorrhea. Once she has taken the swab, she mails it to Eve Medical which sends it on to a laboratory

Addressing Fertility

Dr. Katie Brenner and Dr. Heather Bowerman, each in her own way, have become change agents on behalf of women on the important issue of fertility. Dr. Brenner, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin put her personal dissatisfaction with fertility tests to use and invented a saliva-based measuring device that a woman can use at home to measure her hormone levels. The innovative device can also alert her to ovulation cycles and diagnose pregnancy. A common cause of infertility is endometriosis, a condition where tissue grows outside the uterus rather than inside. One out of ten women worldwide are impacted by this condition which can be diagnosed only through surgery. Dr. Bowerman has decided to bring on-the-ground solutions to women across the globe, developing a blood test that will speedily diagnose the presence of the condition. We should see this test come to market in the summer of 2017.

The plethora of medical technology innovations is truly inspiring. It is fascinating to see the creative and practical solutions that are being developed to better our health and quality of life while taking into account the challenging demands of our everyday routines.