Since its birth, mankind has been fighting against various diseases. From refining immortal “elixir”, eating human blood steamed bread to treating cough, to monitoring heart rate with wearable devices and detecting diseases with artificial intelligence; From ignorance and helplessness to science and self-confidence, this process is full of twists and turns and hardships.

The continuous progress of medical science and technology has changed from science fiction to practical technology application

What has changed is thinking, technology and methods, and what has not changed is human’s desire for health and longevity.

Progressive medical technology

Since the 19th century, with the rapid progress of biology, chemistry, electronics, computers and other disciplines, various new medical technologies have emerged. Like the following major medical technologies and inventions, they have improved our quality of life, extended our life and saved the lives of countless people over the long period of three centuries.

The stethoscope was invented in 1816

The first X-ray perspective photograph was born in 1895

Plastic contact lenses appeared in 1948

In 1955, ultrasound was used to detect pregnant women

In 1958, the first implantable cardiac pacemaker came out

In 1962, the first modern total hip arthroplasty was successfully replaced

In 1965, the first professional mammography equipment was born

CAT scan was born in 1972

In 1977, the first MRI scan of the human body was born

In 1982, the first artificial heart transplantation was successful

The first laser surgery on human cornea was performed in 1987

In 1995, FDA approved LASIK ophthalmic surgery

In 2000, FDA approved the first robotic system for general laparoscopic surgery

In 2004, FDA approved 64 slice spiral CT scanner

In 2016, NIH approved the first clinical trial of CRISPR gene editing

The progress of medical treatment directly promotes the significant improvement of human life span. Who can imagine that a century ago, that is, in 1913, the global life expectancy was only 34.1 years old, and by 2016, the global life expectancy had increased to 72 years old. A hundred years ago, the life expectancy of residents in India and South Korea was only 23 years; By 2011, the life expectancy of Indians had tripled, while that of Koreans had tripled, higher than that of Britain.

The continuous progress of medical science and technology has changed from science fiction to practical technology application

With the application of various emerging technologies in the medical field, better quality of life, better drugs, more advanced medical equipment and more efficient medical care will promote the continuous extension of human life.

The continuous progress of medical science and technology has changed from science fiction to practical technology application

According to the prediction of the United Nations Department of economic and social affairs, the global average life expectancy will reach 77 years by 2050; By 2100, it will reach the age of 83. In countries and regions with developed medical technology, life expectancy will be higher.

Technology application from science fiction to reality

The 3D biological printing in Western world, Luke Skywalker’s mechanical arm in Star Wars and the virtual world in the matrix… The technologies in these science fiction films represent mankind’s endless longing for health and longevity.

The continuous progress of medical science and technology has changed from science fiction to practical technology application

Today, robotic arms, 3D biological printing organs, brain implantation, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and other medical technologies that often appear in science fiction films have become a reality and have been applied.

As Jeroen TAs, chief Innovation Officer of Philips, said, “technology that used to be the main content of science fiction films is rapidly becoming a reality.” For example:

In 2015, DARPA developed a robot prosthesis, which can conduct two-way communication between the brain and the robot prosthesis, so that patients can have better strength and flexibility and complete more complex and intuitive actions, so as to enable amputees to have better independent living ability.

In 2016, Wake Forest regenerative medicine institute created an artificial ear using 3D bioprinting technology. In the future, 3D bioprinting technology is expected to replace damaged organs and reduce the risk of human rejection of implants.

In 2017, a private medical institution in Mexico City used VR instead of painkillers to complete a surgical operation. Through the use of VR and simple local anesthesia to reduce the demand for potentially dangerous painkillers and powerful sedatives. This technology aims to reduce the operation cost, reduce the negative impact and complications of drugs on patients, and shorten the recovery time.

Although the application degree of the above technologies is still low, many technologies are still in the experimental stage, and more application scenarios need to be explored and developed, we can clearly see the huge potential of these technologies. In the future, once these technologies are mature and popularized, they will have a subversive impact on human health care.

The explosion of artificial intelligence technology

Artificial intelligence is increasingly becoming a powerful driving force in the subdivided fields of medical cutting-edge technology.

By identifying behavior patterns and creating their own logic, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms will change all aspects of health care. From the automation of simple tasks to the research and development of new drugs, from online consultation to the design of treatment plans, from drug management to medical data mining, artificial intelligence will have broad application prospects.

The continuous progress of medical science and technology has changed from science fiction to practical technology application

According to the data of markets and markets, in the next few years, the market value of artificial intelligence in the field of health care will explode rapidly, from $2.1 billion in 2018 to $36.1 billion, with an annual compound growth rate of 50.2%.

The continuous progress of medical science and technology has changed from science fiction to practical technology application

The growth expectation in this field has also brought rapid follow-up of venture capital around the world.

According to CB insights data, from 2013 to the second quarter of 2018, 576 investment transactions were generated in the global health AI field, with a total financing amount of US $4.3 billion.

The continuous progress of medical science and technology has changed from science fiction to practical technology application

From CB insights data, we can also get another important discovery: among the AI related investments in various industries, the medical industry is the industry with the highest AI investment activity.

In addition, according to the data of startup health, in 2018, there were 66 medical related machine learning startups worldwide, with a financing amount of US $940 million, a significant increase of 80% over the previous year. At the same time, the average financing scale in this field also increased by more than 50% over the previous year.

The continuous progress of medical science and technology has changed from science fiction to practical technology application

It is worth mentioning that in the application and innovation of medical AI, in addition to the rise of a large number of start-ups, there are two important backbone forces: large technology companies such as apple, Google and Amazon and traditional large pharmaceutical companies.

Taking large pharmaceutical companies as an example, Pfizer, Novartis, Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, Amgen and Merck are developing new drugs and new treatment schemes with the help of investment in artificial intelligence startups. In the first half of 2018, these companies launched a total of 20 investment transactions, equivalent to the total of 2017.

Internet of things applications: another frontier

Mobile medicine based on mobile Internet and Internet of things is becoming another major trend of medical technology breakthrough.

From daily health status monitoring to appointment and consultation, from treatment to medication monitoring, from in-hospital nursing to daily rehabilitation, the Internet of things is reshaping all links of medical treatment and providing consumers with more intelligent and convenient medical services.

At the same time, the Internet of things is also fundamentally changing the operation mode of medical institutions. From electronic health records to patient management, from drug tracking to inventory management, through various digital sharing, Internet of things applications can make doctors work faster and more efficient, effectively improve patient care and greatly reduce medical costs.

With the continuous integration of the Internet of things and the medical industry in depth and breadth, the medical market related to the Internet of things will continue to expand, and the biggest subversion of the medical market in the future may also come from the growing Internet of things applications.

Because, in essence, the whole medical industry in the future will be a large-scale, numerous nodes and highly intelligent Internet of things. Consumers / patients, doctors and medical devices will become part of this network.

According to statistics, the global medical Internet of things market in 2017 was US $120.2 billion, which is expected to reach US $534.3 billion by 2025, with a compound annual growth rate of 20.2%.

On the other hand, the global mobile medical market will also show a leap forward growth, which is expected to grow from US $4.19 billion in 2017 to US $111.8 billion in 2025, with a compound annual growth rate of 44.2%.

What needs to be clear is: on the one hand, all kinds of new technologies are accelerating the change of the operation mode of the whole medical industry, both at the front end and at the back end; On the other hand, despite the rapid development of science and technology, new medical technologies will not replace doctors or other medical workers in many aspects for a long time in the future. After all, doctors are kind-hearted, which can not be learned by various new technologies, including artificial intelligence.

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