Medicine marches on – and how!
Let’s take a look at two game-changing, exciting new medical technologies that might just improve your quality of life.
Florescent endoscopic imaging
The medical procedure known as an endoscopy looks inside the interior of a hollow organ or cavity of the body. A surgeon inserts an endoscope directly into the organ requiring examination to take a look at what’s going on in real-time.
Endoscopies are termed “invasive” – meaning they involve the insertion of an instrument or injection of foreign material into the body. (If you’ve ever experienced an endoscopy first-hand, you understand just how invasive these procedures can be. Ouch.)
The problem with endoscopic imaging is that the view from a traditional endoscope may not reveal or allow the doctor to identify all the diseased cells. When left behind, cancerous cells can continue to grow, creating future complications.
The “solution” (pun intended) is to add Indocyanine green (ICG), a cyanine dye used in medical diagnostics, to a regular endoscope. The imaging now highlights malignant tissue during an endoscopy that is usually undetectable under regular light. Physicians can easily distinguish between malignant tumors and healthy tissue. Wow!
Florescent endoscopic imaging is used in liver resections, colonic adenomas (benign tumors), and mouth lesions.
A company called Novadaq claims its laparoscopic imaging system offers “on-demand HD fluorescence imaging through a single laparoscope [a special camera inserted through a small cut to examine abdominal organs]. This enables surgeons to visualize tissue perfusion and anatomical structures during multiple minimally invasive procedures.”
One look at the pictures below, and you can see right away why surgeons are giving glowing marks to this promising new surgical tool. Diseased tissue appears lime green and yellow, in vivid contrast to the surrounding pink, healthy tissue.
PINPOINT system colorectal laparoscopic imaging (Photo: Novadaq)
Liver Resection (Photo: Novadaq)
Germicidal Ultraviolet-C LEDs
Did you know that, for the past 20 years, ultraviolet (UV) rays have been used for disinfection? While it is hard to believe, the long light waves that lie beyond what we see as purple kill germs with no harmful chemicals.
How UV kills germs is downright amazing. According to Atlantic Ultraviolet Corporation:
“UV-C light is germicidal – i.e., it deactivates the DNA of bacteria, viruses and other pathogens and thus destroys their ability to multiply and cause disease.”
Talk about packing a punch! Who knew long wavelengths of light could be so powerful?
Ultraviolet light is typically generated by either mercury lamps (bulbs) or LEDs (light-emitting diodes). Although LEDs cost more than lamps, they save energy and have a long service life. Furthermore, LED prices continue to drop as performance improves.
Think about it: germicides have so many uses, for air, water, and surfaces. Here are a couple of real-world examples of how LED-delivered UV-C is being applied today:
Aquisense Technologies can equip restaurants with steam sanitizers.
Crystal IS produces LED disinfection products used in healthcare, industrial, point-of-use (POU) water purification, and in scientific and industrial instruments to measure the quality of water, air, and biological samples.
Putting UV-C LEDs on strips is a recent innovation on the healthcare scene. These strips emit UV-C light with the greatest germicidal effect, reduce power usage, stabilize power output, extend lifespan and can disinfect hard to reach areas.
Truly we are blessed to live in a world where scientific enterprise serves the common good. Here’s to your good health!