A new injectable material will improve osteoarthritis treatment options
Engineers at MIT designed a material that can penetrate and deliver drugs directly to the cartilage in patients with osteoarthritis. Investigators are optimistic that the injectable material, made from nanoscale particles, may potentially heal damaged tissue and improve treatment options for the more than 20 million Americans living with the condition.1
We will get an answer to an age-old question: does weather affect joint pain?
Fact or folktale? We will find out soon. Researchers at The University of Manchester in the United Kingdom devised a smartphone-based study to determine if weather affects joint pain. A preliminary analysis found a correlation between poor weather conditions and pain. However, as of the time of this writing, full findings have not been released.
Precision medicine will reduce ineffective rheumatoid arthritis therapies
The trial-and-error approach to treating rheumatoid arthritis may become a relic thanks to precision medicine. By using genetic profiling of joint tissue, clinicians can see which drugs a patient will respond to.2 This will result in less time and money spent on ineffective therapies.
Virtual reality technology will take on an expanded role in medical education
Virtual reality (VR) technology is not just popular in gaming, it’s making waves in healthcare education. According to the Cleveland Clinic, VR programs, which provide immersive simulation training, are “a productive step toward the system’s most adept and confident healthcare providers” and “enhance traditional medical schooling.”3
Artificial intelligence will reduce clinician burnout
Artificial intelligence (AI) may be the key to combating burnout among clinicians. According to a report published in Medical Economics, AI can reduce clinicians’ burdens by recognizing patterns in large amounts of data.4 The Cleveland Clinic notes that “with AI’s continued integration into healthcare, caring for patients has become a matter of working smarter, not harder.”3 Considering burnout and depression often develop in tandem, this is especially welcome news for the medical community.
An answer to an age-old question. A way to save clinicians time and energy. The editorial staff at Rheumatology Advisor huddled together to identify advances we and other experts predict will affect rheumatologists and their patients in 2019 and beyond. Take a look inside our crystal ball:
- Trafton A. Potential arthritis treatment prevents cartilage breakdown. MIT News. November 28, 2018. Accessed December 6, 2018.
- Paul M. Rheumatoid arthritis meets precision medicine. Northwestern University. March 19, 2018. Accessed December 6, 2018.
- Cleveland Clinic unveils top 10 medical innovations for 2019. Cleveland Clinic. October 24, 2018. Accessed December 6, 2018.
- Rosenfield J. Can artificial intelligence help prevent physician burnout? Medical Economics. February 15, 2018. Accessed December 6, 2018.