Health care has come such a long way. With each passing day, new developments and research are creating a path forward to fighting the worst of illnesses and providing cures for the lengthiest of ailments. Beyond these incredible strides made on existing discoveries, new approaches to health are being discovered and invested in as a long-term solution that was previously unknown or shrugged off.
This is a look at just some of the developments and strides made in medicine, not just for humans, but animals too.
The Emergence of CBD Treatment
You’ve probably heard those three letters in some capacity. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound found in the cannabis or hemp plant that delivers the calming and relaxing properties associated with marijuana without THC, the psychoactive and addictive agent that causes that “high” feeling and intoxication.
CBD products have been made available in various forms, from creams and capsules to edibles and CBD hemp cigarettes. Filtered CBD smokes have the benefits of cannabidiol, and also provide an effective tobacco alternative to ease people as they quit smoking regular cigarettes. The best CBD cigarettes contain no other additives and are filtered to remove any pesticides from the natural bud and CBD flower.
CBD oil and CBD flower can help alleviate occasional anxiousness and decrease the physical effects of anxiety such as a significant rise in heart rate.
CBD and hemp products containing minimal milligrams of cannabidiol assists with treatment for epilepsy, demonstrating a reduction in the number of seizures patients suffered. In one study, participants added roughly two to five milligrams of CBD to their current prescription medication regiment. Those participants experienced 36.5% fewer seizures per month.
CBD has also been known to ease medical conditions related to chronic discomfort. The effects of cannabinoids have been shown to aid in chronic care management, sometimes recommended as a relief for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Chronic illnesses like arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injuries have found that the use of CBD creams and tablets help to alleviate symptoms associated with the condition. In some cases, people experiencing chronic pain felt ease from CBD products than prescription drugs, and without any of their harmful side effects. CBD directly acts against the discomfort, as well as occasional burnout and unease.
This CBD treatment can also be done in conjunction with certain medical needs and a comprehensive care plan for conditions like diabetes, coronary artery disease (CAD), asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Developments for Animals
New research has made medical care for our furry friends better than ever, providing new treatment plans and ways of providing our pet’s medical attention that was not possible just a decade ago.
One of the latest developments is a device that helps to detect micro-cracks in an animal’s skeletal system, monitoring potential chronic health conditions like arthritis in pets. This device uses similar technology used by seismologists to record earthquakes, relying on the acoustics of the skeleton to spot cracks early and begin treatment. Often times, this treatment can start too late, landing pets in the animal hospital with much more severe fractures that can require surgery and are much more detrimental to a pet’s health in the long run.
Animal hospitals and veterinary clinics have also made strides in overnight and long-term care medical boarding for dogs and cats. Trained healthcare providers have now managed ways to devote greater focus to each patient at a boarding facility, dependent on a pet’s preexisting conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and epilepsy. This includes care team members providing a pet’s medication with proper monitoring.
In addition to medication management, researchers have discovered nutraceuticals that provide benefits to a pet’s overall health. Nutraceuticals are pharmaceutical alternatives with pluses to physiology, that reduce and eliminate the need for conventional medication, while also seeing a drop in adverse side effects. Common nutraceuticals, like Milk Thistle for improving liver health, can be provided to our furry friends in the form of a pill or tablet, or can actually be included in their own food, depending on the brands utilized.
Nutraceuticals have a broad spectrum of effects, including immune regulation. This helps to combat conditions like arthritis and inflammation that are aggravated by viruses and parasites, triggering an immune response. These natural elements also support blood supply and enhancement of metabolic processes in most pets.
Of course, much like us, pets need to be kept up to date on their vaccinations. One recent development is the melanoma vaccine, an inoculation that uses a modified virus to provoke the immune system of dogs. This DNA-based vaccine actually targets the proteins related to melanoma before they are even detectable. The canine influenza vaccine has also seen greater availability and lesser adverse side effects than originally seen for puppies. There’s also the bordetella vaccine, which has made great strides in reducing the number of cases of kennel cough among heavily interactive pups.
Changes in Care Programs
Eldercare programs have been flipped upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic, as nursing homes and care facilities have been forced to limit interaction between residents and staff, as well as residents and outside visitors. With the elderly and immunocompromised considered the most in danger of severe symptoms of the Coronavirus, stricter regulations have been placed on who is allowed in and out of these facilities and other medical programs, limiting face-to-face visits.
While COVID-19 has impacted how a care team can provide for elderly and at-risk patients, the past few decades have seen technological advancements to benefit elder care.
Patients have been able to garner the use of newer personal technology, including smartphones and tablets, with apps designed to help seniors and their caregivers maintain their medical plans. There are apps designated for a medication reminder to ensure your loved ones take their pills on time every day. There are also apps designed for the benefit of mental health, something that is of greater need during this pandemic-plagued season as human interaction is limited. Allowing elders to keep up with friends and family on social media provides some sense of satisfaction throughout the day. There’s of course a multitude of other apps designed to get the brain going through games like Sudoku, crossword puzzles, and more.
For patients who require medical assistance for conditions like Alzheimer’s, GPS technology on smartphones and through other means has gotten so impressive, that it can almost pinpoint location accuracy to exact coordinates. GPS, or Global Positioning System, technology is extremely useful for caregivers of the elderly, in the event their loved ones can become disoriented or lost. These GPS icons can actually be designed to be as small as to be placed on a keychain or even ironed into clothing.
Remote monitoring devices, like medical alert bracelets, have become much more sophisticated than the old push button on a chain around one’s neck. There are now sensors that can automatically turn off a stove left on too long, or water sensors to alert members of a patient’s care team if a faucet is left running. There are now ways to control almost everything in one’s environment from afar, even locked medication dispensers on timers rather than having a patient to rely on their original container and remembering doses.