Healthcare Technology Featured Article

November 16, 2022

Some of the Very Latest First Aid Technology




If there is one area of research and technological development that sees a great deal of funding, it’s in the health sphere. The reason for this is fairly obvious, and it means that health technology is one area that tends to advance pretty rapidly.

Ask any doctor or nurse who has been working in a healthcare institution for any length of time and they will tell you that everything from techniques to medications to technology have all developed significantly since they started working. But it isn’t just in hospitals. Health technology tends to make an appearance in many more contexts.

One of the most important areas of health technology is in humble first aid. First aid is ubiquitous in most public places or buildings. It is all about responding to accidents the moment they happen and providing sufficient medical attention to either deal with minor accidents or to keep the patient stable until professional medical help can arrive.

There are no prizes for guessing why this is so important but know that it is yet another area of health that technology is helping when it comes to significant advancement.

First aid technology naturally means first aid kit technology, or in other words, the devices and medications found within a first aid kit. Nevertheless, effective first aid technology also involves those technologies used to alert health authorities as well as a great deal of smart technology for more effectively managing first aid.

Public and Private

For nearly every public space or building in our county there is a legal requirement for first aid. Furthermore, as the technology developed further, it is likely that the legal requirements will change to keep pace.

All organisations should be making available the very best first aid kits wherever any type of accident is likely to happen. However, what counts as “the best first aid” is something that is changing all the time. Pretty soon, you might find that much of the new first aid technology we will get onto below is not just an upgrade to invest in, but also a legal requirement.

Within private residences, first aid is still pretty common. Most people have a first aid kit of sorts in their homes. Sometimes, this can be pretty simple and take the form of a medicine cabinet or box, a collection of medications, or a few emergency items for accidents. These things can all be particularly useful, but they might not be enough.

In fact, it is wise for any entity (public company, organisation, private individual, whatever) to have some first aid provision close to hand. The reason for this is firstly that accidents can always happen, and second that doing so brings peace of mind. Moreover, when it comes to public entities, it keeps them on the right side of the law.

Nonetheless, what makes for an optimal first aid kit is something that could very soon see significant change.

What Does a Basic First Aid Kit Contain?

Before getting on to the latest first aid technology though, it is wise to discuss what a first aid kit usually contains. Naturally, a first aid kit cannot contain everything that could potentially be needed, so it will always need to prioritise the most versatile or important items.

Generally, the criterion for inclusion includes those items that can offer temporary aid for life-threatening conditions. It should also include the type of items designed to treat those accidents that are quite common.

It is therefore possible to give a list of the items that are typically included in a general first aid kit. You might well be aware of most of them. What is remarkable is that many of these items are truly classed as almost ancient types of medical aid. Indeed, the latest technology doesn’t seem to be much represented at all. A typical first aid kit normally contains:

  • bandages
  • gauze
  • antibiotics
  • rubbing alcohol
  • disinfectant
  • painkillers and antihistamines
  • a thermometer.

These are all good items to have to hand in the case of an accident or illness, but they are hardly anything new. With latest technological developments, however, that could be soon to change.

But we shouldn’t forget that while stopping bleeding, seeing to pain, and monitoring temperature might all be things that have been possible for hundreds of years, they are still just as important today. What we can conclude here then is that the latest first aid technology will indeed involve some new first aid items, but much of it will also involve information technology. In other words, the type of advancements that can get the patient help faster. The likes of bandages and gauze though are very unlikely to be replaced by something else.

Technological Advancements that Will Improve First Aid

So without further ado, here is what we can expect from the future of first aid – and it might be sooner than you would think.

Smartphone Apps

The smartphone can be seen as an easily accessible source of first aid information, as well as a device that can be used to monitor certain metrics of health. Given these two functions, it is easy to see how a smartphone could become an all-powerful first aid tool (if not actually part of any first aid kit).

There are in fact already many apps that can be installed on a smartphone and used for first aid related functions. For example, there is a symptom search app that can instantly provide the user with medical information regarding what the problem is as well as what to do. There are also apps that allow the phone to be used to monitor things such as temperature and pulse. Perhaps most importantly, these apps will also let you know when emergency medical help needs to be summoned.

Vetigel

As the name suggests, Vetigel is for veterinary applications only – for now. This ingenious substance has the ability to rapidly congeal blood in trauma wounds, even when they are very deep and have nicked major arteries. The gel is inserted into the wound and the bleeding stops. It doesn’t take a leap of the imagination to see how revolutionary this could be for first aid in the near future.

As mentioned, there is currently no version of the product for use on humans, but trials are ongoing it seems likely to be just around the corner – and soon in your first aid kit.

Mobile ECGs

An electro-cardiogram can be the difference between life and death when a serious heart issue strikes and its severity needs to be ascertained quickly. There are now ECGs which can be attached to a smartphone and measure several heart-related parameters of health. These mobile ECGs can even automatically contact medical assistance when the situation becomes urgent. It is easy to see how this could soon become a new high-tech addition to first aid kits.

Conclusion

As you can see, much of this medical technology is “smart”, and can assist those that need to render first aid with the ability to monitor conditions in detail and to automatically contact medical professionals when the situation calls for it. Much of the “old type” equipment will remain – bandages are always going to be useful – but it seems likely that the humble first aid kit is set to become a lot more high-tech.









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