How Patients will benefit from Nanomedicine
New tools for diagnosis and therapy
New nanotechnology-based methods and materials guarantee earlier, more precise and more reliable medical diagnosis while minimizing the amount of biological samples, with a positive impact on ecology and sustainability through a large reduction in consumption of reagents and disposables. The smallness of nano-sensors, instruments, and monitoring devices allow access to the human body for diagnosis and therapy with a greatly reduced degree of invasiveness. The new nano-materials are suited as building blocks in carriers for diagnostic markers, drugs, and novel forms of therapeutic functionality, as well as for more durable and biocompatible implants. This will not only improve the diagnostic and therapeutic efficacy of medical treatment, but simultaneously limit the negative side-effects of drugs and surgical procedures.
Unsolved medical problems benefiting from a nanomedical approach
Circulation diseases like myocardial infarction and stroke, cancer, inflammatory disease are among the most frequent causes for suffering, hospitalisation, loss of autonomy and premature death in the western world. Here some examples of benefit from nanomedicine:
- Highly sensitive diagnostics based on nanotechnology have the potential of detecting such diseases in a very early stage by improved analysis of minute amounts of blood in the laboratory or at the bedside.
- Molecular imaging technologies based on nanoscience can detect and precisely localize disease processes like e.g. cancer, before severe complications occur.
- Fast diagnostic tools allow specific diagnosis immediately upon arrival in the emerging room.
- Nanotech sensors allow improved monitoring of patients in critical conditions in intensive care units.
- Therapies targeted only on diseased organs and cells allow combining more effective therapies with less side effects and a reduced need for drugs.
- Innovative nanometer size devices will allow repairing tissues within the body.
Impact of Nanomedicine on the cost-effectiveness of today's medicine
While all new technology has its price, nanomedicine will allow prevention and early disease detection/management, more precise diagnosis and more effective therapies that will reduce the need for hospitalisation and will improve the chances to full recovery and thus result in improved cost-effectiveness of tomorrow's medicine.