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The past, present and future of our health tech

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Health and medical research has considerably contributed to the improvements in human health and general wellbeing across the world and Australia has most certainly played its part!

As a result of the many health professionals developing innovative technologies and medical breakthroughs, Australians have benefitted by keeping healthier for longer. Despite the major role of medical research in Australia, there have been a few standout health advancements throughout Australian history. Before looking into the future of what health advancements are to come, let’s take a step back in time and discover how our country has contributed to the medical marvels of today:

Let’s take a step back in time and discover how our country has contributed to the medical marvels of today and will continue to in the future

Taking a look into the past – Australia’s health tech and advancements:

Already, Australians researchers have led developments in vaccines against human diseases and infections and led discoveries in genetics. But what can we look forward to in the future? What other advancements could change the course of our health and even our kids’ health? Richard Lewis is a Professor and Director of the IMB Centre for Pain Research at the Institute of Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland. He is just one example of a health professional leading the way in medical change for the future.

Professor Richard Lewis

I have worked in the medical field for many years now, focusing my research in the past on a fish poison known as ciguatera and also on analgesic venom peptides. At the moment, I am currently working on the discovery and development of novel analgesics on ion channels, receptors and transporters. Basically, our research explores the mechanisms of how the body feels pain and we then use this knowledge to develop new drugs to combat chronic pain.

To do this, we study conotoxins, which are small peptides from predatory marine snails that are very active in pain pathways. This could potentially provide the pathway for a new class of pain management drugs with fewer side effects. Several conotoxins discovered by our scientists have been taken into the clinic for severe pain treatment.

During the past 12 months, we have discovered a new mechanism of peptide diversification which is being developed as a new pain treatment. We have also identified a key role of potassium channels in the activity of nerves associated with cold pain. I am currently leading a Program Grant in Pain Research from the NHMRC and I hope to be able to deliver new therapeutic leads especially in the area of pain treatments.

Better pain medication can improve the quality of life for Australians suffering chronic pain as our population grows older, this is something we have to face and fight. I think there is a lot to look forward to in the future for medical advancements and I know we will continually find new ways to combat disease, viruses, pain and genetic disorders.

Taking a look into the future: Australia’s health tech and advancements

We’ve had a look into the past, talked to a professor about his current therapeutic studies but what we all want to know is: what does the future of health advancements look like? According to the experts…

The future of Australian health inventions 2016 - 2030

By 2018

By 2020:

By 2025:

Australia has achieved an incredible amount when it comes to our healthcare. From penicillin to ultrasounds to the bionic eye, and we have so much more to look forward to. It seems we are in safe hands when it comes to our health! As long as there are passionate health professionals and new ideas sprouting, the technological advancements in the coming years have no bounds.

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