2014 has been a significant year for the medical world. This year's weird and breakthrough innovations have the potential to reshape the healthcare sector. Various studies conducted by researchers across the world provide more insight into various diseases and might help experts in coming up with a cure for them in time.
It was 2014 that the bionic eye became a reality. Previously, there was no proper treatment for late-stage retinitis pigmentosa (RP). This disease renders its patients blind by the age of 40 years. However, a new technology was developed this year. The technology features a retinal prosthesis or a "bionic eye". Even though the new technology does not restore complete vision, it at least allows the patients to detect light and dark, identify the location and movement of people and objects in the surrounding.
Hepatitis C Drug
This year, the FDA approved a new drug for Hepatitis C. The pill - Harvoni – was approved in October and is believed to be a cure for the disease. However, critics say that its price - $1,000 a pill – is higher than most people can afford.
Cancer Drug Ketruda
Almost three-and-a-half years after the first doses of the medicine were tested on patients in clinical trials, Merck's cancer drug 'Keytruda' was given a green signal by the FDA. The drug is a form of immunotherapy. It has the capacity of turning on the immune system to fight the tumours in the lungs and also melanoma. Oncologists are hailing the drug as a game-changer.
Electric Shocks vs. Loneliness
A study by researchers at the University of Virginia found that people would opt for painful electric shocks over loneliness. If people are asked to choose between electric shocks and being left alone in a room, they would go for the former. This shows a strange aspect of a human psychology and can help experts find out more about the subject.
White Bread linked to Being Overweight
A Spanish study revealed that having more than four slices of white bread a day can result in making the consumer overweight. This study is extremely significant as white bread is part of the daily diet of millions of people across the world.
Gene Linked to Being Single
Researchers in Beijing conducted a study that revealed that a single gene can be responsible for a person's lack of love life. According to the study, those carrying the gene 5THA1 are 20 percent more likely to be single.
NeuroPace or Seizure-Stopper
One of the most important breakthroughs of 2014 is the NeuroPace or the seizure-stopper. More than 840,000 people across the world suffer from epilepsy – which causes uncontrollable seizure. Neuropace is like "a defibrillator for your brain." Even though it was approved by the FDA in late 2013, it was able to prove its worth only this year.
Climate Change Agreement
Last but not the least, the Climate Change agreement that US President Barack Obama and China decided is undoubtedly a major breakthrough. The United States and China – the major emitters of greenhouse gases – agreed to cut down its greenhouse gas emissions by about a third over the next two decades. This initiative would not only improve the environment, but also indirectly help improving the health of people.