While many of us are praying that 2022 will bring about the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing work of life scientists will really be the deciding factor. When the pandemic started, it was clear that life scientists would need to work quickly and innovatively to create a vaccine that would provide protection from COVID-19 and its changing variants. In the past, RNA and mRNA had been deemed quite difficult to work with, however, the pandemic presented a unique opportunity for this tricky molecule to show us what it can do. Thankfully, the creation of mRNA vaccines to fight COVID-19 has been a resounding success. We expect to see this technology being explored further as we move into 2022 as new mutated variations of the virus appear.
Nowadays, it's common for people to switch their analogue watch to a smartwatch that allows them to track everything from their fitness to their heart rate and even their stress levels. We expect to see wearable technology make a breakthrough in the life science industry in the coming year, with smartwatches being only the tip of the iceberg. Smartwatches are great at giving you a general overview of your health and activity levels, but there are much more sophisticated wearable devices that can monitor things such as:
- Blood pressure
- Glucose levels
- Hormone levels
And much more! We predict that wearable medical devices will become much more commonplace in 2022. This kind of technology can help people with chronic illnesses to monitor physiological changes in real-time, rather than relying on occasional visits to a nurse or GP. It will also give medical professionals a more useful data set to work with when it comes to diagnosing illnesses and diseases.
AI and automation
We are starting to see AI and automation taking over various areas of our lives, from self-driving cars to digital assistants in our phones, but did you know that AI and automation are set to play a big role in life science developments over the coming year? We expect to see AI and machine learning technology used in a variety of medical settings to improve treatments and patient care. It's interesting to think that this kind of technology could help to reduce the chances of human error when it comes to patient care. For example, we expect to see AI and automation used to continue developing the capabilities of robot-guided surgeries.