In the past, the common focus in clinical research has been on the variables: patient and practice, and not on the more significant variable, technology products. However, with time technology has found its importance in healthcare. The introduction of Healthcare and Technology Synergy (HATS) framework has not only found its usefulness in comparative effectiveness research on health-care-associated infections as well as in nursing practice, education, and policy. Appropriate development and evaluation of research that use the HATS framework have also helped in cost-benefit analyses, product evaluation, and implementation of evidence-based practices.
Earlier in medical cardiology and orthopaedic surgery, the products used were significant variables that affected clinical outcomes and subsequent recalls. In the case of cardiology since the heart is such a delicate and critical organ, cardiologists usually opted not to intervene with the dead cells that remained after a heart attack or cardiac disease. Even the slightest occurrence of such cells puts a great amount of strain on the heart.
The emergence of nanotechnology has provided a great breakthrough in this aspect. Thomas Webster, a professor from Northeastern University, has discussed the evolution of a hydrogel. With the addition of carbon nanotubes to the hydrogel, it becomes conductive and when the material is injected into the heart, it solidifies at body temperature thus mimicking heart cells. It has responded positively to research experiments, expanding and contracting along with the rest of the heart.
Nanotechnology has the potential to bring major advances in medicine: Nanobots could be sent into a patient’s arteries to clear away blockages, surgeries could become much faster and more accurate. It could also be used to refine drug production, tailoring drugs at a molecular level to make them more effective, and to reduce side effects. However, it will also be expensive and considered a luxury initially but with further technological advancements, cost-effectiveness can be achieved.