Medical Technology and Near-Infrared Spectroscopy: Providing New Treatment Options for Neuropathy and More

Television ads are chock full of treatment options for a variety of ailments, but most of these choices also include other significant side effects. Those suffering from chronic ailments are desperate for relief, but at what cost? New advancements in medical technology now include non-invasive and drug-free alternatives using near-infrared spectroscopy that  are designed to treat a number of conditions. This revolutionary tool not only relieves symptoms in patients, but is also being used to help diagnose and detect certain illnesses as well.

NIR wavelengths medical technology
NIR Spectroscopy is the cutting-edge of medical technology and offers a safe and non-invasive alternative to other medical treatments.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons user Cmglee

NIR spectroscopy in the medical field

Near-infrared  (NIR) spectroscopy has many applications in medical technology and its possibilities continue to expand. The most common applications of NIR spectrophotometers involve the ability to accurately identify and classify chemical properties, which is widely used in scientific research and laboratory testing, as well as for many pharmaceutical applications. Many of these elements are impossible to detect with the human eye, so NIR spectrophotometers use light reflectance and absorption values to quantify data and help to accurately classify materials and detect impurities.

Medical researchers soon realized that light measurement values could be used for many other medical technology-related studies and applications. Medical breakthroughs in treatments using radiation technology for the detection of various ailments could now be replaced with a much safer alternative. NIR spectroscopy uses the technology of color to view light in various wavelengths that extend beyond our simple eye capabilities. These measurements can then be quantified and used repeatedly to detect any changes in the physical properties of the sample.

medical technology
Radiation therapy was a major breakthrough in medical technology; however, it does include some serious side effects. NIR spectroscopy uses infrared light to gather data and has been proven harmless to the human body.
Image Source: Flickr user Dina-Roberts Wakulczyk

Infrared light is not harmful to the human body, therefore making it an ideal alternative to other forms of instrumentation which use harmful radiation. This allows doctors to use this form of medical technology to view any part of the human body, regardless of a patient’s medical history and obtain the information needed without harmful side effects.

NIR spectroscopy for medical treatment

One of the latest breakthroughs in NIR technology has been for use in the treatment of RLS (restless leg syndrome). Patients who suffer from this neuropathic disorder experience highly painful sensations in the legs, thighs, and hips. In this past, this condition was primarily treated with the repeated use of narcotic pain medications, but NIR spectroscopy treatment now offers a drug-free option that has been proven to be even more effective than the standard pharmaceutical treatments. Not only are patients finding a safer alternative for relief, but this new technology is opening doors for a better understanding of other forms of neuropathy. NIR spectroscopy is quickly becoming the future of medical technology.

Other medical applications that use NIR spectroscopy include the treatment of various skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis. Light therapy technology has also been shown to improve the overall healing functions of the human body. Spectrophotometric medical technology is also used to detect levels of cholesterol by measuring the appearance of skin and provides a quick and non-invasive method for continual monitoring.

arm skin medical technology
NIR Spectroscopy provides non-invasive and effective treatment options for a variety of ailments including RLS and various skin disorders.
Image Source: Flickr user Seniju

The future of medical technology and more

Applications of NIR spectroscopy are nearly limitless, and in the field of medical technology and science we have only just begun to tap into the possibilities. Already utilized for many industrial and agricultural purposes, NIR spectrophotometers have been well-developed and designed for durability, portability, and ease of use. HunterLab has been a leader in NIR spectrophotometric technology and development for over 60 years and we specialize in new advancements in the medical industry. Offering affordable quality instrumentation options, we have a variety of product suited for nearly any application. Our expert team is here to assist in product selection and work together to meet the cutting-edge demands in medical technology. Contact HunterLab to learn more about our products and how we can serve your needs today.

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