The world of medicine and health is constantly evolving and advancing. From a shot that prevents migraines to a cancer vaccine, there have been a few astonishing breakthroughs in 2018. Find out what other breakthroughs happened over the past year below.
1. A test that Detects Hyperkalemia
Hyperkalemia is a term used when the potassium level in your blood is much higher than normal. Typically hyperkalemia is related to kidney failure or disease, Type 1 Diabetes, and some medications. While it may not sound ominous, high potassium levels can be life-threatening. Hyperkalemia can be dangerous for your heart and result in a weak pulse, chest pains, or arrhythmias.
Before, Hyperkalemia could only be found by a blood test. However, in September of 2018, AliveCor announced its creation of a device that can detect potassium levels without the use of blood and with the utilization of artificial intelligence through electrocardiograms
2. A Non-Invasive Test for Endometriosis
6.5 million women in the United States suffer from endometriosis, a condition where the endometrium grows outside of the uterus. Endometriosis typically results in painful periods and can even cause infertility. Women with endometriosis often go undiagnosed, sometimes it takes years for doctors to confirm. Before the only testing available was quite invasive and expensive. However, this year DotLab created the DotEndo which measures biomarkers specific to endometriosis through a patient’s saliva and blood.
3. A Shot to Prevent Migraines
Most Americans are familiar with a migraine. It is estimated that over 39 million Americans have suffered from a migraine, making it one of the most common illnesses. Migraines can be tough to treat even with the help of pills. In May, the FDA approved Aimovig’s injectable that has shown to cut down patient’s migraine days to only 2.5 a month.
4. A New Drug for Parkinson’s
In the past, Ketamine was known as an illegal party drug, but now it may help Parkinson’s patients. While taking Levodopa, one of the most popular medications for Parkinson’s, 40% of patients experince involuntary movements. To better control this side effects, researchers at the University of Arizona found that a controlled dosage of Ketamine reduced the amount of movement.
5. A Cancer Vaccine
Standford University found that by injecting immune-stimulating agents into solid tumors in mice, they were able to eliminate any trace of cancer. After seeing such amazing results, researchers are now recruiting lymphoma patients for a clinical trial. While human trials have not yet been explored, the shot could potentially treat multiple types of cancerous tumors.
For Martha Gipprich, a career in healthcare wasn’t something she decided to do but rather felt called to do. From the time she was in elementary school, Martha loved to help people and by the time she reached college she knew that healthcare was where she wanted to be. She attended Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she received her Bachelor of Health Sciences in May 2008 and then subsequently earned her Master’s of Physician Assistant in August 2009.
Currently, Martha is working at Sunrise Pediatrics in Reading, Pennsylvania as a Physician Assistant where she’s been since June 2016. Here she has a number of responsibilities as she works with both acute and chronic pediatric patients to help both evaluate and treat them. Martha handles reviewing and assessing all incoming patient results including lab tests, consults, and x-rays. She excels in fast-paced environments, and at Sunrise she sees up to 6 patients an hour to better serve the people in her care.
Prior to working at Sunrise Pediatrics, Martha Gipprich worked at Collegeville Medical Center from December 2014 to May 2016 as a full-time Physician Assistant and Office Manager. Here she balanced dual responsibilities that included working with clients and making sure the office was operating smoothly. She managed the healthcare staff and office, ordered office and medical supplies, and crafted successful weight loss and medicine protocol while also performing her duties as a Physician Assistant which included examining and evaluating patients, performing injections, and ordering diagnostic testing when necessary. She was also responsible for streamlining laboratory tasks like venipuncture, interpreting serum allergy tests, and processing blood and urine tests.
Previously, Martha worked for over a year as a Physician Assistant at Patient First Urgent Care in Pottstown, PA. While at Patient First, she met with an average of 4-5 patients an hour whom she diagnosed and treated across an array of medical needs include strep throat, fractured bones, and coronary syndromes.
Alongside her day to day work, Martha Gipprich’s natural inquisitiveness and eagerness to learn have prompted a love for research, as well. Through Drexel University, Martha has begun taking classes on clinical research in their Certificate of Study in Clinical Research Online program in the hopes of incorporating this into her profession in the future.
Outside of work, Martha is the proud mother of her one year old son, who she loves more than anything. Currently, Martha and her partner are renovating their home, which is taking up quite a bit of their time outside of work; when they do like to enjoy their downtime, they like vacationing in Asbury Park, NJ and visiting Longwood Gardens.