The shift in the medical industry experienced in the past five to 10 years is sizable. When it comes to medical-related technology — such as the ones developed to combat aging — the pivot is even more noticeable.

Technology is influencing the anti-aging industry in a couple of ways. First, it affects the attempts to limit the aging process itself, including physical appearance. Second, it’s also swaying the actual pathophysiology of the aging process.

Tech influences nearly every industry on Earth, but the medical industry is especially significant in that even the smallest breakthroughs can make all the difference when searching for a cure or pathological disease treatment.

Aging, as an issue, is never going away. Naturally, the technology surrounding it will need to continue adapting to consumer needs.

How Anti-Aging Technology Has Evolved

In the past, the medical industry focused on the symptoms of aging, rather than its root cause. The current direction of anti-aging research is a prime example because it now aims to learn not only why aging happens, but also how to curb or fix it.

Continued research into the origins of aging and what variables spark it will allow us to transition from research-based technology to applied technology solutions. My company, for example, is taking one of the talking points from President Barack Obama’s 2013 State of the Union speech — organ regeneration — and working toward a solution.

Not only are we developing drugs to help revitalize damaged organs, but we’re also establishing a brain initiative. The latter, we hope, will shine some light on the pathology, cause, and mechanisms behind Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative illnesses.

Technology simplifies that approach for us, especially within the scope of apps, wearables, and digital diagnostic devices. These innovations, more than traditional diagnostic methods, have pathological and physiological advantages. Because most of the current anti-aging technology available is pathological, it’s not physiologically slowing down aging, but rather chipping away at the diseases associated with it.

It’s a method tailored more toward the needs of the industry and not the patient, which means physiology isn’t getting the full experience of anti-aging technology. That isn’t to say that industry-focused technology doesn’t hold its own benefits; in fact, it provides doctors and researchers access to information that develops our understanding of how the human body works and reacts.

Unfortunately, current iterations are limited and do little to provide the patient with the full potential of technological possibilities.

Trends That Are Changing the Game

Historically, one of the bigger barriers in the study of aging was our ability and accessibility to collect data and monitor health, especially with regard to the elderly and infirm. Wearables, mobile apps, and digital diagnostics will make it easier to collect and index the information we need in order to diagnose and treat age-related health concerns.

These advances now allow both consumers and researchers to sync or transmit data to apps, computers, and smartphones quickly and easily, sometimes automatically. Instead of data and information management becoming a chore, the device now handles it all for you.

This method provides a much more in-depth glance at aging as a whole, accounting for factors such as correlation, causation, and nature variables. Devices like UV-detecting patches and hydration-detecting masks may enable the recording and adjusting of treatment protocols in real time, which lets doctors and patients act quickly to improve skin damage and dryness. Other solutions may deliver medications or skin-boosting serums over time with virtually no effort required from the patient.

Devices that do this can and will influence how elderly consumers engage with anti-aging technology as a whole; it’s simple, easy, and helpful. As so little involvement is needed, the anti-aging market becomes more accessible and easier for people to interact with.

The overall goal isn’t just to create something that instantaneously channels crucial information to patients or caregivers. The end result should move us closer to remedies for age-related illnesses and issues.

Author's Bio: 

Kevin Xu is the CEO of MEBO International, a California- and Beijing-based intellectual property management company specializing in applied health systems. He also leads Skingenix, which specializes in skin organ regeneration and the research and development of botanical drug products. Kevin is co-founder of the Human Heritage Project.