From the introduction of the stethoscope in the 180s to the development of the use of x-rays in the early 20th century, technology has played an essential and pivotal role in how doctors have practiced medicine. With each new amazing invention, the science of explaining and treating patients has advanced and benefited people of each progressive generation.
The technological and digital inventions and innovations of today are now front and center in the world of medicine. These cutting-edge devices entering the marketplace provide help. With technology, The lives of patients are more empowered than ever before.
Physicians utilize technological advancements in determining diagnosis along with possible treatment options. Also, improving their communication with those they serve.
New Exciting Roles
The positive role that technology plays in the practice of medicine today cannot be overstated. Imaging machine options alone have revolutionized the ability to visually see inside the body of a patient, profoundly impacting the ability to accurately diagnose and recommend treatment.
CT, PET, and MRI machines provide detailed scans that reduce the need for exploratory surgeries. 3-D printers produce models that can be manipulated by doctors. These models help to simulate strategies of possible treatments and procedures before a surgery.
This innovative hands-on approach makes it possible to construct surgical plans before implementation.
The capabilities of 3-D technological information also allow for the reconstruction of bones or organs to be included in treating patients.
Medical students in the future could use virtual reality scenarios to practice their skills. there is no need to use a living human being for that purpose.
The above listed technological advancements have allowed for the increase of specialized medical fields, where doctors now efficiently hone their skills involving a particular organ system.
State-of-the-art machines have produced the need for new types of medical experts, such as radiographers and radiologists.
With each addition of a technological advancement, training of medical professionals will also follow.
Other advancing innovations have occurred in the fields of data gathering and analyzation.
With the increase of monitoring through mobile apps in patients, from their vital signs (heart and lung functions, sugar levels) to behavioral patterns (hours slept, calories consumed, steps walked), doctors have myriads of data to analyze and interpret to aid in determining a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)Is utilized to aid physicians in accomplishing these goals.
AI enables the quicker movement into research to plan prevention. Epidemic and pandemic outbreaks of catastrophic diseases such as Ebola or Polio are preventable.
Power to the Patient
An exciting and most beneficial aspect of today’s new technology in medicine is the exponential increase in patient empowerment. With the advent of remote monitoring devices, patients can now avoid costly and inconvenient hospital and doctor office visits, recuperating in the comfort of their home setting.
Communication between doctor and patient is more convenient and timelier with the use of social app platforms, which is more beneficial to both doctor and patient. This two-way communication relieves a lot of stress for both parties involved.
Another excellent advancement for doctors and patients is the development of robotics or service “bots.”
The advancement of Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) Opens up a new world of possibilities and independence for paraplegics and quadriplegics, allowing the brain to control not just the cursor in a computer device, but to communicate to prosthetic limbs that will be able to move at the patient’s will.
Newly introduced iWalk apps will control robotic exoskeletons connected to patients, enabling them to become independently ambulatory, greatly increasing the quality of their lives.
Some have expressed a fear of future advances of technology in medicine, concerned that technology products will “take over” the human aspect of healthcare, putting decisions doctors and patients at the mercy of cold calculating machines.
That idea is reminiscent of the rogue computer “HAL,” from the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”.
However, a recent article from a site with information regarding this issue stated the only way we can proceed is forward, and if we stay a few steps ahead of the technology’s we are creating, we can control it, and keep the ethics of humanity in the practice of this new kind of medicine.
If we can achieve this, the benefits for our lives is obviously clear.
http://broughttolife.sciencemuseum.org.uk/broughttolife/themes/technologies http://www.hunimed.eu/news/technology-changing-world-medicine http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenkotler/2013/12/19/5-medical-technologies-revolutionizing-healthcare/ http://medicalfuturist.com/ten-ways-technology-changing-healthcare