There are very few areas of our lives unaffected by technology these days; whether you’re making a meal, communicating with friends, attending a doctor’s appointment, or researching a project, there’s a good chance that technology will be involved at some point. While we do often have to wonder how heavily we now rely on technology when it comes to certain aspects of our lives, one industry that continues to thrive – and to tremendous affect – is medicine. We have come a long way since the invention of the profession’s most basic developments, and millions of people each year are benefitting.
The latest technological advancements in the field of medicine
Digital technologies have recently been referred to as the fourth industrial revolution; they have overtaken our lives to great affect, and continue to inspire, create opportunities, and improve our lifestyles. When it comes to the field of medicine, though, digital technologies have come into their own. Diagnoses, treatments, and patient care have come incredibly far, and with tremendous speed, since the earliest days of medicine, and hospitals and patients now rely on such advancements in every way possible. Whether a patient is awaiting the outcome of an X-ray, scan, or blood test, receiving treatment for an illness, or walking an uncertain path following the completion of their medical care, medical technologies endeavor to make that journey far quicker, and easier, while developments ensure doctors, nurses, and support staff are able to undertake their jobs with ease – and confidence.
So what are some of the latest development you need to know about, and how are they affecting the medical profession?
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Once the plaything of gamers and those within the computer games industry, virtual reality is now making forays into the medical world; medical students have begun to use Virtual Reality and simulations in an attempt to better understand the human body, practice procedures, and familiarize themselves with surgical techniques, while patients may soon have access to simulated versions of the kinds of care they could expect to receive. This is a huge development for all concerned, and will lead to surgical and medical teams becoming accustomed to life in the theater, ward, or practice far earlier in their careers, and patients finding it easier to cope with the stresses of falling ill. Augmented reality, meanwhile, will allow medical students to inspect every inch of the human body without relying on 2D textbooks or cadavers, and revolutionize the kinds of care we’re likely to receive in the future; it’s an exciting period for the industry.
Laser eye surgery
Laser eye surgery is nothing new; such procedures have been giving patients freedom from glasses and contact lenses, as well as improving the health of the population’s eyes, for many years now. However, laser eye surgery techniques have certainly improved over time, becoming far less invasive, not to mention quicker and easier to perform. Indeed those affected by short or long sightedness, dry eyes, and damaged corneas are now more freely able to choose surgery as an option, and are reaping the rewards of equipment that has been finely honed – as well as medical professionals that have received advanced training. Once reserved for the rich, or those with no other option, laser eye surgery has become far more widely available thanks to medical innovation, while those available to conduct eye exams, Denver and beyond, are now better able to provide diagnoses and immediate treatment from that very first contact.
3D printing has shown incredible advancements over the last few years, astounding consumers with its abilities to recreate almost any object that you could think of. Medical technology is now taking its turn, with the very first bioprinted liver tissue created in 2014; experts hope that this could pave the way for transplanted tissue to be made within the next 4-6 years, while the ability to bioprint human tissue will greatly improve the profession’s abilities to study the body’s organs, and test new drugs; imagine an end to animal testing, and the emergence of drugs better suited to the human body – ethically, and medically, it’s a huge advancement.
The world of medical innovation has not yet had its day; with the invention and development of nanotechnologies in order to perform more complex surgeries and procedures, the use of mobile phone apps in the diagnosis, treatment, and aftercare of patients, and the improved ability to monitor patients during their time in hospital, there is no end in sight for medical technology; an incredible reassurance for those within the profession, and anyone ever likely to get sick.