How Technology is Changing Medicine.

How Technology is Changing Medicine.

If a global pandemic has taught us anything, it is just how vital healthcare workers are. Signing on for long and often thankless shifts to help treat people who often don’t want to be there must surely take its toll. The last two years have pushed many medical professionals and medical establishments to breaking point. The field of medicine has always relied heavily on Medical technology to advance. MRI and CT machines, for example, have become indispensable- revealing what an x-ray simply cannot. 

As the boundaries of tech grows exponentially, how does it merge with the medical field and the needs of modern hospitals? What upcoming technology could fundamentally change the way care is given? Enjoy a brief rundown of three technologies that are already making a difference.

Analysing data from MedTech

We start off with an incredibly wide-ranging tech improvement. Medtech covers any and all products, solutions and services that use medical-based technologies to help patients. These different devices and programs are helpful as standalone products, but by combining their data and analysing it properly, the real benefit of Medtech becomes apparent. 

The ability to track, collate and then analyse data from different devices offers the possibility to do so much. 

On an individual level, a complete picture of a patient’s health can be drawn up. Everything from blood pressure to the latest notes made by their nurse would be in one central place. This file could then accessed by any medical professional who needs it. Tracking medical histories would instantly become easier with no chance of a patient’s notes becoming lost in transit between doctors or specialists. 

On a hospital-wide level, tracking admission, wait times, and readmittance levels could identify where bottlenecks in the hospital system lie. The flow of patients throughout the hospital could be tracked alongside the processes within individual departments.

From a research perspective, the integration of Medtech analysis allows for exciting collaboration opportunities. Researchers would be able to track the effects of new drugs on patients throughout the world. Doctors would also be able to discuss unusual cases with colleagues that are continents away. The bringing together of such a wealth of data could uncover new understandings in a record-breaking time.

VR Surgeries

Medical technology has allowed surgeons to carry out more detailed and complex surgeries than ever before. However, pioneering these firsts in surgery can be a daunting mission; after all, how many patients will willingly sign up to be the first patient to undergo an experimental procedure? VR surgeries allow surgeons to practice new techniques without any danger to patients. With VR, new approaches can be tried to gain insight into possible approaches.

Earlier this year, surgeons in different countries collaborated on the best ways to separate a pair of three-year-old conjoined twins. Surgical teams in London and Brazil worked together remotely on VR models of how to best approach the task of separating the two boys who had been born attached at the head with their brains intertwined. The training paid off, the surgery was a success, and both boys are now doing well. 

3D Printing

The possibilities of 3D printing are literally endless. Good quality prosthetic limbs can bankrupt families. For children who are constantly growing, the need for larger sizes makes it difficult to invest in good-quality prosthetics that allow a wider range of motion. Traditional prosthetics can cost thousands and thousands of pounds. Because of the high cost of producing them, general sizes that can be adapted to an individual are often used. This can lead to an uncomfortable fit and complications caused by rubbing or pinching around the patient’s limb.  

 3D printers have changed this. With templates available readily online 3D printing experts can custom-create prosthetic limbs to suit clients, both young and old. Components of the artificial limb can be measured and created to suit the individual user for a superior fit. The cost of these 3D printed components is tiny compared to traditional prosthetics meaning that children can get new ones as they grow with ease. Not only can the fit and function be customized to each user, but so can the look of the prosthetic. Limbs designed in a favorite football team’s colors or made to look like an iron man glove make the whole experience much more positive for the patient. 

3D printing Medical technology doesn’t just allow for items to be created; scientists are currently pioneering bioprinting. This is the creation of new organs and cell tissues that can then be grafted into patients. The possibility of growing working organs rather than waiting for transplants to become available is an exciting one that will change the shape of medicine forever. 

Conclusion:

The partnership between technology and medicine is breathtakingly exciting. New Medical technology has allowed breakthroughs in healthcare that doctors from fifty years ago would never have dreamt of. The use of data analysis, VR and 3D printing has already made waves in how medicine can be tracked, trialled and carried out; who knows what is next for these inspiring technologies? 

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