Technology is all around us. From the latest smartphones and tablet computers to cars that rely on artificial intelligence to get us where we are going, technology has done a lot to improve the lives of people around the world. Yet some technologies are more important than others. Medical technologies are a good case in point.
Medical science is at the forefront of defining what constitutes quality of life from a physical and mental standpoint. The better it becomes at treating illness and injury, the more capable medical science is of improving lives. Technology has been a big part of such improvements in recent years. Below is a discussion of four ways technology has already made – and will continue to make – a big impact.
1. Saving More Lives
At the top of the list are those technologies that actually save lives that otherwise would be lost. We have lots of medical technologies to choose from in this regard. Let us talk about one of them, a device known as the automated external defibrillator (AED). Compared to many other medical technologies, the AED is fairly new.
AED’s are compact medical devices that can be used to restart a stopped heart. They are similar to those defibrillators used by medical professionals but with one key difference: you do not need any medical training to operate one. An AED can be successfully operated by just about any adult.
Note that AED’s have but one purpose: to restart a stopped heart. When deployed effectively, they literally save lives. And thanks to UK defibrillation and AED suppliers, the devices are freely available and quite affordable. There really is no reason to not have at least one at every public gathering space.
2. Improving Medical Diagnoses
When medical technology is not directly saving lives, it is improving medical diagnoses. Once again, we have a lot of technologies to choose from. Take signal processing technology, for example. Signal processing is the science of filtering unwanted information out of some sort of signal so that only relevant data remains.
Advanced signal processing in the medical arena combines standard medical equipment with computer hardware and software for improved diagnostic ability. Thanks to what modern signal processing is capable of, we can now identify certain forms of cancer at its earliest stages. We can understand what is going on in the brains of people suffering from traumatic brain injuries. The list goes on.
3. Better Prevention Strategies
Medical technology now allows us to employ better prevention strategies as well. A good way to illustrate this point is to talk about wearable devices. A wearable device in the medical arena is a device that collects patient data for the purposes of understanding a person’s health.
One example of a wearable device is a wristwatch that monitors heart rate and respiration. A patient at high risk of serious cardiovascular problems could benefit from such a device. Not only could that person see the collected data him/herself, but the data can also be sent remotely to the computer system accessed by that person’s doctor. Both patient and doctor can know, in real time, if heart rate and respiration indicate trouble ahead.
Alongside wearable devices are all sorts of mobile apps. There are apps that collect a plethora of medical data that doctors and patients can use to develop prevention strategies. There are apps that help doctors treat existing patients by encouraging said patients to take better care of themselves. There is a lot going on in this area.
4. Improved Medical Adaptations
While we frequently talk of medical technology in the context of emergency first aid, diagnosis and prevention, technology also has a wide variety of applications in terms of medical adaptation. In other words, technology is helping some people suffering from chronic conditions better adapt to the world around them. One of the first things that come to mind is a prosthetic device made of composite materials.
Imagine an athlete who has lost a leg in a terrible accident. A prosthetic leg made with carbon fibre can give that athlete his/her life back. And yet, it is not just athletes. Combat veterans, the elderly, and people born with disabilities are all finding it easier to adapt thanks to the many advances in composites.
There’s talk of someday repairing broken bones with a composite material that eventually becomes one with the bones it repaired. There are rumours that heart valves will one day be made of materials like carbon fibre. The more we learn about composites the more researchers are discovering how handy they are for medical applications.
Technology continues to change nearly every aspect of modern life. Where health and medicine are concerned, technology is turning tradition on its head. Medical technology is giving us new ways to uncover illness, treat it, and prevent future problems. There is a lot to love here.