Medical science is perhaps the most important field for technological innovation. Aviation advances can enhance travel, communication advances can increase globalization, but nothing affects more lives directly than medical science. These five modern advances in the medical industry can and have saved countless lives.
Until recently, surgery was an art form requiring dexterous hands and a very sharp small knife. Even with modern metals, blades require precision and a degree of pressure and sharpness that fades over time. Laser scalpels are a modern invention that eliminates the need for crude tools wielded by human hands. Using quick, tiny beams of light, a laser scalpel can make tiny incisions with incredible precision. Some can even perform surgery beneath the skin without breaking it. Moreover, lasers don’t need to have their blades sterilized.
Transcatheter Aortic Valves
Heart valves fail over time, leading to heart attacks and the necessity of open-heart surgery. With such a critical organ, any form of surgery is dangerous. Replacing a valve is a procedure that requires a patient to take great risk. Fortunately, modern medicine has invented a transcatheter valve. This valve is installed via a small incision in the femoral artery, through which a catheter is worked until it reaches the heart. This method is far less risky when performed properly, saving many lives.
Originally, catheters were made out of metal and wire. They were thick and rigid, hard to insert and painful to use. Modern catheters are made of flexible plastic polymers and are much easier to use. Of course, learning how to use one is essential for many nurses. These days, instructions on how to properly catheterize are readily available.
Modern medical technology is improving to the level where complex sensory equipment — those medical monitors that surround a patient in the hospital — are small and portable enough to be used in the home. Sensors for blood pressure, respiration, blood sugar and dozens of other biometrics are taking advantage of modern computer technology to operate in smaller and smaller packages.
Robotic Surgical Assistants
Many forms of surgery are highly invasive simply because the part of the body they’re working on is too small to access any other way. Robotic medical assistants are changing that. High zoom cameras mounted on tiny, precise robots are able to make micro-incisions and other minute surgical actions. Used properly, these robots drastically reduce the risk of any surgical procedure.
From heart surgery to simple cosmetic procedures, modern technology is improving the quality of medical care. High-risk patients are able to receive treatments that would be too risky without such technology. Advances in medical science save lives.