The desire for professional, cost-effective treatment in the age of technology has pushed the medical field to evolve fast and embrace technology to revolutionize services. Some of the medical gadgets are tiny and non-invasive (Peltola, 2017). Indeed, the use of technology in the health sector is quite advantageous. For example, it has made possible the diagnosis of life-threatening conditions such as cancer, and a faster and precise diagnosis of illness. Technology is also critical in curbing disease dispersion. It has allowed remote treatment and reduced cost of treatment. One of the most important gains that have been made possible by technology is the reduction of medical errors.
Technology-Enabled Care (TEC) is a term used to define various technologies such as telemedicine, eHealth, mobile health, telecare among others (Taylor, 2015). It is the meeting point of medical technology, the digital divide, and advanced communication, as a solution to challenges facing the health sector. Masic (2014) states that significant advancement in medical technology has been made since the 1950’s. Despite the rosy picture painted by advancements in this field, Aggarwal (2017) notes complex diseases have been identified and cautions against over-dependence on technology. The author believes that reliance on technology diverts attention from healthier and natural options. Such a trend may prove to be costly. It also casts doubt on the ethical perspective of such possibilities. The areas of concern regarding the use of technology in the healthcare sector include the privacy of data. Confidentiality in the age of technology, especially how this data is shared and who has been questioned (Derrington, 2017).
Five Current or In-Development Advances in Medical Care
In the medical world, what was once considered a significant discovery is now regarded as common practice. However, it is such worthy undertakings that have kept humankind alive and healthy throughout the years. Below are some of the five current or in-development advances in medical care.
ReWalk, also known as exoskeleton, is one of the notable healthcare technologies. It is a product of Rewalk Robotics, Massachusetts. It allows persons who have lost the ability to move their limbs to regain that ability. It enables them to stand, sit, and use the stairs among other movements. The ReWalk functions by providing posture support and mobility at the waist. By employing artificial intelligence, gears, motors, computerized control systems, one can gain movement with the help of ReWalk.
Nanotechnology plays a significant role. Nanoparticles are very tiny injectable, about 0.0001 the thickness of human hair. They are administered into cancerous tumors using injections and work by introducing a magnetic field, which stirs the cancerous cells and produces heat. The two processes destroy the cells or make them easily penetrable, thus efficiently respond to treatment.
The artificial pancreas is predicted to positively change the medical field, despite it not being fully developed at the moment. It has already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). An artificial pancreas is an electronic gadget that uses computer algorithms to imitate blood sugar levels and a healthy pancreas. It works by enabling communication between a glucose-checking gadget and pump, which releases insulin to regulate the blood glucose level of an individual.
Electronic aspirin is yet another valuable technology. It is designed for people with prolonged headaches often associated with facial nerve known as sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG). This technology is still under development and clinical trials by Autonomic Technologies. Once it is approved, it will be used to treat migraines, as well as other forms of prolonged, severe cranium or facial aches. The electronic aspirin works as a permanent implant, and the user activates it by placing a handheld device near the implant to enable it. When activated, the signal stimulates the SPG nerves thereby blocking the neurotransmitters that cause pain.
The fifth innovation is the male birth control pill. It works by reducing testosterone and effectively stopping sperm production. This pill is taken once a day and reduces the male hormone to pre-adolescent levels.
Would I allow them to be used on me?
The development and growth of medical technology are amazing. The innovation alleviates pain and suffering. I would not mind these technologies being used on me for various reasons. For example, they have been tested and approved by the relevant healthcare regulation bodies. They also present benefits, such as eliminating human error, which means that they are safer to use than the traditional methods of treatment. While some risks have been associated with them, they are not significant. Besides, the conventional methods of treatment are not risk-free either. Some of these technologies are quite expensive hence I may not be able to access them because of the inability to afford them. However, a lot of them are cost-friendly thus quite accessible. However, I will be worried about my data being mishandled or revealed to an unauthorized person.
The medical field has evolved over the years to keep up with the ever-changing technologies. The incorporation of technology in the treatment process has benefited to both practitioners and patients. Patients have gained from accurate and fast diagnoses, risk reduction, and cost-effectiveness among others. The advancements have reduced the workload of healthcare professionals while increasing diagnosis and efficacy. Indeed, these innovations are the future of medicine.
Aggarwal, L.M. (2017). Advances in medical technology and its impact on health care in developing countries, International Journal of Radiology & Radiation Therapy, 2(2)
Derrington, D. (2017). Artificial intelligence for health and health care. The MITRE Corporation.
Masic, I. (2014). Five periods in development of medical informatics. Acta Informatica Medica, 22(1), 44.
Peltola, O. (2017). Introduction to Wearable Healthcare Technology. Retrieved from https://jyx.jyu.fi/bitstream/handle/…/URN%3ANBN%3Afi%3Ajyu-201801031033.pdf
Taylor, K. (2015). Connected health: How digital technology is transforming health and social care. London, UK: Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions.