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The Modern Hospital: Using Technology to Save Lives

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The Modern Hospital: Using Technology to Save Lives

Modern technology is used for many lifestyle conveniences, from our smartphones to our vehicles, but it’s also saving lives every second by advancing our medical science. Technology allows the world’s most state-of-the-art hospitals to catch and treat diseases faster and more efficient than ever.

In this article we’ll take a look at the most recent advance in medical technology, and how medical professionals and patients alike benefit from life-saving science.

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Cancer

There are great strides made in both the detection of different kinds of cancers, as well as the treatment of cancers. The typical goal is to make diagnosis and treatment less invasive and more accurate, as well as preserving the patient’s comfort. In most cases, doctors are trying to eliminate intrusive diagnosis of any kind, in order to avoid unnecessary injury.

Some examples include:

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  • Digital Tomosynthesis: Used to detect breast cancer, tomosynthesis mammography creates a 3D image of the area, providing medical professionals with a more accurate scan.
  • MelaFind: Melanoma remains the most deadly form of skin cancer, but traditionally requires a biopsy which could come back negative and even leave nasty scars. MelaFind is a handheld tool used by doctors to gain more information about a patient, leading to a more accurate diagnosis without the need of a biopsy.
  • The Gamma Knife: In an attempt to produce a highly-targeted dose of radiation to patients, the Gamma Knife was created. Despite its name, the Gamma Knife is actually a concentrated beam of radiation, used on target locations without damaging the surrounding tissue.
  • Immunotherapy: Put in very simple terms, immunotherapy involves boosting a person’s immune system to fight cancer on their own, or with the help of other treatments. This idea isn’t new, but we’ve only recently had enough understanding of our immune systems to safely take advantage of them.

Surgery

Like cancer, doctors are always looking for ways to make surgery quicker and less invasive. Surgeons depend on robotic tools and advanced software to guide them through their work, and we as patients benefit from less risk and down-time after an operation.

The best advances in surgery are:

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  • Telesurgery: Robots have become common in surgical rooms over the past decade or so, and though they become refined all the time, they are not necessarily modern technology. Telesurgery, however, which uses robots to allow surgeons to operate remotely, is a new and exciting technology that is being successfully explored today.
  • Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery: This refers to a surgeon entering a patient’s body through another opening to safely and more naturally reach the surgery. This is particularly useful for brain surgery, reducing the need to enter through a person’s skull.

Communications and Networking

The efficiency of communications within a hospital is just as important as the equipment and drugs used to treat the patients. Technology has improved this aspect of hospital productivity in more ways than one:

  • Going Paperless: The less paperwork involved in your trip to the hospital, the better for everyone, including the staff. That’s why modern hospitals are replacing paper at every turn- even the nurses carry tablets instead of clipboards. Believe it or not, your medical records are all going paperless too, and for the better. Digitally stored medical records are considered safer, more eco-friendly, and most importantly, efficient for the hospital.

Artificial Organs

You may already be aware that organs very difficult to come by, and hundreds of thousands of people are on waiting lists across the world to receive life-saving donor organs. Artificial organs allow patients to get the help they need without waiting for a perfect match, and there have been major advances in artificial organs lately.

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Notable innovations include:

  • Organ-on-a-chip: This one sounds right out of a science fiction novel, but it’s true that scientists have begun creating functional organs using computer chips. While these organs are not nearly complex enough to use inside humans, they can be used to do incredibly accurate drug tests without the need for living subjects.
  • Tissue Engineering: On the other hand, you have tissue engineering science which has decided to focus on constructing living tissue into natural organs. This science has a lot of promise, though the complexity of the organ affects the success of tissue engineering. The stomach, for example, is easy to create in a lab, while the heart is much more difficult to grow in its complexity.

Slow But Steady Progress

The research and development of new drugs and tools to help medical professionals save lives costs money and takes lots of time. The world’s brightest minds are on the case, though, making improvements to the way we diagnose and treat patients. We’re far from having the ideal medical science, but we get a little closer every day.

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If you need medical treatment, be sure to do research about your medical facility to ensure they’re using top-line medical practices and equipment.

Featured photo credit: Modern Hospitals via lifehack.org

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Last Updated on December 18, 2020

Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

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Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

Technology has taken a vantage leap in providing solutions for man. Before now, technology used to appear complex and would require a great deal of expertise to handle solutions available. Today, we have technology applicable in the simplest human activities as smart products with intelligent algorithms powering them as they make error-free judgments and provide intelligent and analytic solutions.

Does technology have all the answers?

This article from Credit Suisse, tells us that technology does not have all the answers because it has been found to exhibit “similar biases,” as humans. No one can discredit the impact of technology, but it is not totally free of human input and this is the reason we experience these biases in many areas we have technology holding foot.

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Creating technological solutions transparently

This article suggests that the process of creating technological solutions be made transparent and subject to contribution from many people who would end up as users of the product – male, female, young, old, learned, unlearned and all other preferences as we have them. It also underscores the importance of having women on product development teams. This approach is not sure to eliminate all forms of bias, but it is a good way to start in order to appraise the full benefits of technology.

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Technology as the connecting tool

Technology so far has been a major connecting tool amongst us humans. It is used and appreciated by all regardless of race, language and sex. In order to keep it less subjective to these arguments about human biases. I believe we should gather opinions on products and solutions before making them available to the public. This could be done by gathering input from intended target users and receiving feedback across the stages of production.

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“Recognizing the problem is a start…success will depend on inclusive technologies that meet this vast untapped market.” This cannot be more apt especially at a time when we look up to technology for solutions. We should not muzzle our progress with technology by battling algorithm bias. The first way to avoid this battle is by reading this article here.

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