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The Modern Hospital: Using Technology to Save Lives

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.

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 May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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