Because healthcare is so important within our society, a lot of capital gets invested in the medical sector for research and development. Obviously, a lot of this is devoted to finding cures for cancer, aids, and other terrible conditions that have no known treatment. However, the feverish way tech is developing these days has had a huge impact on medicine. Here’s how tech is changing the sector.
I’ll start this off with one of the most revolutionary technologies to come out in recent years: the cloud. Ever since we became able to store files on communal, easily accessible banks, every organisation in every niche has seen a complete overhaul in the way they manage data. Medical scheduling software and other cloud solutions have made it easier than ever for doctors and other professionals to create digital referrals. The introduction of cloud computing has also made contacting patients and care providers much more straightforward, which has given many a broader scope of the care they can receive. When these kinds of functions were more paper-orientated, it’s estimated that up to fifty percent of referrals never actually resulted in appointments, thanks to complications that are now avoidable through the cloud.
The technology of surgery simulation is also making a lot of big forward leaps these days. Now that robotics is becoming less science fiction and more a practical application, the Roswell Park Centre and University of Buffalo have partnered up to create a robotic surgeon simulator. This will allow trainee surgeons to experience performing a real-life operation on a patient, without the need of an actual, live patient and environment for them to train. For decades, the period of a new surgeon’s first few operations has always been tense, and certain mistakes would happen here and there. With innovations like this surgeon simulator, medical organisations hope to reduce the rate of slip-ups made by inexperienced surgeons, and provide a much safer environment for patients.
Finally, the development of mitochondrial DNA transfers. Although the first mitochondrial transplants happened in the nineties, we’re only just seeing mitochondrial DNA transfers becoming more and more of a common, feasible practice. If you’ve ever heard of doctors being able to create “three parent babies”, then the person was probably talking about mitochondrial tech. Here, two parents participate in normal in vitro fertilisation, and a third person contributes their mitochondrial DNA, creating a baby with the DNA of all three. This is expected to help countless women who can’t conceive without mitochondrial DNA. Furthermore, we may see future applications for mitochondrial DNA transfers to reduce the rate of gene-related diseases. However, not everyone’s so excited about this development. Some medical professionals say that mitochondrial DNA transfers could create babies with more of a risk of getting cancer, or suffering premature aging. There’s still kinks and qualms to be ironed out, but this technology certainly has some promising applications.
There you have just a handful of the tech that’s bringing us closer to a happier, healthier world. Who knows what we’ll see being used next?