3 Key Advances in Medical Science and Technology

    The field of healthcare has always been one that has embraced the latest technologies and enjoyed advancements by using new medical techniques. Rudimentary healthcare and medicine date back thousands of years to early humankind. Prehistoric human skulls that have been unearthed by archaeologists indicate that crude medical procedures (such as trepanning to ease headaches) occurred in the early stages of development. Thousands of years later, modern pioneers of medicine, such as the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates started a model of treatment that today’s healthcare is based on. Ideas such as recording patients’ medical histories, medical ethics, and studies of anatomy stem from this period and have been developed since. Today, modern medicine is far more sophisticated thanks to advances in technology and medical science. This has led to improved life expectancies for citizens in the developed world and the effective treatment of conditions and illnesses that were once life threatening. In this article, three key advances in medical science and technology will be considered. 

    Cancer Treatments 

    Cancer is one of the leading causes of death globally. It is estimated that 10 million people a year die of the various forms that cancer can take. Some forms of cancer have higher mortality rates than others (such as pancreatic cancer and lung cancer), but all forms can be life threatening if effective treatment is not delivered in a timely manner. Cancer research is an ongoing process, and in recent years there have been some significant developments in the field. In terms of medical science, rats are commonly used to test specific cancers so that the rate of tumor growth can be measured along with testing specific treatments. Today, cancer researchers use knockout rats which have been genetically modified to have immunosuppressed physiology which allows larger tumors to be cultivated on them. This is especially useful in studying prostate cancers and helps medical researchers to test new therapeutic cancer treatments. 

    The Rise of Telehealth

    Telehealth (i.e., providing medical assessments and monitoring of a patient from a remote setting) has developed significantly in the last five years. Today, patients can be monitored and assessed from the comfort of their own homes without needing to travel to their nearest healthcare facility. Wearable monitoring technology can take key observations from the patients, which are then sent via Wi-Fi to the medical professional’s website to enable a remote assessment to take place. In addition, patient consultations can now be delivered by video call, using video conference applications on tablets, laptops or smartphones. This allows a greater number of patients to be monitored and treated whilst saving time for both the medical professional and the patient. 

    MRI Scanners 

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners represented a great leap forward in patient assessment. They provide a non-invasive method of taking accurate 3D images from inside a patient, which can be vital when assessing the level of damage in trauma patients or when diagnosing various illnesses. To many people, MRI scanners seem to represent the latest in medical technology. However, they are relatively old, as the first MRI scanners were developed in the 1930s. They are still considered to be a vital piece of medical technology in any modern hospital and have proved invaluable in accurate patient assessment and diagnosis since their first use in a healthcare setting.

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