Medical technology is changing so fast that it is hard to keep up with all of the innovations that take place every day. This article will only discuss six of these changes in the medical field. After you finish reading this article, you should have a greater appreciation for the many gifts that medical technology has given our society.
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In August of 2013, a physician at the Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center performed a live surgery wearing a special pair of glasses. These glasses allowed medical students to watch the surgery in a Google Hangout. Other potential uses for Google Glass include physicians using the technology to assist EMS personnel, and to get the vital sign information of patients en route to the hospital.
Growing Human Tissue and Organs
Surgeons in China have actually grown a nose on a human forehead. An accident victim developed an infection, which put his nose beyond repair. The surgeons used subcutaneous tissue expanders and stem cells to make a replacement. Once the nose is ready, the surgeons plan on rotating it to put it in the proper place.
Clostridium difficile is a hospital-borne infection that kills tens of thousands of people in the United States every year. One effective but messy cure involved fecal transplants. While the transplants used to occur via enema or nasal tube, a Canadian doctor discovered that one can do fecal transplants with capsules. Out of 32 patients who were given these capsules, only one experienced a return of the original infection.
Monitoring Medical Issues with Smartphones
Smartphone apps have been used to monitor sleep problems, strokes, hypertension, dementia and diabetes. Now sensors are being used for spinal cord injuries and rehabilitation exercises. The data obtained from the sensor goes into your smartphone, where you and your doctor can use it to tweak your rehabilitation therapy.
Monitoring Your Medication
Technology such as high tech pill boxes and wearable sensors are just some of the items that are used to monitor medication adherence. For example, Proteus Digital Health made an ingestible sensor that notes the exact time that medication is taken. Apple is also planning on entering the medication adherence technology market.
Getting a Diagnosis at Walgreen’s
Theranos, a company started by a Stanford University dropout, promises to revolutionize diagnostic testing with the help of the drug store chain Walgreen’s. People will soon be able to get a small amount of blood drawn at any Walgreen’s, then get a medical diagnosis, which will be sent to your doctor in hours instead of days. The great thing about this technology is that your doctors at the Dalhousie Station Foot Clinic will be able to use the results to create a medical regimen that is tailor-made for you.
By Annette Hazard