What Is Modern Medicine?
Modern medicine is not always about technology that speaks of machines but about the way new information that are being upheld and processed. How does technology affect medicine today? The progress in technology has a huge impact in the practice of modern medicine. Technological advancements have been serving as the backbone of medical technology. We all believe that new treatments had to be discovered mainly to improve life. Medical technology is also crucial in changing the trend in healthcare and practice of medicine.
Better Information in Healthcare
Tens of thousands of information have been disseminated thru the World Wide Web. The Web has greatly contributed by means of researches that are readily available for health experts and practitioners to find causes and symptoms of illnesses, potential cure, discovery of drugs, drug development, success and failure in decision-making process in these discoveries, and countless of other basis in terms of finding the solution to any health-related problem. With the help of medical technology in modern medicine utilizing the Web, public awareness has never been the same compared to the past decades.
What Is Medicine?
Medicine can be a process or can be a drug. The science of preventing and healing diseases thru diagnosis and treatment and, eventually, protection of well-being is what medicine is all about. Second, it can refer to drugs being discovered and developed to cure illness and promote health. Generally speaking, medicine is the study and treatment of diseases concerning the body, with the addition of surgical procedure if it is required. The mechanism of body repair comprises medicine.
Evolution of Modern Medicine
Medicine is a very broad topic. But what we are trying to point here is how technological advancements served as a boost for modern medicine to progress along with the times. If we look back at history, the milestones in medicine are wonderful and incredible. Many scientists were born and invented and many of them keep coming and they keep finding new things. In the field of medicine alone, a number of known scientists had contributed an immense amount of information while taking the dangers with them. Some had even died in the middle of their passion for knowledge.
Inventions and scientific discoveries began in the 19th century in the United States and Western Europe. It was a time where people started to saturate cities. The more populous a place is, the more diseases proliferate. War, for example, was the main cause of the numbers of surgical treatments and medical healing. The 19th century was a point in time where scientists were soon developing apparatuses and devices in which technological advancements were hailed as part of medical milestones.
Here are some of the major and most popularly known breakthroughs in modern medicine:
- Electrocardiogram or ECG/EKG—Developed in 1903 by Willem Einthoven (1860–1927), a Dutch doctor and physiologist
- Human electroencephalography—Developed in 1929 by Hans Berger (1873–1941), a German doctor
- World’s first dialysis machine—built in 1943 by Willem J. Kolff (1911–2009), a Dutch doctor
- Heart–Lung Machine—invented in 1953by Dr John Heysham Gibbon (1903–1973), an American surgeon. The first open heart surgery was performed.
- Pacemaker—a cardiac pacemaker was used in 1958 in extending a patient’s life conducted by Dr. Seymour Furman, cardiologist in Bronx
- Medical Ultrasonography (echocardiography)was invented in 1953 by Inge Edler (1911–2001), a Swedish physicist
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR—inventedin 1960 by James Jude, Guy Knickerbocker, Peter Safar, William Kouwenhoven, and Joseph S. Redding
- First human liver transplant—performed in 1963 by Thomas Starzl (1926), an American physician
- First human lung transplant—performed in 1963 by James Hardy (1918–2003), an American surgeon
- First human heart transplant was successfully performedin 1967 by Christian Barnard (1922–2001), a South African cardiac surgeon
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI was inventedin 1971 by Raymond Vahan Damadian (1936), an Armenian-American medical practitioner
- Computed Tomography Scan or CT scan was invented in 1971 by Sir Godfrey Hounsfield (1919-2004), an English electrical engineer
- DNA sequencing technique was patented in 1992 by Dr. Leroy E. Hood.
- The first draft of Human Genome was announced in 2000.
Modern medicine through digitization
To how far modern medicine has gone? To gauge this path and with the immense data technology has brought into our lives, technological breakthroughs were a success. It has imparted a huge impact in the field of healthcare and medicine. It actually has been a catalyst in the structure of the entire medical industry. Trial and errors in medical procedures and drug development and billions of information being encoded each day through adaptation to electronic data records are only few of the rapid developments we see and experience through the decades—and it’s ongoing.
Imagine how portable devices increased better results and improved productivity and efficiency. Think of how much time is saved when the conventional methods were replaced with digitization. For example, just with the help of Internet, access to data has never been that easy. The Web is a huge network of invaluable information and products through hardware and software which serve as tools for disseminating information. Healthcare practitioners, professionals, and patients alike benefit from this massive information exchange in the pursuit of wellness. With the help of email, instant messaging, telemedicine, videoconferencing, education, counseling, support, outreach, diagnostics, etc, the medical industry, in terms of providing patient care and prolonging life, has geared up into its full blast, and is still accelerating in terms of finding ways to improve and prosper.
Impact of education and technology in the medical industry
Education is always about information that becomes knowledge. Education teaches us how to use gathered information in the right way. It serves as an instrument for national progress inspite of cultural divisions among nations. With the vast information available on hand, education is the arm to implement the changes for good reasons, to build foundation for young and great minds, and to scrap out illiteracy forever. The basic foundation of medicine is research, and research cannot be fulfilled without education. Education in the field of medicine needed something to boost it up, a tool that will change the course of time—make is fast per se. The lack of technology impedes this process.
Think about X-ray machines, MRI scanners, Ultrasound devices, microscope, tablet diagnostic readers, high-tech computers to study and observe cells, research equipments to facilitate study and make surgery successful—all of these and others are essential for daily use to understand the human body and the life on earth. Different individuals perform different tasks to carry out their specific goals. Technology is not only for improvement, it is for support. Technology serves as the helm in any aspect of progress.
Modern technology has invaded the surgical rooms, thereby lessening doctors’ mistakes. Think about robotic surgery. Robotic-assisted surgery is a minimally invasive type of surgery. Instead of making large cuts on a subject, robotic surgery involves the use robotic arms utilizing miniaturized surgical instruments that can move with precision, especially if the procedure involves highly sensitive operations in which the naked eye is not sufficient for accuracy. With the robotic surgery, a high-definition three-dimensional view of the spot is viewed by the surgeon through a monitor and a console is provided for controlling the robotic arms.
In 2008, NYU Langone in New York and New Jersey began employing robotic surgery by the world’s most advanced robotic surgical system, called the da Vinci Si. This system is a cutting-edge technology that serves as the future of surgery.
Advantages of robotic surgery:
- It allows you to do things with instruments which you cannot do with your very own hands
- Better visibility—3D vision
- More degrees in freedom—more workspace which is not possible with straight instruments
- Arm movements are more precise and fluid
- Less trauma on the patient
- Better outcomes for patients
Technology in modern medicine behaves like a wheel that keeps on moving forward. It pulls and doesn’t move in reverse. As we get nearer to our goals the more we stretch our hands to reach for them and the more we get to work harder because we are confident that our efforts wouldn’t be put into nothing, and at least it gives us a cause to realize the results.