Technology in the Medical Field

A few years ago, I went to Germany and India to do some research on asthma and pulmonology, and while I was there, I was able to experience a lot of different uses of technology. I saw the use of robots as something that people were actually considering in a lot of these fields. If we look back on it, things like ventilators and pacemakers could be considered robotics since they are in control and keep our heart rate and breathing steady, through the use of technology. One of the most efficient uses of robots that I saw was in the use of bronchioscopy procedures. Doctors were able to use these robots to do half of the things required without anyone controlling them. I think the use of technology is become more and more important in the medical field.

Besides the procedure sides of things, I have seen a recent increase in online clinics. Doctors are attempting to use the internet and webcams as a way to interact with patients who need assistance. In the last few years, there has been a huge increase in online clinics where the doctors and patients will meet up and talk about things the patient is unsure about. There is usually a small fee associated with it, but after that, patients seem to be happy they are able to get immediate assistance. One great example of this is the website MDLIVE.com. They allow people to pay a small fee and get access to doctors, and it has blown up to be extremely popular. Although there will still always be reasons to go see certain doctors in person, it is quite possible that this will become one of the more popular methods to complete sick visits. It allows people to do such appointments at their own convenience so that they can do things they want during the day. Most people have work and school and this opens up a whole new process to this aspect.
(http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2014/05/19/save-money-time-by-bringing-the-doctor-to-you-with-telemedicine/)

Another possible usage for this technology has been with the use of these webcams to communicate with specialists across the world and use their knowledge in order to complete certain procedures and surgeries. Additionally, this allows people to receive assistance from certain institutions without having to travel all the way across the world to get there. Sometimes, people are unfit for the travel. This is one of the most popular and interesting things I have seen in recent years. One such example I saw while doing my research was with a patient who had lung cancer. The doctors in India that I was working with used a webcam to show a doctor in Philadelphia exactly what had been done to assist her as well as some other things that could be done in order to help her even further. The doctor was then able to speak to the patient directly without having her fly all the way to the US, which she was potentially unfit to do in the first place.

These things are the very beginning of things that can completely overturn the way modern medicine works, especially with the surge in cancer in the past few decades. There are far more people that need access to these specialists and other doctors they may not have normal access too. Technology is the way to make this process successful.

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5 Comments

  1. While I think these “remote medicine” practices will become more popular, it will never be able to fully replace the human touch. I could see in the future there be a “remote medicine technician” occupation where someone is skilled enough to touch a patient and examine them in person enough to relay the right information to a doctor who from a remote location diagnose the problem with the patient. The reassurance of seeing someone in person, knowing that you will be okay (or at least you aren’t alone) is priceless. This practice is going to definitely take off, and it will be interesting to see exactly where it goes.

  2. This is all great but I don’t think it is broadcasted enough. I didn’t know about MDLIVE.com and I am guessing I am not the only one. If this was made more accessible to more people and the right people, regular doctors visits could disappear. Pretty interesting research you were conducting too.

  3. This is very interesting and like the person above had never heard of MDLIVE.com. I feel like this will be very popular in the future and more and more people will start to use it and more importantly trust it. I thought it was cool that people are able to talk to specialists all over the world. Some people aren’t able to travel and having a second opinion of someone across the world who specializes in the disease or whatever they have may have something better in mind for treatment. Really cool post.

  4. While I would much rather go to a doctors office to get seen. I do understand how it may be convenient or just necessary to have an online appointment. Its incredible what such a seemingly simple technology can be used for.

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