Whether it’s the software used when we see our doctor or the way modern operation theatres are engineered, medical technology affects us all. While many of us may be on top of how hand-held devices are adapting to our needs, we may be less aware of how medical technology is improving. The improvements in medical technology could see hitherto undiscovered life-saving medicine be developed in the future or modern medical technologies appear in our homes.
Customized medical devices
While many people may believe that medical technology is created in bulk by large-scale manufacturers, this is not always the case. Some companies specialize in crafting one-off products for medical practices. This custom-build approach allows them to create machinery that has a specific use for their customers, as well as medical software for devices. Companies such as DeviceLab, Inc. pull together industry and market research to create machines that have specific and customized use.
We don’t have to look too far back in our history to see that the ‘one size fits all’ approach to medicine has had some serious consequences. Today, the opiate crisis has a huge grip on underprivileged American states as a result of this approach. Increasingly, we are seeing a more tailored approach to prescribing pharmaceuticals. This means that patients will be monitored as they undergo their treatment, allowing doctors to truly know if the medicine is working for them.
You might be surprised to know that 3-D printing is not just for graphics departments. Nowadays, this method of creating small and large-scale objects to exact measurements is being used to create prosthetics for patients who require exact replicas of missing limbs. Not only does the accuracy of 3-D printing mean that an exact likeness can be found but also comfort. Being able to adjust and print objects down to the exact millimeter means that patients’ measurements can be used effectively.
It’s not just prosthetics that are being created by printing methods, either. While not quite the same as 3-D printing, bioprinting is used to create organ tissue. This could see the need to organ donation being less vital for saving lives in the future.
VR is already being used in many rehabilitation programs and is expected to increase in use in the coming years. Being able to synthesize realities for patients is incredibly useful, particularly if they are bed-bound or haven’t migrated to the outside world yet. It gives patients who are struggling with the mobility experience of palpable reality, even if they have some way to go on their program.
The exciting aspect of medical technology development is that in 10 years, there may be some techniques and technologies that are unrecognizable to us. The pace at which advancements grow could see many diseases and ailments banished to the history books. All we need is the research and time to allow it to happen.