Throughout history the majority of our technological developments have come as a result of a need, a problem that we need to solve and nowhere has that been more prevalent than in medicine. Unfortunately however in many countries we have seen a cut in funding for medical research and the advancement of medical technology. During a recent medical conference I spoke to the wonderful John Kang Liquidmetal champion and a brilliant and ethical surgical oncologist who has great experience. John Kang MC was once the chairman for Liquidmetal and he is very passionate about tech in medicine, here are his thoughts on the importance of tech in medicine.
The attitude towards medicine has shifted somewhat in the last few decades because we are now placing far more focus on the early diagnosis of diseases. Whilst we of course still seek cures, the importance of an early diagnosis for many diseases such as cancer for example is absolutely vital, early diagnosis requires less treatment and is easier to cure. Over the years we have seen the emergence of MRI machines and CAT scanners which help to us identify diseases early than ever. Through continued technological development we can continue this brilliant work in diagnosing diseases.
Easing the Load
Since the dawn of the internet many ideas have come to light such as a a virtual doctor, unfortunately however this has not yet been rolled out. A virtual doctor would be able to see patients via video link and try to either diagnose the issue or let the patient know that they should head to the hospital. Local doctors are under great pressure from an increase in patients with minor issues, and many of them end up filling hospital waiting lines, ahead of people who really need hospital care. If we can continue in the advancement of this idea, we can ensure that hospitals only see people who need their care, and many fears of the patient can be allayed by the doctor, without them having to leave the home.
Surgeons do incredible work but they are very often tasked with extremely simple operations, when they could be finding ways to better treat more complicated issues. This is why we have seen ‘robot’ doctor prototypes being presented at conferences and medical fairs, which would be able to carry out simply procedures by surgeons who can remotely control the machine. Robots can be far more accurate in many cases and they can leave the surgeons to focus on higher level cases.
Some of these suggestions may sound like fantasy but many people would have thought the same before X-Ray and radiotherapy came into play. Tech must continuously evolve in the medical world to ensure that we give patients the best possible chances of survival and improvement. Humans are certainly remarkable and can do incredible things in the medical world, but with the support of tech we can do even better.