Technology is steadily increasing, and innovations in technology seem to be occurring at an alarming rate. Technological innovations in the world of medicine are helping to provide better and more accurate care while helping to make patients feel more comfortable and relaxed. In recent years, we have seen the development of open MRIs that allow patients to receive diagnostic imaging without feeling constricted for extended periods of time. Similarly, the relatively new development of the da Vinci Surgical System that is changing the way surgery is being done today. These innovations have been enormous for healthcare as a whole, and new developments, which will be briefly discussed below, are also helping to change the way we view our health system in the future.
It is certainly not uncommon to hear something like, “Paging Dr. Smith, paging Dr. Smith” or “Dr. Jones to Room 314, Dr. Jones to Room 314” over an intercom system in a hospital. However, a more innovative, direct form of communication will soon replace the current standard. Instead of paging physicians and other healthcare professionals over a loudspeaker throughout the entire hospital, a technology from Vocera is developing that allows hospital personnel to be contacted directly with personalized messages. This is changing the way hospital staff members communicate with one another and is beginning to have a remarkable impact on saving time, which ultimately can help to save lives.
Cloud Computing and Electronic Medical Records
When receiving healthcare service – whether it’s from a specialist with a private practice or in a hospital – it seems that the first thing that must always be done is to fill out a lengthy form detailing your medical and family history. Currently, hospitals and medical offices are not connected. Thus, every time you see a physician or healthcare professional, you must fill out a new family and medical history form. The future of healthcare may very well eliminate this process, all thanks to digital archives and cloud computing. In the future, you may find that your medical history will be organized and readily accessible with the click of a mouse. The process of digitizing medical records is in the early stages right now, but you can expect to see much improvement soon.
Two Types of Medical Printing
Printers are no longer only used for printing business and educational information, newspapers, magazines, pictures, and other similar text- and image-oriented documents. Technology in all facets has continued to increase and build upon itself, and ink jet printer technology is now used in especially innovative applications. Technology is becoming available that allows physicians to print what is essentially new skin, complete with healing vitamins and nutrients, for burn victims. The newly printed skin enables these patients to heal more quickly without developing unsightly scars and bruises.
Also, 3D printing is becoming increasingly useful in prosthetics. Medical researchers and physicians can use three-dimensional printers to simulate prosthetics for amputees that match patients’ limbs both in terms of size and skin tone. Then, when the prosthetics are actually produced, they are done so to be tailored specifically to allow patients to look more natural and function more effectively.
Better Doctors Through Video Games
Can doctors actually become better at what they do by playing video games? It may seem odd, but the answer may be yes. Some medical schools are currently exploring video games for their medical school students that are really more “work” than they are “play.” These video games are designed to simulate surgeries and make the “players” think quickly to improve decision-making skills and fine-tune surgical acuity to be better acclimated for surgery before operating on live patients.