Technological evolution has helped many areas in the human sphere, but one has had special development thanks to technological progress: we are talking about medical technology.
What is medical technology?
Medical technology can refer to two things:
- A profession within the health branch that involves professionals who are trained in technological advances to apply them to medicine and the health sciences. This profession includes studies such as bachelor’s degrees, and the undergraduate study itself that carries the title of medical technologist.
- The area of knowledge that covers the study and research that aims to apply different types of technologies to improve the health of people during their diagnosis, development of the disease and applied treatment.
Examples of medical technology
What are the applications of medical technology today?
People working in hospitals, sanatoriums, hospitals and clinics perform different tasks every day, many of them make full use of classic technology as well as new technologies.
Imaging, which includes radiology (with techniques such as x-rays), as well as tomography, x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging, among others, is the medical area that uses the work of radiologists to be able to make a study of different images of the human body. The medical technology used in imaging has been one of the most revolutionary, and that allow us to know if a person is broken in a few minutes, or if you have some type of invasive disease in different parts of the body.
Surgery is another area that has made great strides in improving people’s health. Since time immemorial, doctors and surgeons have had to open the patient’s skin with a scalpel in order to help the patient. Today, operations have evolved so much that many times a classic scalpel is no longer needed, but rather laser beams are used that cut the skin almost without the doctor having any contact with it.
- Blood Transfusions
Blood banks make great use of technology so that people who need donated blood or platelets can receive them from other humans. This is done by using a high-tech machine that draws a person’s blood, circulates it through the person, filters it, and then stores it automatically.
Once in the hospital, people can find the different types of blood that are transferred to them in case of operations or other scenarios where a lot of blood is needed. Blood transfusions are a great example of modern medical technology, and how it saves countless lives.
- Clinical Tests
The clinical tests and the laboratory where they are performed are perhaps the clearest example of technological advances in medicine. Professionals specialized in bioanalysis tasks perform different studies on people through tests and trials, then collect samples, which are later analyzed to determine if there are any pathologies.
They are professionals who, when working with human fluids and other potentially dangerous elements, must always follow strict safety standards throughout the entire time that the health tests are performed.
- Pathological Anatomy
Within the clinical analysis there is an area called the Pathological Anatomy Laboratory. It is made up of technicians in pathological anatomy (cytotechnologist) and anatomopathologists who are responsible for analyzing tissue samples to determine whether there is any abnormality in it or not.
For this purpose, they make use of classic microscopes, as well as other technologies that allow them to compare the shape, type and other characteristics of the tissues in order to determine different pathologies in comparison to healthy tissues.
- Cardiopulmonary Medicine
This branch of medicine often uses technology to carry out studies such as the classic electrocardiogram, as well as spirometry, echocardiograms or stress tests to evaluate the patient’s cardiopulmonary capacity, and to determine if any type of pathology exists.
Pacemakers are another great medical advance of the past decades, allowing the heart to maintain its normal rhythm without interruptions to ensure the life of the patient who uses them. And finally, automatic respirators are another jewel of modern medicine, which have saved thousands of lives year after year. They consist of a device that pumps out oxygen when the lungs cannot do the mechanical work autonomously and naturally as they always do.
Optometry is the one that makes use of the advances in technology to carry out different studies of the human vision. To do this, they make use of different machines that measure the quality of our vision while performing different tests and trials.
Once it is determined whether our vision is affected or not, the professional (optometrist) can prescribe corrective lenses to correct pathologies such as myopia, hypermetropia, astigmatism, among others.
As we have seen, medical technology has helped man to improve his quality of life significantly thanks to the use of different technological devices in various areas of health.