The Top Advancements in Modern Medical History

Medicine is ever evolving, but it might surprise you to hear how far we’ve come even since the turn of the century. Advancements in technology have allowed for some amazing upgrades in medicine that could only be imagined in sci-fi movies before, and new developments in drugs have vastly increased the average life expectancy, from 77.74 in 2000 to a high of 81.3 in 2014. Read on to find out more about our top picks for the most influential advancements in medicine.

Information technology

An often overlooked but greatly impactful aspect of medicine, information technology has allowed for the smooth and faster running of hospitals. Like every other aspect of life, technology has infiltrated hospitals and GPs at a basic and far-reaching level, allowing for safer and more secure running of hospitals as well as aiding diagnosis earlier and minimally invasive procedures to create less pain and quicker healing.

Rather than sifting through filing rooms for that one patient, staff can access a patient’s file on cloud storage, where it is free from other prying eyes. Remote consultations allow for neither patient or doctor to travel to do a consultation, and an encyclopedia of symptoms and treatments are available at doctors’ fingertips.

Technology has taken the routine and tedious aspects of patient care out of the equation, or at least streamlined it, so that doctors can focus on their patients. Filing, record maintenance and other routine tasks, are all done quickly with the help of apps and cloud storage. Streamlining processes like no exam life insurance allows for doctors to focus on the care of their patients while you offer other evidence like family history and pre-existing conditions.

Doctors are working faster, patients get seen quicker, their prescriptions are issued sooner.

Mind-controlled limbs

doctor-surgeon-hospital-surgery-pixabay-imageOnce considered only something that Luke Skywalker could get in a galaxy far, far away, artificial limbs that will react to what your brain tells them to, like an original, will soon become the norm. Artificial limbs have come in leaps and strides over the past couple of decades, with limbs that can grip, lift, and move, all controlled by your own mind.

Currently, artificial limbs are controlled with an implant embedded in the brain. A user can control the movement of a limb and in some cases, even experience the sensation of touch. But as medicine is ever evolving, there are already movements being made to omit the brain implant and the surgery that would come with it.

There is also the option of using an algorithm. Like a social media algorithm, the limb will “learn” and intuit what you want to do based on your past actions. Sensors implanted in your organic arm will send signals from your brain to be picked up by the artificial arm.

Another often overlooked aspect of tech in medicine is 3D printing, which has greatly affected artificial limbs by making them more accessible. Thanks to 3D printing, there is less work in creating an artificial limb, which means it is easier to personalize to avoid pain, and a lot cheaper to produce.

Drastic drop in heart-related deaths

Once upon a time, having a heart attack meant you were dead. They were disastrous to the point of hopelessness and there was nothing to be done but to offer morphine for the pain and maybe some lidocaine to avoid irregular heartbeats.

But today, there is a significant drop in patient deaths due to heart disease. 40 per cent to be exact. That is a stunning drop. Doctors have learnt that the key is speed: speed a patient to the hospital where there is now a range of treatments to be done. The obstruction to the patient’s blood flow causing the infarction can be busted through with new drugs or doctors can open the blood vessel with a stent.

There are also a range of lifesaving surgeries, like the new techniques of sewing new vessels into a heart and drugs that didn’t come into existence until the past 25 years. Many of these drugs are statins, such as Lipitor, mevacor, simvastatin, and Crestor, which all aid in slowing the progression of plaque in the arteries.

And it’s getting better, with the idea of personalized medicine making the rounds, and advancements in LVAD technology looking to fully implant the usual external device in the body, omitting the risks of bleeding, strokes, open-heart surgery, and infection.

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Last Updated on December 13, 2022 by Marie Benz MD FAAD