A vast variety of instruments and methods are included in the area of medical technology and are used to patient diagnosis, observation, and treatment. This article examines how advancements in robotics, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, and other upcoming medical technologies are revolutionizing current medicine.
Artificial Intelligence is Revolutionizing Healthcare
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the term used to describe computer programs that are capable of carrying out functions that would ordinarily require human intellect, such as speech recognition, visual perception, and decision-making. To increase patient outcomes, AI is quickly being applied to healthcare operations.
AI Can Enhance Medical Imaging and Diagnostics
AI is widely used in the medical industry to analyze photos and scans to look for anomalies and diseases. AI imaging techniques, for instance, may find cancers, artery blockages, and other problems that would not be obvious to the naked eye. This enables medical professionals to identify diseases sooner and create better treatment strategies.
Compared to manual review, AI image analysis is more quicker. In contrast to the hours that people would require, Arterys’ AI solution can review cardiac MRIs in only 15 seconds. Faster treatment planning is made possible by this accelerated evaluation, which improves patient survival rates.
AI Assistants Streamline Doctor-Patient Interactions
In addition to diagnostics, AI chatbots and virtual assistants are being implemented to improve doctor-patient interactions. Babylon Health’s AI chatbot conducts health interviews prior to appointments to gather initial patient data, saving doctors time during visits.
Other conversational AI apps like Pager provide post-diagnosis health coaching to encourage medication adherence. The friendly bots answer patient questions via text and offer tips specific to the condition.
3D Printing Promises Customized Medical Products
3D printing, also called additive manufacturing, produces three-dimensional objects from digital models using a layered construction process. The technology shows great potential to customize medical devices and drugs.
Prosthetics Can Be 3D Printed for the Perfect Fit
3D printing enables fully customized prosthetic hands, arms, legs, and other artificial body parts tailored to an individual’s needs. Limbitless Solutions uses 3D scanning and printing to make affordable bionic arms for children at a fraction of the cost of traditional prosthetics.
Prosthetics can also be printed quickly, allowing patients to start using them sooner. UC San Diego researchers 3D printed a prosthetic leg socket in just 2 hours rather than the typical weeks required.
Printed Pills Allow Precise and Personalized Dosing
Pharma researchers are also utilizing 3D printing to produce pills with exact dosages and drug combinations tailored for each patient. The FDA approved the first 3D printed prescription pill called Spritam, made with layers of powdered medication.
On-demand 3D printing could allow doctors to quickly modify medication regimens and doses rather than waiting for new prescriptions, improving adherence.
Robotic Surgery Offers Minimally Invasive Options
Robotic surgery utilizes mechanical arms equipped with cameras and surgical instruments that are controlled remotely by a surgeon. This enables minimally invasive operations through tiny incisions.
Orthopedic robotic systems like MAKO Rio allow for highly precise joint replacement surgeries based on 3D imaging of the patient’s anatomy. This improves implant alignment and speeds recovery.
The da Vinci system’s miniaturized instruments provide enhanced surgical precision and control for delicate tissue operations like hysterectomies. Patients experience less pain, scarring, and complications compared to open surgery.
Nanomedicine Could Enable Complex Treatments
Nanotechnology involves manipulating matter on a molecular scale, including tiny sensors, robots, and particles. Applied to medicine, nanotech could enable remarkably complex diagnostics and treatments.
Nano Sensors May Allow Whole-Body Scanning
Injectable nano sensors with wireless communication capabilities could potentially provide real-time whole-body monitoring, detecting emerging health problems earlier than ever before. This data could allow truly preventative and personalized care.
Microscopic Nanobots Could Perform Non-Invasive Surgeries
While still speculative, some researchers envision using nanorobots guided by external forces (magnetics, ultrasound, etc.) to execute complex interventions with precision at the cellular level while minimizing damage to surrounding tissue. This could reduce risk and recovery time compared to traditional surgery.
Questions and Answers
What is an example of medical technology?
Some examples include MRI scanners, pacemakers, dialysis machines, artificial joints, and disposable items like syringes, bandages, and wheelchairs. The broad field includes complex diagnostic/treatment devices as well as common items that aim to improve patient care.
What is medical technology as a major?
Medical technology as an academic discipline provides specialized training in the development, design, and maintenance of healthcare equipment and instruments. Students learn about electronic, mechanical, and computer systems for medical uses. Graduates may work as biomedical technicians, clinical engineers, or medical product developers.
What is the role of a medical technology specialist?
A medical technologist performs laboratory tests on tissue and fluid samples to help diagnose and treat diseases. They prepare samples, operate laboratory equipment, analyze results, and discuss results with physicians to support accurate diagnosis based on laboratory data.
What are the two types of medical technology?
The two main types are clinical laboratory technology, which involves performing medical tests on biological specimens, and biomedical equipment technology, which focuses on designing, building, installing, and maintaining complex healthcare devices such as MRIs, ventilators, and more.