Technology has seen advancements in every aspect of modern life, but in the last two years it has become harder and harder to justify these advancements as being necessarily beneficial to the human race. Communication technology and military technology in particular have clearly done more harm than good. But what about medical technology? How has that faired?
Evaluating the benefit of medical technology has many layer, but while there are some downsides, such as increases in cost, the effects have been overall positive.
And since we are on the subject, our first topic is…
This surprises many people to hear, as the cost of medical treatment has clearly gone up across the board. Everything is more expensive than it used to be. But that is more the result of inflation and medical insurance greed than anything to do with the medical technology itself.
The medical technology involved in producing medicine and scanning for medicines has become more efficient, meaning that those elements are less costly parts of the pipeline.
Speaking of the pipeline, increases in efficiency in medical technology, transportation, logistics, and communication have led to more medicine and technology being made. More tests can be done, more chemicals processed and transported, and the reliability of refrigeration is better.
All of this adds up to more medicine being available for more people more reliably.
Availability is highly dependent upon transportation, and transportation has seen some interesting changes in recent years. For one, if you wanted to transplant an organ ten year ago your best bet for keeping it on ice was literally using a cooler full of ice.
These days there are much more sophisticated methods of keeping organs cool, as well as chemical treatments that allow medical professionals to keep them safe with secondary barriers of protection aside from refrigeration. These are critical should the refrigeration fail.
Imagine you go to a doctor’s office with a set of symptoms. The doctor takes a look at you, does some tests, and comes back uncertain as to what is wrong with you. Where do they go from there? Well, in the past they would be expected to just make a decision and hope to be right.
But these days that doctor can easily contact other doctors—and, in fact, whole communities of doctors—that will provide differential diagnoses. This is just one way communication has enhanced the medical industry’s ability to practice medicine effectively.
But a big part of the reason that medicine is better these days is because doctors do not have to do as much deduction or guesswork to figure out what is causing someone to be sick at all. \
Improvements to medical testing come in two forms: Firstly, there are more tests for more ailments. That means if something is wrong with you, then there is more likely to be a test to conclusively prove what it is than at previous times in history.
And secondly, the improved accuracy of the tests means that the action taken to resolve those issues will be more reliable. That means getting treated for the right disease, as well as getting the right amount of treatment for the right severity of disease.
As early as the 1970s, there were medical professionals that legitimately believed that people got cancer as a result of not being loved enough. This is to say nothing of medical professionals in the 1980s that honestly thought HIV and AIDS came from God to kill gay people.
Most medical professionals born after the 1980s know these things to be untrue. In fact, they find these sensibilities to be utterly ridiculous. There are forces in society trying to get people to believe these things again, but it is too late. Advances and science and technology have made it so that people all know, deep down, that sickness is the result of purely scientific things.
Computer Guided Treatment
Humans have the advantage of lateral thinking, but computers have the advantage of being precise in everything they do (at least ideally). This means that they can help in two major ways: The first is in testing, which can be done to a far more accurate degree than a human could do.
And the second is in the actual application of medicine. There have already been surgeries done entirely through automated surgery machines that mean someday we might not even need surgeons to spend hours upon hours working on a person’s body.
Transplant Health has Improved
And not just transplant health of human organs. Artificial organs, cloned organs, and even genetically modified animal organs have all seen breakthroughs. None of these are ready to be administered over many people, but they are showing promising results already.
Now this is the bleeding edge. Nanomachine treatments sound like science fiction. They are certainly rare, and highly experimental, but they are a promising field being explored. They already exist in some ways with things like pacemakers.
But technology is getting even smaller, allowing for mechanisms that are able to enter the bloodstream, render aid, and be dissolved after they have done their job.
Better Patient Education
While many people scoff at the idea of patients trying to get educated, physicians have mixed feelings on it. On the one hand, they know that it is better for a patient to have an idea of how complex these things are than not, since it can cause them to seek medical care sooner.
But of course, many people seek shortcuts to expertise that do not exist. The thing is that those people exist whether or not the technology to satisfy those desires exist. As a result, the net positive of these developments is good.
All of these contributes to increases in the capacity for substance abuse treatment. So, remember that it is never hopeless. If you or a loved one is experiencing issues with addiction, then do not be afraid to reach out. We can help. We have the technology.