Technology changes the medical field

By on March 26, 2013

Technology is changing the dynamic of the medical field. Information about every disease or injury imaginable is available to anyone with access to the internet. In many ways, this availability makes the job of a physician easier, being able to access volumes of medical literature at their fingertips. Doctors are not capable of remembering every disease he studied in medical school. Additionally, patients are far better educated about various conditions and their different cure options. Walking into a doctor’s office having a basic understanding of what is wrong with oneself allows better understanding between a doctor and patient. The patient is more likely to understand the reason behind the doctor’s diagnosis and treatment plan. The downside is that patients are likely to fret about their condition based on the things they read online.

world.edu

world.edu

When surgery began, surgeons were far less experienced than they are today. They did not have access to all of the technological advancements that modern medicine takes for granted. For much of history, a major form of surgery was using leeches to remove “bad blood” from the body. Louis Pasteur’s experiments showed the connection between germs and disease, and subsequent experiments by Robert Koch proved that disease is caused by pathogens. These discoveries made hygiene and sanitation important rules inside the operating room.

Today surgeons go through vigorous training: Four years of undergraduate school, four years of medical school, three to seven years of residency, and some specialties in surgery require an addition fellowship as well. Yet, even all of this training sometimes does not provide surgeons with enough actual experience in the field. And because surgery is a field that requires much hands-on practice, a surgeon’s lack of experience can be dangerous for patients. For this reason, a group of surgeons developed an application for iPhones and iPads to help surgeons gain experience. Jean Nehme, Andre Chow, Sanjay Purkayastha, and Advait Gandhe created “Touch Surgery” after the number of hours that surgeons work was cut in Europe.

This app allows surgeons to practice several different procedures in a seemingly realistic atmosphere. Surgeons who use Touch Surgery are able to focus on a very important aspect of surgery: decision-making. Of course, surgeons are still able to practice the incisions but the experience they gain from seeing the consequences of making a certain decision is more valuable since it is directly comparable to an actual surgery. Allowing surgeons to gain hands-on experience without risking lives.

Technology has changed the field of medicine over time. From new training techniques for doctors to more information for patients, the medical field is saving and improving more lives than ever before. More advances can only move medicine even farther.

Natasha Mehra
Staff Writer
nmehra16@uab.edu

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