How Technology Is Improving Patient Outcomes And Diagnostics
Technology is advancing medical science exponentially. The human genome has been mapped, and now scientists are using the information to develop gene therapies to cure diseases, create vaccinations, and so much more. Medical science is making use of advances in other technologies, such as computer processing power, to advance diagnostic and imaging equipment to see the tiniest details inside the human body. All of this is used to extend longevity and increase quality of life for the eventual health issues that everyone faces.
Vaccines have eradicated diseases that once were deadly. Vaccines have done more to preserve life than all of the rest of medical science combined. Newer vaccines are even preventing cancer. The debate over vaccines causing autism is unfounded, and worries over risks of mercury exposure in vaccine preservatives, such as thimerosal, can be avoided by choosing vaccines that do not have it. There are even influenza vaccines that do not contain egg proteins that are safe for those with severe egg allergies.
Medical technology for treating chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) advanced in 2014 with four new medications, giving hope to elderly sufferers who cannot tolerate the older medications due to concomitant medical conditions, frailty and other risk factors. A new drug only known as OTS964 is scheduled for clinical trials. It affects a protein that cancer cells make but most regular cells do not. The drug has already proven to eradicate tumors in mice with minimal side effects, and it can be given orally or intravenously.
Electronic Health Records
Your medical records used to be on paper and spread out among every doctor, hospital and medical facility you ever visited. Sharing the information among medical providers was anything but instant. Faxing is antiquated and unreliable, and email is not much better. Doctors make diagnoses based on the information at hand. Electronic health records (EHR) are also known as electronic medical records (EMR). Technology is developing ways for every medical facility to convert to new EMR standards so that data is not lost and is instantly accessible by your healthcare team. Instant access can save your life.
As with any industry, the medical industry needs continued funding for research and development of therapies, medications, surgeries and cures for the diseases and traumas that affect human beings. The bright side is that more people are covered by medical insurance than ever before, but the downside is that a lot of medical research is still subject to budgets that come from charitable giving or government funding.