Technology in Medicine
Technology in the field of medicine and healthcare is significantly beneficial to the human race. Technology plays a critical role in today’s world and any attempt of belittling it will most likely fail. It is especially crucial in the area of medicine where the goal is saving human lives. The paper argues for the continued need of reliance on technology in medicine.
Technology has saved the lives of many people since its inception. For instance, in the cases of cardiovascular diseases, technology has enabled the application of coronary stents, which are manmade tubes used to open the arteries in the event of coronary heart diseases. The coronary stents have reduced the number of people dying because of heart attack or heart failure by 50% (Kho et al. 535). The use of an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), a device implanted in patients at risk of cardiac death, provided a 97% chance of surviving cardiac arrests. The patients who are not implanted with the implantable cardioverter defibrillator have a survival chance of only 5% (Campbell et al. 550). This proves the significance of technological devices in saving human lives.
Besides, diabetes is a disease that is becoming rather common and that places a significant burden on health systems. However, there is new hope for people suffering from it due to technology. Technological innovations have made it possible for diabetic patients to monitor their blood glucose accurately. This implies that now patients can check as well as control their condition more effectively on a daily basis. This has resulted in the sharp reduction in the risk of acquiring the widespread debilitating complications associated with diabetes, like loss of vision and peripheral nerve damage (Ash, Smith & Stavri 50). This is yet another example of how technology has aided the world of medicine accomplish its desired success.
On the same note, patients that need surgical procedures have greatly benefitted from technological advances in the medical sphere. Technology has introduced minimally invasive surgical procedures that can treat aneurysms. These have reduced the recovery time to approximately four weeks, compared to the old techniques that took over a year to recover. Another example is the use of endometrial ablation as a substitute for hysterectomy. Endometrial ablation enables a recovery time of two to four days, while the latter needs about six to nine weeks (Longfellow 15). These are just a few examples of the benefits technology has availed to patients. It means that the continued reliance on technology promises even additional benefits in the medical field.
Innovative medical technology has improved the healthcare system’s efficiency. For instance, it consumed a minimal as well as relatively constant 1.5%-5% of the national health expenditure in the period of 2000-2008. In addition, it has reduced inpatient hospital stays by approximately 14% (Longfellow 15). The shift from in-patient to out-patient healthcare provision has provided significant cost savings, in addition to improving the quality of life. This enhanced financial efficiency is especially crucial nowadays when there are ageing demographics coupled with economic hardships. An example is cataract surgery that, in the old times, required a four to six-day hospital stay (Grammaticos & Diamantis 20). Thanks to innovative medical technology, its provision is currently conducted in the daycare centers. Knee replacements give a cost-effectiveness ratio of about $10713 in each quality-adjusted life year (which is a measure that assesses the monetary value of a medical intervention). This is due to rehabilitating the patients who would have previously required home life support.
Besides, medical technology has played a crucial role in making people remain relevant as well as contributing members of the community. Medical conditions like cataracts and severe arthritis would have delayed or stopped patients from going back to work or to their day-to-day activities. However, technological advances have enabled people to overcome these challenges, a fact that has reduced or removed the issues of rehabilitation. This trend has improved the quality of life as well as self-esteem for a significant number of individuals (Ash, Smith & Stavri 50). One may witness the significance of medical technology in keeping the ageing workforce active and assisting the country in remaining competitive in the world economy.
In addition, the medical technology field is a significant contributor to the US economy. It provides citizens with high-quality employment opportunities. It has attracted significant inward investment as well as created a hub for innovation. Annual sales for the American medical technology sectors constitute nearly 33% of the global market. Approximately 5000 highly skilled and qualified people are employed at innovative jobs. Moreover, 80% of the sales come from the small or medium-sized enterprises, which mostly invest in research and development. In average, the medical technology sector reinvests approximately 9% of sales into research and development (Grammaticos & Diamantis 20). The constant cycle of investment makes the country a hub of excellence for medical technology innovations. The industry has a per annum growth of 5% (Ash, Smith & Stavri 50), which might as well provide solution concerning unemployment.
The main disadvantages of overreliance on technology are possible cases of misdiagnosis arising from statistical probabilities and the tendencies to depend on computerized programs rather than human skills. However, the advantages outweigh these drawbacks immensely. For instance, medical technologies would provide fast lab results, improve access to diagnostic knowledge via databases and enable precise and enhanced surgical processes. As a result, smart reliance on technology in medicine is significantly beneficial to the human race.