Technology Used Daily In The Medical Field
In the medical field, technology has revolutionized virtually all aspects of patient care and other areas. Whether it is allowing doctors and nurses to more closely monitor a patient’s condition, having medical records stored electronically rather than in massive file cabinets, or numerous other examples, it’s clear you will see different types of technology used each day in the medical field. From a doctor’s office to a large hospital, here are some examples of medical technology in use today.
Automated IV Pumps
While in years past nurses had to closely monitor and regularly switch out IV bags for patients, automated IV pumps now make this process much easier. Equipped with state-of-the-art medical software, automated IV pumps can control drips and dosages given to patients, provide liquid nutrition and pain medication, and greatly decrease the chances of human error when medications need to be changed.
If you or a family member has been in a hospital in recent years, chances are you were in a smart bed. Providing constant monitoring, smart beds can use expanding foam to keep patients comfortable, while at the same time utilizing software to monitor vital signs, patient weight, and even how much a patient moves around while in bed. Important for patient safety, smart beds help reduce the risk of falls or other injuries.
Since apps have been developed for practically everything else in life, it should not surprise you that numerous medical apps are now is used on a daily basis. One of the most interesting is an app that transforms a smartphone into a stethoscope. Considered to be less intimidating to patients, doctors and nurses can use a smartphone with this app to track your heartbeat and rate of respiration. Other types of apps can be downloaded onto patients’ smartphones, letting you transmit vital signs and other data to your doctor, no matter where you are in the world.
Prosthetics and Prototypes
Many people only consider technology that requires electricity to run, however, there are many pieces of technology such as prosthetics and prototypes that are also used daily. In the past, materials such as wood and metal were the most commonly used materials for these types of projects. Now, material such as expanding foam is more commonly used for these needs. This is also common for medical training devices as well.
Finally, the pandemic brought telehealth to the forefront of medical care. Like many people, chances are you have had more than a few video chats with your doctor over the past year or so. Being put into use more and more in rural areas that lack doctors and medical facilities, telehealth saves patients and doctors time, allows you to get answers to health issues much quicker, and is usually accessible 24/7.
One of the most useful pieces of technology that is used by millions every day, it’s that of remote monitoring. Not only is remote monitoring used in hospitals to enable multiple patients to be monitored in central locations by attentive nurses, but it is also used in nursing homes. Many parents have monitoring anklets on their newborn babies so they can track their baby’s health remotely. Other monitoring systems used daily that are popular on the market also include diabetes symptoms tracking, basic glucose tracking among many other trackings systems.
Primarily used by the consumers, the billing departments, and insurance companies, mobile apps are used daily in the medical field. Not only does the mobile app make it easier for consumers to track bills, but they are also being used to share details from test results. Oftentimes, patients can get access to their test results before the doctor has even had a chance to review them and give the patients a call through the use of an HSA app or whatever app they use to manage their medical bills.
Scanning and Imaging Devices
Doctors are quite dependent on imaging devices to evaluate what is happening to a patient. There are many types of imaging devices such as x-rays, MRI machines, Sonography, and other related imaging devices. Each of these devices functions slightly differently but all of them help doctors diagnose a patient and help them provide better care. Prior to imaging devices, it was very challenging for a doctor to diagnose a patient without an evasive procedure. Scanning and imaging devices are used hundreds of times per day in hospitals around the world resulting in millions of scans per day.
Life Support Technology
There are a variety of life support technologies that are necessary to keep someone alive. It is important to know what they are and how they work in order to understand the importance of each one.
Oxygen concentrators can be stationary or portable. They use a compressor to remove the oxygen from air and then pressurize it for use in an oxygen tank or other device. There are also ventilators, which provide airflow by either sucking in air or blowing it out into the lungs. A kidney machine is used when a person needs dialysis, which removes waste products from their blood.
Daily Technology Tools
Medical professionals use a variety of different technologies in their work. A thermometer is a device that measures temperature and tells the user what the temperature is. It also has a range of different uses, such as measuring body temperature and other types of temperatures like cooking, bathwater, milk, or room temperature. A stethoscope is a device that doctors use to listen to heart and lung sounds. They are also used by nurses to listen to the baby’s heartbeat during pregnancy.
Not all of the technology used in the medical field requires batteries or electricity of any type. For example, traction equipment is used to keep a patient’s muscles in the proper position. The equipment is also used to prevent bedsores and other injuries. Pressure mattresses are used to provide comfort and pressure relief for patients who are bedridden or need to lie down for extended periods of time. A cane is an aid that helps people walk when they can’t stand up fully on their own, or when they have a problem with one of their legs or feet.
Whether it’s the increased use of apps and telehealth or smart beds that become even smarter, you will no doubt see even more uses of technology in the medical field in the years ahead.
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