A hundred years ago healthcare was only available to wealthy families, and it was average at best. Technological advances in modern medicine has reduced the cost of healthcare and has made quality healthcare accessible to millions. Here are some of those advancements and how they are helping many around the world.
Vaccines are another unappreciated technological advancement that revolutionized modern medicine. Take polio for example, before the polio vaccine there was no way to prevent polio and long term health care was draining on even wealthy families. Once the vaccine came on to the scene it made polio treatment and prevention affordable to the average citizen.
Today we take for granted the sterilization process in hospitals when in truth it is one of the most significant advances in making healthcare affordable. The autoclave greatly improved the sterilization process through the use of steam. As a result infection rates dropped. In addition to modern hospital hygiene practices there are also improved production practices that make safe and affordable tools for doctors. For example, modern catheter tubing is manufactured in a sterile environment and prepared for proper use in a clean hospital. This makes healthcare more affordable by saving patients potential money from the would-be costs of paying for treatment of the infection.
The next big thing in medicine is 3D bioprinting. Scientists have already used 3D printers to print skin cells, blood cells, and even a human ear. Within the next 10-15 years scientists hope to prefect the technology to allow the printing of all the body’s organs. This will dramatically slash the costs of organ transplants in the near future.
Gene therapy is another advancement that saves money through providing a cheaper and more effective way to treat some cancers in their early stages. Gene therapy works by restructuring the patient’s genes to combat the disease on the atomic level. This process is cheaper than the long term costs associated with chemotherapy and the medicine needed to combat the side effects.
Minimally Invasive Surgeries
Also known as Laparoscopic surgery, this has made surgery much more affordable because patients are in the hospital only a day or two for recovery as opposed to a week or more. It also makes people more likely to get a needed surgery since the short recovery time allows them to save money by missing less days of work.
Wearable Smart-Health Technology
Wearable technology is a rapidly emerging industry. There are now smart-bands that measure things like your heart rate, amount of calories burned, distance ran, and several other things. This makes healthcare more affordable in a preventative sense, because these technologies are allowing people to micromanage their health like never before. This results in less money spent on healthcare since people who use these devices are taking a preventive approach to their health.
These 6 technological advancements are just a few of the several ways technology is revolutionizing the cost and effectiveness of healthcare. The current trend shows a lot of potential for technology to further increase our quality of life and life expectancy.