25 February 2020
Use of medical robots can increase the efficiency and precision of surgeries. Photo: Bloomberg
Use of medical robots can increase the efficiency and precision of surgeries. Photo: Bloomberg

What does the future hold for medicine?

In the past, a lot of people died from malaria, cancer, complications caused by HIV/AIDS, gangrene, cholera and other deadly diseases. Nowadays, however, technological advancements have made it possible for people with diabetes, kidney failure, liver cirrhosis, heart conditions, etc., to live a long life with certain medications and treatment.

Every day, medicine helps to save the lives of millions. Even people who suffer from terminal diseases such as cancer can now live a long and normal life due to rapid medical advances.

Looking back

Medicine was practiced by the ancient Babylonians, Greeks, Chinese, Egyptians, and Indians. Even though people did not have the right tools and equipment to practice medicine appropriately in ancient times, they did so by using plants and herbs as main ingredients to cure diseases and mend broken bones.

Later on, scientists were able to study the sophisticated equipment and techniques that Egyptians employed in healing wounds. The Greeks followed suit. They continued to practice and advance the art of medicine, and discovered new cures. Their influence persists to this day: doctors still take the Hippocratic Oath.

Huge improvements

Throughout the last decade, we have seen significant improvements in medical research, disease treatment and general improvement in the patient’s quality of life. Since the beginning of the 21st century, there has been a substantial reduction in infant mortality rates. Fewer women are dying as a result of pregnancy-related complications. HIV/AIDS diagnosis is no longer a death sentence. Today, doctors and other medical practitioners make use of high-tech medical equipment that can accurately detect, diagnose and treat a wide range of diseases.

Looking into the future, we can see new horizons opening in the field of medicine.

Personalized medicine through genomics

Genomics, the science studying the structure, function, and evolution of genes, will be a new approach in medicine, mainly targeting more complex diseases such as cancer and trying to proactively cure diseases. According to scientists, the study of genes will give us so much information about so many factors, that we will we able to prevent diseases before they even occur.

Additionally, by studying the patient’s DNA composition, doctors will have a clear overview of treatment plans tailored specifically to the patient’s genes. This personalized medicine is growing in momentum as a growing number of scientists are spending more time and effort on these fields which are going to be an integral part of patient care.

Wearable medical devices

Right now, we are seeing the growing popularity of fitness trackers. These devices have huge potential if used in medicine. Just imagine having a device that would monitor your vital functions 24/7 and alert you in case there is a change in the signs. Additionally, these devices would be beneficial for post-surgery treatment; doctors could track a patient’s post-surgery condition and in case of complications, take immediate measures.

Medical robots

Robots have been used in different industries where they have facilitated and substituted for the heavy work done by humans with higher precision and efficiency. In medicine, robots could prove very useful in various aspects, including surgery. Currently, there are surgeries performed by humans that take many hours. Robots can be used to take over some parts of the process, such as applying stitches or holding equipment, which for surgeons could be very tiring. Robots can also increase the efficiency and precision of surgeries.

Medical 3D printers

The rapid development of 3D printing has been a breakthrough for many industries. In medicine, it could be used to print tissues amd organs, customized prosthetics, different types of drugs, implants, etc. They would also allow the personalization of medical products and equipment, enhance collaboration, boost cost-effectiveness, and increase productivity.

Undoubtedly, the future of medicine will be fascinating. Expect to live in a world where there will be increased interconnectedness between patients and doctors and very few cases of heart diseases. Scientists will most probably discover a cure for asthma, cancer and other diseases that currently are incurable. We will have much more effective and efficient medical equipment that will allow people with incurable diseases to live a longer, normal life.

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Digital Marketing Specialist at Day Translations