The Past, Present, and Future of Healthcare

August 12th, 2021 by admin

A black and white phot of doctors operating on a patient

Technology is the backbone of modern society. Throughout the 20th Century, the quest for modernity has given way to exciting discoveries and innovations. While it’s used in a variety of different ways, technology has ultimately led us to provide better healthcare today. How much has technology influenced our notion of healthcare? How will technological advances continue to shift the way we care for people?

The Beginning of Medical Technology

There are two types of medical technologies: objects and procedures. Objects showcase technological advances in a more tangible way, whereas procedures are guides that usually standardize the use of medical objects to improve their performance. Nevertheless, the 20th Century witnessed the birth of:

  • The electrocardiograph machine
  • The artificial pacemaker
  • The kidney dialysis machine
  • The artificial hip replacement
  • The open-heart bypass surgery
  • The CAT or CT scan
  • The MRI scanner
  • The laser surgery on a human cornea
  • The development of the Human Genome Project

As you can see, some of these advances are machines, such as the MRI scanner, whereas others are procedures, like the Human Genome Project or the open-heart surgery. This makes for a complex definition of technological advances in the past.

However, it’s clear that technological inventions have completely revolutionized medicine. In 1895 German physicist Wilhelm C. Roentgen discovered electromagnetic radiation that could move through the body and leave an imprint of bones and organs on a photographic plate. This discovery created a revolution: the electrocardiograph, CAT scan, and MRI. These were followed by the development of artificial and transplanted organs and joints, and owe much of their existence to Roentgen’s work. These advancements, followed by the discovery of antibiotics, enabled a life span increase of nearly 30 years on average.

Medical Technology Today

We have come a long way from the first artificial hip replacement. Today, every procedure and system is supported by technology. Many points are left to develop, though - startups, academics, and scientists worldwide are researching new ways of incorporating tech into medicine to increase the degree of care. Let’s take a look at some of these current fields:

  • Personalized treatment through wearable devices
    Wearable devices enable health monitoring outside of the hospital or clinic and help predict sometimes dangerous or even fatal health events. Watches, wristbands, abdominal patches, clips, rings, shoe inserts, earbuds, vests… A myriad of wearable sensors could soon be available on the market to control and keep track of symptoms, vitals, and other factors such as blood pressure or sugar.
  • Electronic records
    Electronic Health Records (EHRs), have nearly eradicated the archaic paper filing system to keep patient records. These paper records made collaboration difficult when it came to treating patients across different facilities. Nowadays, though not every country has the same access to innovative technological systems, it’s common to store patient data online through national virtual databases.
  • Telehealth
    Telehealth can be described as the meeting of technology and healthcare. It uses digital information and communication technologies to manage your health care and access services remotely. Telehealth could become an absolute revolution through virtual appointments and patient portals, remote monitoring, healthcare professional communications, health records, and health apps, proving once again that technology has immense potential for health.

Technological Perspectives of Medicine

In the near future, technology could become the best medicine. Thanks to aids such as Health technology assessment (HTA), a ‘scientific field designed to establish tools for the acquisition, use, or exchange of medical technologies’1, tech could become readily available for any medical procedure across the world.

Whether it be access to general practitioners' appointments from remote areas, to using complex technological processes in surgical procedures, technology will continue to improve health. Of course, here at Equinox IT Services, we truly believe in technology. In fact, we have been providing high-quality IT services to our clients for the past 25 years. We understand the importance and influence has had on the healthcare industry. It’s our goal to provide the highest standard of support to enable healthcare organizations to continue to do what they do.


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Posted in: Technology