Technology in Healthcare
The use of technology in healthcare has opened the way for improvements in a variety of areas. One proof of the advantages and benefits of technology is that more people are surviving diseases like cancer and heart disease due to the ability to diagnose them earlier than previously capable. With this capability comes the advantage of being able to use a protocol that may be less drastic than one needed as the disease progresses. With a disease like cancer, as it metastasizes, the ability to fight it and eliminate it gets harder and harder. Although, another use of technology in healthcare has brought us new drugs that can target more precisely the particular cancer cells along with being more targeted in other areas. It has also brought us new radiation equipment that can be far more accurate and not have to use the shotgun approach to get to the cancer. The beam can even be bent around key body parts like glands and arteries so as not to damage them when focusing in that area.
One interesting and futuristic advance is the use of robots. You can now have a robotic prostatectomy with an outcome that may be to the advantage of the patient. With the use of a robot in surgery there is a smaller incision or incisions which is less trauma for the patient, there is less blood loss, a greater chance of precise cuts around delicate nerves and tendons which may allow the patient a better chance of not having side effects from the surgery, and usually a shorter stay in the hospital and a shorter recovery time. The precision of the robot is far more accurate than a surgeon using his or her hands alone. One reason is the use of a microscope and lights in the area of the surgery. A doctor has access to this technology in an operating room but this is amazingly close and well lit in a very small area without having to cut the patient open. The accuracy of being able to see within a fraction of a millimeter is a great advantage for the doctor operating the robot.
Another area where robots are used is in robotic heart surgery. Again the accuracy and precision of the tools lead to a greater chance of a quicker recovery time and less trauma to the patient. The finer incisions and the likelihood of less blood loss are one advantage to using a robot in heart surgery. The da Vinci robot used in both heart and cancer surgeries and has the opportunity to be used in a variety of areas where precision and accuracy are paramount.