There are a lot of things floating around that talk about the shortcomings of modern medicine and healthcare and, to be completely honest; it definitely does have it’s problems. But even looking at medicine fifty years ago, it’s staggering just how far we’ve come. The kinds of medical advances that have been made over the years have saved countless lives and improved even more. And the march of progress shows no sign of stopping. In fact, the medical industry is moving at a faster pace than ever before, with new techniques, schools of thought and technology appearing constantly. It might sometimes feel as though modern medicine still has a long way to go, and it does, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take the time to appreciate the ways in which it’s changing for the better.
One of the biggest problems that medicine has always had, from GP clinics to emergency units, is that it suffers from something of a one-size-fits-all approach to patients. Rather than treating patients as individuals with individual needs, they are treated as yet another statistic in a long line. But thanks to technology, there are now far more ways to understand individual needs and offer personalized treatment. This is most apparent in the field of genetics, where genetic causes for conditions like cancer can be much more easily identified. This means that doctors can then tailor a much more specific treatment than the one-size-fits-all blunt instrument of chemotherapy.
The health and safety of both professionals and patients have always been the number one priority for many people working within in the medical industry. Will each new generation the standards of safety and cleanliness in doctors surgeries and hospitals has increased massively. This extends beyond just the actions of individuals as well. Each person taking responsibility for avoided the spread of disease is incredibly important, but things like medical device traceability allow manufacturers to track devices which makes recalling them in the event of a problem far easier. This small change might not seem like much but being able to recall faulty medical equipment as quickly as possible could well save a lot of lives. Faulty equipment can lead to incorrect diagnoses, missed information and worse.
What’s the first thing you do when you start to feel ill? Chances are before you ever set foot in a doctor’s office you’ll Google your symptoms. This does a couple of things. It gives you a better sense of your possible condition and allows you to make more informed decisions. The other, and more amazing, thing that it does is that the information you searched goes into a database. That database puts your search together with others just like it. By doing this, sites like Google can actually predict when an outbreak is going to happen. If there is a sudden spike in the amount of people searching “flu” in a certain area, then Google will be able to see that and medical professionals in the area can get out ahead of a potential outbreak.