In the Lab: New Technologies Medical Students Should Prepare For

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  • Medicine exists to improve the lives of people everywhere. It aims to make the symptoms of diseases more bearable, cure ailments, and create ways for these problems to be treated before they manifest. The advancement of technology in healthcare is one way health problems are helped to be solved, which is why new technologies constantly emerge. Some of these technologies are so vital, they will become handled by doctors in just five to ten years.

    Let’s take a look at some of the new technologies medical students should prepare to use.

    New Types of Blood Tests

    Traditional blood tests require a sizable amount of blood to be withdrawn through venipuncture. This procedure can be problematic with certain patients, which in turn has led researchers to look for alternative ways of performing these tests.

    Theranos created by Edison fulfills this need. This device uses a small drop of blood to perform many of the tests that traditional blood tests perform. If Edison proves to be worthwhile, new technologies simplifying the process of testing blood will probably arise.

    Antibody Drug Conjugates

    Certain conditions are limited in their treatment due to the side effects of those treatments. Chemotherapy is one example, as it can damage healthy cells just like it can harm cancer cells.

    The difference with antibody drug conjugates is the fact that they utilize some of the same processes that antibodies use. This can require a personalized touch, which in turn means that medical students may need to become more familiar with these processes and genetics-based treatments.

    Robot-Assisted Surgeries

    One major limitations of surgeons has been their hands. They can only turn in certain ways, which requires larger incisions to be made in some patients.

    Robot-assisted surgeries are used by a small amount of surgeons today, and are predicted to become commonplace due to the fact that they can reduce downtime, increase recovery rates, and increase the overall effectiveness of surgeries.

    Places like Hudson Robotics have become instrumental in developing some of these cutting-edge technologies. Larger tools like pipettors used for certain liquid handling in laboratories, are made more efficient and can be used on a much smaller scale. These solutions may depart from the conventional way operations are performed and require medical students to become familiar with robotic-assisted techniques.

    Augmented Reality

    The last major innovation expected to be put into use is augmented reality. Devices like Google Glass may be used to overlay patient vitals, microscopic images, and countless other necessary pieces of information. While this should make medical care more effective and safe, it will require medical students to embrace using technology to see things that they otherwise couldn’t.

    Solving difficult medical problems will require thinking in new ways, which in turn will result in new developments that utilize the farthest stretches of the imagination. By preparing to think differently and training in these emerging advances, medical students will be able to offer a better healthcare experience to their future patients.

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