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Medical Technology

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  • Feb. 2011
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Medical Technology

      Technology and its effects have brought the greatest changes to our lives, societies and environments.   Technology has helped developing more advanced economies and lessening physical barriers to communication and allowing humans to interact on a global scale through the inventions of printing press, telephones, computers and finally the Internet. However, technological developments such weapons and nuclear bombs have multiplied the destructive power and pollution on societies.   One technological change that may have the largest effect on our lives today is the rapid growth of medical technology. Three main effects that medical technology has impacted our modern society are prolonging lifespan, improving quality of health care and promoting nation’s economic growth. Medical technology is referred as the procedures (e.g., angioplasty), equipments (e.g., MRI, CT Scanners) and processes (e.g., electronic medical records) by which medical care is delivered.   The first effect that medical technology has brought to our society is extending life expectancy.   For example, technology have changed health outcomes over time is in the treatment of pre-term babies, for which very little could be done in 1950.  But by 1990, changes in technology, including special ventilators, artificial pulmonary surfactant to help infant lungs develop, neonatal intensive care, and steroids for mother and/or baby, helped decrease mortality to one-third its 1950 level, with an overall increase in life expectancy of about 12 years per low-birth weight baby.1       Heart attack, the leading cause of death in the U.S. is another example of how new medical technology has changed the treatment and prevention of this disease over time.  In the 1980s, blood-thinning agents were used after a heart attack to prevent reoccurrences, beta-blocker therapy evolved from short-term therapy immediately after a heart attack to maintenance therapy, and angioplasty was used after...

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