10 years beyond: The role of biomedical computing in future health care.
I believe that in 10 years from now, the role of biomedical computing will grow tremendously and it will become a crucial issue for the healthcare. Most important components of biomedical computing will probably include such technologies as biomedical imaging and visualization, capabilities of modern computing required for genome-related analysis, medical robotics, computer-based diagnostics and treatment systems and medical informatics (medical data acquisition and management). Biomedical imaging and visualization will be very important, because it supports the whole medical cycle: from diagnostics to treatment methods choice and its optimization, as well as trials and new medications research. I think that the more new diagnostics, therapeutic and surgery methods emerge, the more critical will be the need for precise and detailed imaging. Most of the current methods of imaging will be probably still useful, but will be improved to decrease their negative influence on the patient, e.g. connected with electromagnetic radiation. The most important will be the field of molecular imaging that is understood as the visualization, characterization and measurement of biological processes at the molecular and cellular levels in humans and other living systems. The techniques used for it include radiotracer imaging/nuclear medicine, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), optical imaging, ultrasound and others. Molecular imaging that is now used mostly in scientific laboratories will be probably available as a routine tool for doctors, and will be very beneficial for healthcare. The disease (some abnormal changes) seen at a molecular level can be detected rather early and can be corrected before the person is aware of the symptoms. Moreover, the very causes of the disease can be treated. Today in many cases, it is known which diseases can be caused by which gene modifications. So gene-altering...
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