From times when it was thought draining blood from the body would get rid of disease to surgical procedures with no form of anaesthetic, medicine has evolved over thousands of years to become a major talking point all over the world, and indeed, an incredibly important consideration for the health and well-being of the population.
So how has medicine evolved with regards to technology in the developed world we live in?
Robotic arms and 3D
News this week contained stories of Manchester Royal Infirmary using 3D projections in the theatre to help with surgical operations. The surgeons wore 3D glasses and the screen showed the surgeons an image of a small robotic arm in order to remove the patient’s prostate. The movement was then mimicked by the staff and they followed the robotic arm on the screen for the keyhole procedure.
Although there are current imaging techniques in use in hospitals across the world, this new form of 3D imaging is said to be cheaper and more accurate than current forms in use and indeed this new development is the first to use full 3D in the operating theatre.
Endoscopes for surgery
Endoscopic procedures are common and consist of flexible instruments being inserted into the body to take a closer look at areas needing internal investigation. In the bowel or colon, endoscopes can investigate the area and even take biopsies to remove and test once outside of the body.
But now comes the ability for these endoscopies to actually provide information about how the tissue is functioning within the area it is investigating. It’s called Cerenkov Luminescence Endoscopy (CLE) and whilst the endoscope is super close to the tissue, the CLE notion allows the tissues to be scanned at close range.CLE combines endoscopy with the phenomenon responsible for the blue glow in cooling water nucealr power reactor cores.
More than 15 million endoscope procedures are carried out in the US every year, and this new CLE technology expands on the already promising abilities of standard endoscopes by allowing molecular-guided surgery.
There have been some really exciting medical advances, and with each and every announcement, human race comes nearer to depleting many common problems from the operating theatre to the doctor’s surgery. Watch this space for the many more medical technological developments which are bound to come in the near future.