Technology and the Future of Medicine

During my Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy class we talked about the future of medicine and one of the things they talked about that I found really cool was 3D printing. 3D printers are becoming more and more common and are starting to be used to create artificial limbs and organs. One of the things they mentioned that I found amazing was 3D printing a skull for a woman who suffered from a thickening of the skull. The doctors printed out a 3D skull and surgically replaced her thickening skull. This happened in the Netherlands about 3 months ago and I was absolutely amazed. I heard 3D printing can be used to create artificial limbs and even organs, but replacing a skull was new to me. The operation was a success and the woman is doing fine.

Another new technology that can be used for medicine is google glass. Google glass has suffered controversy because of privacy concerns and there’s no doubt that there are still concerns like this when it it used for medicine. The application of google glass for medicine include pulling up medical records, augmented reality in surgical settings and automated personal heath care. For augmented reality in surgical settings, surgeons can pull up a virtual overlay of the patient’s body to look at critical structures during surgery, thereby possibly reducing the rate of surgical errors. It can also be used as a teaching tool to show medical students what surgery looks like from the surgeon’s point of view. It can also be used to call up other medical experts for help during a surgery. Like I stated though, this technology does have drawbacks like privacy concerns and distracting the surgeon since they are essentially using one eye to see records during surgery.


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