We live in an age where technology is becoming more and more integrated into our everyday lives. It provides ease and simplicity to mundane tasks, allows for quick answers, easy communication and worldwide access. But this is just the beginning, our generation stands at the forefront of this new age, where technological advancements are constantly happening. Be it for communication, social media, transport or healthcare. We are perpetually developing or improving, changing or making. All with the intention of making life as easy is it can be.
But let’s focus in on technology and healthcare. The application of technology for medicine is not something that is new. Technology is and always will be an essential part of diagnosing and treating issues of the body. But how will the balance between man and machine change as technology continues to develop at an alarming rate?
Already we are seeing a decline in the number of jobs that can be done solely by humans. This has been seen with industry and manual labour jobs. But it is now becoming more evident within the healthcare sector.Don’t want to visit your GP? Try the Ada – health guide app where a helpful AI assistant can compare your symptoms to millions of other similar cases and suggest possible explanations. Or the Babylon app, where live appointments can be held over the phone. And this is an amazing thing as it means that people living in remote areas can also access help and support. And people who are less able-bodied can still receive advice from healthcare professionals from the comfort of their own home
But what about surgery? Technology has played a huge role in the improvement of this field, not only for success rates and surgical performance but also postoperative care. As robots offer greater visualisation, enhanced dexterity and greater precision for the surgery. Such as has been seen with the da Vinci surgical system where less invasive endoscopy techniques have lead to shorter hospitalization and reduced pain or discomfort post-surgery. And soon these robot-assisted surgeries could become the norm, so it is only natural to question when these surgeries will happen with no human intervention. And the answer is that is it has already begun. However, questions over accountability, ethics and legal ramifications mean that there have been very few unassisted surgeries.
But over the next few years, you can expect to see an influx in new and innovative both medicinal technologies and technology in general. And I hope that our geniuses will go on to play a part in this.
by Niambi Bertie-McLean