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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

These are exciting times to be alive, and thanks to advances in technology and science, people are living longer and enjoying better lives than at any other time in history. Advances in medical science, aided by the data sharing of electronic health records (EHR) is making it possible to treat people in new and exciting ways. Here are three new trends in healthcare that are helping people live healthier lives.

Nano Technology (and other small things)

There was a time when any invasive medical procedure was risky and painful. Surgical instruments were large, and incisions had to be even larger to allow the surgeons and medical team to see what it was they were working on.
Today, thanks to nano technology, even the most complex procedures are much less taxing on patients. Nano technology involves shrinking things - everything. Now surgeons can see the chambers of the heart without ever cutting open the patient's chest or skin. All they do is run a catheter through a small hole in the leg, through an artery and into the heart. Cameras, stents, balloons and other life-saving medical devices and tools can be inserted into a body. And the best part is that damage to the patient due to trauma, incisions, and mistakes is significantly minimized. Shrinking technological devices are used in everything from heart to cancer to neuroscience. And it's paying off big time.

Digital Imaging

Sometimes a doctor can't treat what a doctor can't see. This is especially true for complex medical conditions related to the heart, pregnancy and cancer. Thanks to advances in digital imaging, doctors can see more today than they ever could in the past. They can see inside the brain and heart. They can see three-dimensional images of fetuses in the womb. And they can see individual blood vessels. And because they can see more, they can save more lives.

Electronic Health Records

We live in the information age. Information is power, and in healthcare, it guides how doctors care for us. In the past, patient information was static. It existed only in a patient's official "medical records," which were in one place - the patient's primary doctor's office. If another doctor needed the information, he or she had to contact the primary care physician and request it. This could take hours, days or even longer. And it was a problem, especially in an emergency.

Today, thanks to electronic medical records, patients' medical information is available to any medical professional who needs them and has the patients' permission to access it. Records are more comprehensive than ever, including doctor notes, images, and prescription history - all of which can be cross-referenced to ensure that a patient's doctors are all working with the same information. EHRs can, and have, proven to be life-saving advancements for thousands of patients across the country each year.

Author Bio:
PatrickWhalen is a writer who specializes in SEO. He had written for numerous web sites. Follow him at @2patwhalen.

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