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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

In the field of medicine, technology remains in a state of growth and development. The Internet and robotic technologies have allowed for long-distance surgeries. Virtual reality simulators are being used to treat patients’ phobias. And heart valves have never been more effective. The following five technologies showcase the cutting-edge of the medical field.

1. The ITClamp

Created by Canadian Naval surgeon Dr. Dennis Filips, this device functions in a similar manner as a hair clip. After serving in three tours of the Middle East, Flips found that many soldiers were dying from injuries, such as in the abdomen that could not be stopped with a tourniquet. Rather than holding back hair, this device clamps wounds and contusions shut, stopping blood loss quickly.

2. Microfluidic Flu Chips

Researchers from Harvard, Boston University, and Beth Israel Deacones have created a microfluidic chip designed to diagnose the flu in a fraction of the time spent using traditional methods. This disposable chip, which is the size of one of the microscope slides you used in your high school biology class, is interlaid with channels for mucus to pass through. The chip detects RNA signature proteins from the influenza A virus, converts it to DNA, and replicates it until an external reader can detect it. The researchers are currently developing a 2.0 version, which will provide patients with results in under an hour.

3. Implanted Medical Devices

In the past few years, implanted medical technologies have shrunk from silver-dollar sized pacemakers to micro machines small enough to be swallowed in a pill or injected into our bloodstreams. Although this is not Nano technology, engineers at Stanford are developing implants that will be able to navigate through veins and arteries in order to remove blood clots. As if that is not impressive enough, these tiny bots will be powered from electromagnetic radio waves—that’s right, no wires attached.

4. iPhone and the Medisana ThermoDock

Due to their interactive features, universal Internet access, and array of apps, the iPhone and iPad have been used in health information technology for several years. Now doctors can take temperatures from a distance using infrared technology that plugs into their iPhones. It functions like a point-and-shoot camera, and will replace the old fashioned, thermometer approach.

5. Artificial Skin

Wound management specialists are using technology to extract collagen, a fundamental skin protein, from donated skin. They then grow grafts of collagen, which they place over wounds of burn victims, soldiers, and diabetics. The body grows skin tissue around the collagen, which allows patients to recover from wounds that would otherwise require amputation.

The promise that emerging technologies provide for the future exist as a constant source of inspiration and hope. The ways that medical technology has shaped the world in the past 50 years serves as an example of what we can expect in the future: longer lives, less disease, and faster healing for many injuries. For a cutting edge career in the medical industry, consider a health care degree like practical nursing or medial assisting to get you started.

Author Bio:
Sandra Mills is a freelance writer. She is fascinated by emerging technology and spends her free time writing and studying technology ideas that have become realties.

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