If you’re a fan of science fiction, you’ve no doubt read or watched stories about the amazing things that medical technology will be able to do in the future. Star Trek, for example, is often filled with medical marvels in the practices of Drs. McCoy, Crusher, Bashir, et al. If you do know science fiction, you know that it is a literature of prediction. The things that science fiction storytellers write about are often reflected in real technology.
For example, in radiology, Edison NJ and other places are seeing remarkable strides take place. You’re familiar with artificial intelligence. It’s not only for computers and androids. In radiology, it will take the form of visual overlay devices that will use holography to enhance ultrasound examinations and to enable doctors to use imagery to aid in treatment. Devices like Google Glass, and HoloLens from Microsoft, will add data to imagery for improved diagnoses.
3D printing is one of the hottest new technological trends, and it has its applications in creating anatomical models, bringing MRI scans to life. Clinicians will be able to generate anatomical models from 3D files, enabling them to see better than ever what’s going on in the body.
Wearable devices like smartwatches-Apple Watch, to name one-are already in wide use. With most of them you can carry health and fitness apps right on your wrist. A new smartwatch now in development will assist nurses in workload management. These devices will play into collaboration between health care professionals located in different places. Telepresence and “telemedicine” will become the wave of the future. Part of “the internet of things” will be a vast network of connected devices, one of whose purposes will be to monitor health remotely.
In medicine as in so many other things, the future is now. We live it every day, and with it we will live in better health.