Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Many people become concerned when it comes to our dependance on technology, although I don't think we need to be concerned at all. Look at what technology has done for us! Every day technology is used in hospitals to help doctors diagnose patients, to assist in surgeries, and even to help a patient in the hospital have a comfortable stay while still being a patient. Technology in hospitals has grown so widely known, we often take advantage of the things we have.
Just over the past 50 years, look where we have come! Inventions have grown so widely popular, it feels like there is something new on the market every day! We are able to find sphygmomanometer's in Shoppers Drug Mart's and use them whenever we want, stethoscopes around almost all doctor's necks no matter what hospital you are at, and blood glucose meters in patients with diabetes homes. It is amazing what we can find now that we wouldn't have been able to find 50 years ago.
For personal experience, when my father was born about 50 years ago, there wasn't much that a doctor could help him with. He was sent away from the hospital and my grandmother was told that he wouldn't even survive the drive home. He has an extremely complex heart condition and wasn't able to get the help he needed at the time, but because of technology, my father is still alive. He is able to live a normal active life, while having a pace maker inside of him.
Pacemaker's are one advance in technology that wasn't an option for my father 50 years ago. Pacemaker's have helped doctors learn much more about the cardiovascular system and about abnormal heart rhythms that no one knew 50 years ago. Without the development of pacemaker's there are many people on our earth who wouldn't be able to survive. They are an important piece of technology that has developed over the years. (1)
Not only are pacemaker's such an amazing invention, but they are Canadian! The Canadian inventor John Hopps created the first cardiac pacemaker. John Hopps was trained as an electrical engineer at the University of Manitoba and joined the National Research Council in 1941, where he conducted research on hypothermia. While experimenting with radio frequency heating to restore body temperature, John Hopps made an unexpected discovery: if a heart stopped beating due to cooling, it could be started again by artificial stimulation using mechanical or electric means. This lead to Hopps' invention of the world's first cardiac pacemaker in 1950. Although His device was far too large to be implanted inside of the human body, it still brought us where we are today with pacemaker's and has helped to keep millions of people alive. (3)
Enough about the heart! But what about the Digestive system! Well, in the past learning about the digestive system was a dread, not only to the doctors but to the patient as well. It was an unkind task, that required a lot of time and patience, possibly even pain to the patient. But now, there is such thing as an electronic pill, which is meant to be ingested by a patient; it then gathers information about the digestive system as it travels through it, transmitting the information to a receiver worn by the patient. (2) This is amazing! All it takes is one simple swallow of a pill, and you can learn so much about your digestive system. Advances like these in the medical field have improved our way of living and helped us become the people we are today. They have helped reduce the amount of pain that patient's must go through, but still get the help they need.
Technology has grown so much over the years and has kept thousands of people alive and able to live an active life. It has helped us all overcome problems that we most likely would never have been able to overcome. It has kept families together, and relationships close. It has helped my family get pass the every day frightening scenario, that no one wants to constantly see. It has kept my father alive, and has allowed him and millions of other people around the world be happy and know they are in good hands.
1- "What Is a Pacemaker?" National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Web. 07 Mar. 2011. <http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/pace/pace_whatis.html>.
2- Humphries, Courtney. "Swallowable Sensors - Technology Review." Technology Review: The Authority on the Future of Technology. Web. 07 Mar. 2011. <http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/17470/?mod=related&a=f>.
3- Bellis, Mary. "Invention of the Cardiac Pacemaker - Artificial Hearts - Electrocardiography." Inventors. Web. 07 Mar. 2011. <http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blcardiac.htm>.
"Medical Devices - Key Sectors - NRC-CNRC." National Research Council Canada: From Discovery to Innovation / Conseil National De Recherches Canada : De La Découverte à L'innovation. Web. 07 Mar. 2011. <http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/sectors/medical-devices.html>.
"Testing Blood Glucose Levels at Home: Meters, Insulin Pumps, and More." WebMD Diabetes Center: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Tests, and Treatments. Web. 07 Mar. 2011. <http://diabetes.webmd.com/home-blood-glucose-test>.