Medical technology includes a vast array of products used in the diagnosis and monitoring of human conditions and diseases. It also encompasses the advancement of medicine that is available to treat diseases that were once fatal, and the instruments used to perform less invasive operations. Medical laboratory scientists are aware of the implications of using computers and machinery that can analyze multiple samples of biological material at faster speeds and higher accuracies than in the past.
The most fascinating aspects of medical technology are the innovations that occur at the engineering level. There are miniature robots that are used to perform spinal surgeries that were once considered highly complex and dangerous. Miniaturized pacemakers function without any disturbance to the patient, and drugs can be activated by light to seek out diseased cells. Other medications can be swallowed and their activation is delayed until biological processes break them down as they reach certain organs.
Ongoing innovations are contributing to this technology on a regular basis. For example, carbon nanotubes have been used by engineers at the University of Southern California in the United States to simulate neural synapses. This technology is expected to allow for very small circuits, and tiny semiconductors have already had a huge impact on medical devices, and will continue to do so in the future.
Medical technology advancements are impacting the job outlook as well. Automated laboratory equipment is enabling the analysis of samples of blood and cells to detect diseases much earlier than before. Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, work for clinical laboratory technicians is projected to grow by 14% over the next decade. The ease of access to medical technology is also allowing more laboratories and diagnostic centers to open up, and for more hospitals and doctor’s offices to acquire state-of-the-art equipment.
New advances in medical technology are announced almost daily, but the future implications of ongoing work are numerous. Medical devices continue to be miniaturized, and as this continues, new therapies and modifications to existing ones will arise. Engineering work on creating biological tissues in the lab continues, and further advances are expected to lead to the availability of replacement organs at some point in the future. Technology for diagnosing diseases using molecular and genetic studies will allow even earlier detection and better outcomes for treating serious illnesses. The well-being of both professionals and patients is benefited because of medical technology.