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The non-stop advance of science in all fields is a fascinating process. Knowing how differently things are done today compared to fifty or even twenty years ago, we can see what an incredible world we live in–and we can imagine the even more amazing one that’s coming.

Medicine is no exception. What has evolved, revolved, and developed in this profession is nothing short of miraculous. Conditions that were once a recipe for death or disability are now 100% curable, and the changes in medical science are much of the reason why. Here are several areas where medicine is breaking new ground:

New Approaches

New thinking is changing the medical world. As one example, for decades, the conventional wisdom has been to treat cancer any time that it’s identified. But for certain types of cancer–prostate cancer in particular–there has been an evolution toward a more guarded approach. The quick explanation is that for elderly men, the treatment of prostate cancer can prove more harmful than the cancer itself, given its typically slow growth and minimal impact.

chickenpox Image/CDC

chickenpox Image/CDC

We’re also seeing different approaches to long-held ideas about infectious disease. Chickenpox was usually treated by maintaining comfort and simply riding out its course. Many families even deliberately exposed their children to the disease to ensure that they got the immunity-building infection while they were young and while the disease’s impact was lower. But the advent of a vaccine–mandated in many states–and concerns about shingles in adulthood have turned the conversation in a different direction. Now it’s about getting the shots over with instead of getting the infection over with.

Information Technology

It was once a dream that you could be in a small-town South Dakotan hospital and be seen by a doctor from Johns Hopkins or the Mayo Clinic. But now, this type of linkage is reality, and it’s saving lives. Utilizing the internet to share medical images, lab results, or verbal communication is giving patients access to the expertise of practitioners hundreds of miles away. It’s reducing the frequency of patient transfers, improving outcomes, and saving time.

But it’s not just the major cases that benefit from electronic communication. AdvancedMD EHR software helps with a variety of factors such as making medical practices more efficient, more accurate, and faster in processing patient information. With a near-constant evolution of ICD codes and insurance requirements, the ability to rapidly and efficiently  manage data saves money and time for both patients and practitioners.

Techniques

The process of creating and utilizing new technology has thrived in medicine. Surgery in particular has been revolutionized with new tools and methods. Laparoscopic procedures have drastically reduced pain, infection risk, and recovery times. Cancer treatments have become more focused, reducing side effects and patient discomfort.

Physical therapy has taken on a huge role in recovery. Joint replacements were once considered a recipe for days in the bed, but now patients are up and moving almost immediately. That’s because research has shown that establishing flexibility and range of motion is critical in the early days of recovery.

The health care field has always valued updates and changes. It is hard-wired into a caring provider to be unsatisfied with a treatment that doesn’t provide a 100% recovery in a painless, affordable, and rapid way. The perpetual push to achieve more results at that level of expectation is getting us ever closer to that goal in many different circumstances. What comes tomorrow is anyone’s guess, but the potential is limitless. Maybe someday that utopian goal of hopeful doctors just might be achieved.

Author: Mayank Pal

2 Comments

  1. Mark Thorson says:

    Huh? Are you claiming that your software has solved the problem of electronic medical records? That sure would come as news to the author of this article, which depicts the current situation as a complete disaster.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/10/epic-systems-judith-faulkner-hitech-ehr-interoperability

    I can sure say that Kaiser’s use of electronic medical records fits this description to a tee. The last time I dealt with them, I was checked by a doctor and given a followup appointment which required some lab tests before the appointment. I show up at the lab for the blood draw, and the lab tests had not been ordered. They drew the blood anyway, on the chance the order would be coming later. I show up for the appointment, and it was scheduled for the following day, not the day I was told. I show up the next day, and the lab tests were never performed and now the sample is too old to do it. In any competent use of computers, it would not have been possible to enter my appointment into the system without the lab tests being ordered and the follow-up appointment being properly scheduled. All these actions would be interlocked in an integrated software system. That’s not how it works at Kaiser. The software simply replaces the old paper system, and every possible error that can be made with the paper system can also be made using the computer system.

  2. […] The non-stop advance of science in all fields is a fascinating process. Knowing how differently things are done today compared to fifty or even twenty years ago, we can see what an incredible world we live in–and we can imagine the even more amazing one that’s coming. Medicine is no exception. What has evolved, revolved, […] Outbreak News Today » Blogs […]

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