It’s no secret that the world of healthcare has changed over the last one hundred years. Things have improved; new discoveries have been made. But, are there certain ways in which stuff has changed the most? I took a look at the industry, and discovered there were three main ways that healthcare has changed in the last century:

Technology

Technology has had a huge impact on how healthcare has changed over the last one hundred years. Compare medical care right now, to one hundred years ago, and you’ll see so much technology has changed. In fact, compare it to the year 2000 and things are still dramatically different. The simple fact is, technology advances so quickly, and there are so many new things being created and discovered. As a result, industries will benefit, and things are going to change and improve. Healthcare is one of the industries that has benefited and changed the most. There is technology in hospitals that was unheard of many moons ago. Think about all the equipment being used on a daily basis. There are huge CT scan machines that take x-rays of the body from multiple angles. This is something that we take for granted now, but it’s such an important piece of tech. Without it, it would be harder to diagnose things, or take longer to do so. Speaking of x-rays, there are now safer methods in place too. X-rays are less harmful, and the results are instant. Then, you have all the surgical technology that’s helping people save lives. Not to mention things like breathing apparatus or tech that administers drugs. Technology has improved all of the equipment in hospitals by a huge amount.

And, it’s not just equipment that’s changed, other things have too. Communication has been improved because of technology. Hospitals can communicate with one another a lot better, and share medical records. Speaking of which, records are now stored online, so they’re safer and more secure. Hospital booking systems have changed thanks to technology as well. It leaves the staff more organized and helps them cope with the workload. There’s less chance of information being lost because everything is digital. Whereas take things back decades ago, and everything was stored physically. There would be huge filing cabinets with thousands of sheets of paper spilling out. Everything was a mess, but now it’s more structured. A more structured hospital leads to better healthcare. Doctors and nurses will know what they have to do, and there won’t be as many disruptions.

We could spend all day talking about the changes that technology has brought to healthcare. But, if we did that then we’d run out of time, and I wouldn’t get to talk about anything else. So I’ll sum things up by saying that modern technologies have improved healthcare massively. Every bit of tech that hospitals use is used to good effect. Lives are being saved every day because of the strides made in medical technology. It’s remarkable to see how things have changed in the last sixteen years, let alone the last century!

Anesthesia

During certain medical procedures, patients are given an anesthetic to numb the pain. Sometimes, it can be local, meaning only the operating area is numbed. For example, doctors and dentists use injections to numb an area, but the patient will be able to feel other parts of their body. This is different to years ago because they didn’t have the ability to do this. Instead, you either had no anesthesia or had to be completely put under. Obviously, having no anesthesia means you have the risk of being in great deals of pain. Thankfully, we can now have local anesthetics for simple procedures that might cause pain. As a result of this, people are more comfortable having things done because they know they won’t feel the pain.

But, it’s not just local anesthesia that has changed. No, the way doctors are giving people anesthetics has also changed. These days, it’s done in a far safer manner than before. Going back a few decades, people were worried about the harmful effects of anesthesia. Medical people used gas that would knock out patients, but it would leave them dazed for a few hours after. Nowadays, things are a lot safer, and more thought out. The Central Infusion Alliance talk about something called anesthesia circuits. This is a method of safely giving people anesthetic gas, without worrying about causing further harm. It’s primarily used in situations where patients have to be knocked out for a long time. The way everything is done ensures that they stay under for as long as needed, without the risk of waking up.

The strides in the field of anesthesiology are very important. It’s led to a higher standard of healthcare and improved patient safety. To this day, people are still researching ways to make things better. In the field of dentistry, they’re thinking about using electric pulses as a local anesthetic. It’s interesting to think how things are going to change within the next few decades.

Medical Research

The field of medical research has changed health care in so many ways. A century ago, we had very little research compared to what we have now. The scary thing is, back then, medical professionals thought they knew a lot. But, think about how many cures for diseases have been found in the last century? Or, think about how many new drugs and treatments have been developed. The biggest thing I can say is to look at the cancer survival rate. Cancer is one of the worst and most terrible diseases out there. There was a time where having cancer almost guaranteed that you would die. Now, more and more people are surviving each and every day. Some people are completely cured of cancer, and going on to live long and fruitful lives. The key to this is research. Medical research has allowed ways for doctors to spot early signs of cancer. If they catch it early, the chances of survival are increased. Plus, treatments have changed and been developed through research. There’s chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and other things too.

It’s not just cancer research that’s been improved; all other medical research has come on leaps and bounds too. There are way more prescription drugs on the market to help ease pain and treat problems. Some diseases were seen as untreatable a few decades ago; now they’re highly manageable. A big one that comes to mind is HIV; there used to be no ways to treat it, now there are! Pretty much everything has been improved as a result of research; there’s no disease that’s got worse because of it.

The great thing about medical research is that it never slows down. It’s impossible to discover everything, all at once. So, there will always be new discoveries, new ways to improve healthcare. There are people working in labs right this second pouring over research data. Every day there could be a discovery being made. We think things are good right now, but imagine what research can bring us in the future. There are certainly exciting times ahead in the medical research field.

Of all the ways healthcare has changed over the years, these three things are the biggest. They have the largest impact on everyone involved. Patients are benefitting, medical workers are benefitting. They’re also three things that look set to change, even more, and make healthcare better than it already is. The future is bright; it’s intriguing to predict how things will change again.

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