One hundred years ago, diseases such as polio and smallpox ravaged society. Every year, countless individuals that were otherwise healthy would succumb to a host of ailments that are unheard of in these modern times. Of course, the medical community has always striven to stay abreast of pandemics and other emerging threats.
Thanks to the power of computers and an unprecedented understanding of the human body, we can all expect to live longer and healthier lives. What are some of the advancements that have caused such progress? Let us take a closer look at a handful of the most profound.
An Understanding of Epidemiology
In the past, most scientists did not have a grasp upon how diseases were transmitted from person to person. We now appreciate the threat of airborne viruses and the risk of contagion. Therefore, many deadly diseases can be isolated and eradicated before reaching large population centres. When we combine this with the efficacy of medicines such as an experimental AIDS vaccine, there is a very real chance that many ailments can be controlled and even eliminated in the future.
Stem Cell Technology
The use of stem cells is perhaps the single most powerful medical tool that will be implemented in the near future. Indeed, companies including Biolamina are introducing techniques that can negate the impact of diseases which were previously considered terminal. While there is still a robust amount of ongoing research, these cells have already proven effective in numerous studies. From growing artificial organs to producing skin that can be used in the treatment of burn victims, it seems as if there are no limits to the benefits which this technology will provide.
While a great deal of attention has been given to pharmacological progress, we also need to appreciate that our understanding of the human body has arisen through advanced imaging techniques. This had begun with the introduction of the CT scanner in the past. Now, techniques such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) have allowed doctors to see inside of the body while it is actually functioning. Additionally, the images that are provided are much more detailed than in the past. This is largely due to the use of powerful computers that will help to aid in the detection and the diagnosis of various physical conditions.
The Mind-Body Connection
While this may appear esoteric in nature, the impact of the mind upon the body is indeed very real. Doctors now appreciate this connection and are well aware of the roles that stress, anxiety and depression play within an individual’s life. As a result, a more holistic approach is taken in the treatment of many illnesses and there is no doubt that this synergy has allowed many patients to recover quicker than in the past.
Of course, it is uncertain what the future may hold in regards to further advancements. Still, it is quite clear that the detection, treatment and prevention of countless diseases have never been more effective. Should this progress continue, we can all expect to live healthier lives.