From infection control to vaccinations, medicine has come on leaps and bounds over the years with scientists and doctors working together to keep people healthy. While it takes much time, energy, research and money to improve the health system, breakthroughs and innovative procedures are happening all the time, so let’s take a look at seven medical advances that have changed the way we treat patients.
1. Improved mobility
Any hospital worker will tell you how difficult it can be to move hospital patients around without the correct mobility equipment. Thankfully, there are now a wide range of products including the hospital bed castors here which lighten loads significantly and make it far easier for medical staff to manoeuvre their patients through hospital corridors with ease.
2. Human Genome Project
Ground-breaking and ambitious, The Genome Project tasked scientists to find, map and understand the genome of human beings and while challenging, a completed draft sequencing of all human genes was announced in 2003. Not only did this help researchers to identify single genes that cause diseases but it also allowed them to create better treatments.
3. Stem cell research
By studying and watching stem cells mature, scientists have been able to get a better understand of how diseases and conditions develop which in turn has helped them to find more appropriate cures. Stem cell research has also revealed that cells can be guided into specific cells that can be used to repair and regenerate diseased or damage tissue in people.
4. HIV treatment
While most people are aware of the dangers of HIV these days, the virus which causes AIDs wasn’t actually identified until 1983. Treatment used to require a complex cocktail of medicines, but Atripla changed all that by combining antiretroviral drugs into one complex pill. Medical advances such as this are just one of the many milestones seen in the 30 years since HIV was diagnosed and while there is no cure yet, perhaps there will be in the future.
5. Targeted cancer therapies
Cancer can spread if it’s not caught early and treated quickly. The good news is, targeted cancer therapies interfere with the spread of cancer blocking cells involved in tumour growth. They can also kill harmful cancer cells and are much more direct that chemotherapy/radiotherapy which tends to kill the healthy cells that our bodies need to recover.
6. Laparoscopic surgery
Thanks to laparoscopic surgery, patients no longer have to endure long operations and painful recovery periods for simple procedures such as gallbladder removal, hernia repair and appendectomies. Laparoscopic surgeries also tend to be quicker, less invasive and leave smaller scars.
7. HPV vaccine
The first Human Papillomavirus vaccine was approved by the FDA in 2006 and protects against the strains of HPV that can cause cervical cancer and genital warts. Three injections are issued over a six-month period giving females more control over their gynaecological health.
Medicine has come on leaps and bounds over the years and it’s sure to keep improving, leading to some exciting and life-saving changes.