Long Live Healthcare Technology

Long Live Healthcare TechnologyHealthcare technology is here to stay, and so are we thanks to it. Experts believe that innovations in medical technology are as responsible for a longer life expectancy as better nutrition and a general improvement in living standards. Studies have shown that the chances of living up to 72 years are the same people had of making it to 30 in the days of yore – back then they didn’t have to worry about trusting anyone over 30. Moreover, the global life expectancy increased 5.8 years for men and 6.6 years for women between 1990 and 2013.

Healthcare technology milestones

·         1975 – Only half of people diagnosed with cancer were expected to live five more years, as opposed to 70% nowadays.

·         1990 to 2007 – Cancer mortality rates decreased by 22% in men and 14% in women in the United States.

·         1991 to 2009 – 1.2 million lives were saved from cancer thanks in no small part to technology development.

·         2012 – The United States saw a 20% drop in death rates for cancer.

Additionally, cancer survival rates in children went up from 52% in 1975 to 80% currently.

Healthcare technology highlights


Pap test

Has led to a 70% drop in uterine and cervical cancer.

MRI scan

Though its scientific principles were known since 1946, it was only until the 1970s that the technology to use them became available.

Molecularly targeted therapy

The drug Gleevec revolutionized the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia.


What does the future hold? A new technology for detecting biomarkers has been developed at MIT. Biomarkers are specific proteins produced by cancer cells; however, finding them is difficult. The ability to detect them even in low quantities could lead to early cancer diagnosis and increase survival rates.






Stem cells

Researchers have spent decades studying stem cell biology to determine their potential – which could be limitless due to the fact that stem cells can give rise to any tissue in the body –for the treatment and prevention of:

·         Parkinson’s.

·         Type 1 diabetes.

·         Heart disease.

·         Alzheimer’s.

·         Osteoarthritis.

·         Rheumatoid arthritis.



What does the future hold? A new technology that employs a kidney transplant recipient’s own stem cells may one day reduce and even replace anti-rejection drugs. Not only are donor organs in short supply, but the lucky few that do receive a kidney have to take immunosuppressive medications with severe side effects lest their immune systems reject the new organ.

The Internet


66% of seniors polled in 2004 said that they searched healthcare information online.

Social media

Hospitals use it to reach patients, answering questions, launching public campaigns, and performing community outreach.

Patient care and worker efficiency

Healthcare staff use mobile devices to record medical histories and ensure proper treatment, improving the safety and reliability of patient care. Doctors can quickly and easily access medical textbooks and online databases with a smartphone to look up case studies and predict medical trends. At the same time, physicians are easier to reach.


Related Read:

Health information technology used by more doctors and hospitals

Infographic: How Healthcare Technology is Saving Lives