Medicine and Technology

How will the intersection of technology industry & medicine help or hurt us?

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Importance of Technology in Medicine

Why should people be concerned about the influence of technology in the medical field? It's not a question that takes a lot of convincing. The importance of medicine in our society is crucial to everyone and the increased potential for care should be prioritized by everyone. At one point or another, we are all going to need medical care and make decisions about our care which is why it is important to understand the influence that technology can have in medicine.

Medicine as a Creative Industry

Medicine is usually thought of as a hard science with data and evidence to drive breakthroughs and treatments. The clash and intersection with technology will soon allow for more creative minds to impact medicine in a positive way. Technological tools are paving the way for medical professionals to perform their jobs more efficiently and effectively than before as well as providing them with capabilities that they would not normally have without the assistance of technology. With the adoption of more and more technology into the medical field, we will see more innovation to assist professionals. [1] creative technology

This doesn't come without its risks. We see that in many cases that technology is involved, there are bugs and issues associated with it. The last place we need to call tech support is on the operating table or on a ventilator. It is important to create rigorous regulations for medical technology to pass in order to ensure the safety and confidentiality of patients. Clear development procedures should be in place to weed out issues in software that could be life threatening. Along with all of this we will still have to train doctors to perform their duties without the use of technology for those unwilling to be treated in that way.

Machine Learning and Medicine

Often times doctors run into difficult situations during the diagnosis of illnesses in patients. With the future development of machine learning, they are likely to have assistance when making a diagnosis. machineLearning

Machine learning involves taking data from thousands or hundreds of thousands of records to predict outcomes based on certain indicators in the data. In the future, having machines predict a diagnosis based on a patient's current data pitted against what it knows already could prove to be more accurate than a doctor's diagnosis.

This may sound like a fantastic innovation until we look deeper into the ethical implications imposed on medical professionals and what they are supposed to do with this information. What if the machine comes to a different conclusion than the doctor? Are they going to throw out all of their years of experience because a program said otherwise? What if they are wrong? What if the machine is wrong? Who is at fault for a misdiagnosis? The prominence that machine learning will have introduces new ethical dilemmas into this field that should have appropriate rules and regulations that people can follow.

Medicine and Privacy

On May 27th, 2017, the WanaCry virus began to spread and infect over 300,000 devices in a matter of days. The ransomware utilized the EternalBlue exploit to hold digital data for ransom costing an estimated $8 Billion globally. [2]

2 years later, almost 40% of healthcare organizations were still dealing with the intrusion of the virus. One of the most legally protected forms of data in the United States is medical data. With the introduction of the cloud and alternative forms of storage for healthcare organizations, the risk of security breaches has increased exponentially. privacy

The field of cyber security is an ongoing battle between those seeking to find information they don't have access to and those seeking to protect it. As we introduce medical data to the internet through innovative technology like the cloud and IoT, we run the risk of compromising people's medical records.

The most important step to mitigating these security risks is involve the education of those involved in the implementation of technology in healthcare organizations about the risks associated with said technology. Combining their tacit knowledge with knowledge of vulnerabilities in software will allow them to perform appropriate risk analysis on the situation to protect our information.


  • As exciting and innovative as it sounds to introduce the medical field to the bleeding edge of technological advancement, it is important to weigh the risks associated with it.
  • Right now we need to forecast the impacts that technology could have on this field and begin to have conversations about the costs and benefits of implementation.
  • Technology advances exponentially and it is best to stay ahead of the curve in order to avoid any missed risks falling through the cracks and causing the loss of life or privacy.

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