Should we be wary of new health-related technologies?


Nowadays, the traditional modes related to health are highly disturbed by the rapid progress of new technologies in this sector. Health making set of daily life and new technologies aimed at gradually introducing it, it is natural that these two areas meet. Indeed, being more and more connected with each other, gives the possibility to engineers, researchers and scientists to find faster solutions for the good of our health. Solutions on the speed of data or communications, but also solutions on the distance between the persons concerned or directly on the problems emerge.


One of the solutions having a rapid advance in recent years is the 3D printer for health. This is why its main field of application today is surgery. Before that, it was necessary to make by hand tailor-made to be able to create prostheses. But thanks to the 3D medical imaging associated with a 3D printer, it is now possible to create an exact replica of the bone to be replaced. Indeed this solution allows manufacturing, in biocompatible but durable materials, customized prostheses perfectly adapted to each patient.

The transformation of health systems through the practice of telemedicine is a reality and an inevitable trend of improving health services. Telemedicine is a form of remote medical practice in development. The information and communications technology are the two areas on which it rests. In other words, these are the instruments that rely on information and communications technology to facilitate and improve the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and medical monitoring, and management of health and lifestyle. This includes communication between patients or health professionals, the interaction between patients and health care providers or the transmission of data between institutions.

The electronic health record is also a new solution that is progressing day by day. It is a veritable health book that is always accessible and secure. To be more practical, it is computerized and only the patient can control the access. Besides him, only authorized healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses or pharmacists can consult it. In other words, it is a computerized medical file containing all the past of the patient and medical news. It allows authorized healthcare professionals to access information relevant to patient care and to share with other healthcare professionals’ medical information about them such as history, possible allergies, medications they took, hospitalization and consultation reports, exam results such as radios, biological analyses, etc.

Apart from these major innovations, they are full of other small that emerge through new technologies. Indeed it is now possible for patients to be helped to stop smoking, to monitor their sleep or to take their medicines at the right time through certain applications on their telephone or to measure alone their blood pressure or their heart rate.


Unfortunately, for the moment, all these changes take time. Although they arrive in the daily lives of people, these technologies are gradually being adopted slowly. Adapting to these new practices will take some time: some people find it difficult to adapt to these new modes of care or to be confident about these new technologies. It is still a small number of people who agree to use the new solutions.

Moreover, although the medicine evolves, telemedicine encounters limits. Virtual care will never replace contact with the doctor. Indeed, the reason is simple; the medicine is based on four main principles: questioning, observation, palpation and auscultation. If the interrogation can be done remotely using the telephone, and observation (at the limit by means of videoconferencing), palpation and auscultation cannot unfortunately be carried out remotely. To be effective, telemedicine must remain complementary to a real medical monitoring.

For now, the electronic medical record can cause great insecurity among patients, because personal data is stolen (infringes the confidentiality of data) or a fear of computer theft or password.


To sum up, we should not be wary of new technological solutions in the field of health. Indeed, we would have to accept them gradually, given the marked improvement in the management, monitoring and health status of patients. On condition, not abuse it and to adapt gradually to measure the awareness of their utilities. 3D printing in the health sector is probably one of the fastest technologies at adaptation and one that meets the least limit.





Medical Technology


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Myriam Kijowski-Tran

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