Medical Technology

Medical technology is the application of science and technology to help improve the management of health conditions.  Two such medical technology inventions that helped healthcare greatly were the gamma knife and x-rays.

The gamma knife is a good example of medical technology.  It was invented by Swedish neurosurgeon Lars Leksell in 1976.  It can be used to treat brain tumors with radiation therapy.  Patients that need this radiation therapy wear a specialized helmet fixed to their skull so the gamma knife rays can send the radiation to the brain tumor.  It has helped thousands of patients with both benign and malignant brain tumors.  It was helpful to the medical field because this type of medical technology is less invasive than other types of surgeries performed on brain tumors.

Another type of technology you are probably more familiar with is x-rays.  X-rays are a type of electromagnetic radiation.  Its wavelengths are in the range of 10 to 0.01 nanometers and it corresponds to frequencies in the range of 30 to 30,000 PHz.  X-rays can be used to see the skeletal system, but it can also be used to detect some diseases in soft tissue.  For example, a chest x-ray can show diseases of the lung such as pneumonia, lung cancer, and pulmonary edema.  Stomach x-rays can be used to see a blockage of the intestine, but it is debatable as to whether x-ray medical technology can actually be used to see things such as gallstones and kidney stones.

Medical technologists use medical technology to analyze body fluids such as blood, urine, sputum, stool, cerebrospinal fluid, peritoneal fluid, and synvial fluid.  They often work in clinics, laboratories, and reference labs.  If the medical technology field seems like something you would like to pursue, you will need to complete a four-year degree program, including a clinical rotation.

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