Tag Archives: medical technology

Medical Technology Allows Med Students to Perform Virtual Surgery

Medical cadavers are a freaky thought for many, but for decades, they were the only available method of surgery practice for med students. However, rapidly advancing medical technology has come up with an alternative: virtual surgery on a 3D digital model of the human body. Cool! It is a hotly debated subject in the medical community, as virtual surgery has clear drawbacks, but it presents itself as a viable complementary alternative for med students. Let’s take a closer look:

How Does Virtual Surgery Work?

To view a VR hologram of a cadaver, the medical student wears 3D active shutter glasses that utilize liquid crystal technology that is synchronized with the image projector. The amazing anatomically accurate 3D models were developed for the Visible Human Project, whereby participating scientists and technological developers created over 5000 TIFF images taken of a person’s cadaver (externally and internally). They used one male cadaver and one female that were preserved for medical science purposes since the 1990s. Students can hone in on any one the digital cadaver’s organs and use surgical tools to simulate cutting into it. Some VR surgery rooms have multiple motion sensor cameras that tap into the 3D glasses that allow the student to walk around the body, viewing it from different angles in the round. This makes the experience even more like reality.

Some of The Pros Of Digital Surgery For Medical Students

VR can provide med students amazing tools that were never before available to help train them for surgery. Some of the many pros of digital surgery include:

  • Students can access a cadaver at any time to practice surgery techniques or interactively learn about anatomy.
  • Virtual surgery can build the students’ confidence by giving them a platform on which to continuously learn and perfect their knowledge of the human body.
  • It can help the student develop and hone psychomotor skills.
  • It can help build teamwork skills as several students can view and “work on” the digital cadaver at once.
  • It can reduce the number of cadavers that must be obtained and kept on hand for medical training.

Will Technology Make Medical Cadavers a Thing of the Past?

Some medical professionals and professors believe virtual surgery has too many limitations and doesn’t provide the hands-on nitty-gritty experience needed to educate them on real-life surgery. However, many disagree with this viewpoint, believing technology is the future for medical science and training. In an interview about this subject in Forbes magazine, New York’s Dr. Robert Glatter wrote, “VR can open up an entirely new world of possibilities to experience the tense, real-world clinical situations which require rapid thinking and quick analysis for management of critically ill patients”.

Digital Surgery Can Help Supplement Traditional Training

We examined some of the pros of digital surgery for medical students, however it does have drawbacks. Clearly it cannot completely provide the hands-on training that performing surgery on an actual medical cadaver would. It is important students still have access to cadavers for some parts of their education, but digital surgery can provide top-tier supplemental practice and training for them as well. The benefits that digital surgery can provide for students cannot be refuted, however, a mix of both would likely provide the best overall training experience.

Boy, isn’t medical technology astounding? Thanks for visiting DocChat!

5 Amazing Medical Technology Advancements


Our country’s once skeptical and shaky faith in technologically-based medicine should only be strengthening as brilliant minds constantly collaborate on mystifying new medical technologies that will save more lives, cut down on human error and save time, money and other resources. Some of the latest advancements include:

  1. Patient-Lifting Robots

    Lifting patients is the single largest injury risk factor for nurses and ambulance drivers, seriously injuring thousands of healthcare workers annually. How to remedy these troublesome injuries, lost wages, lawsuits or subsequent patient injuries? Enter, Robot for Interactive Body Assistance (RIBA) which was developed by RIKEN to do exactly this dangerous human task of moving, shifting and lifting heavy patients. RIBA and similar robots greatly increase productivity of workers, freeing them to work on other things, keep patients safe from human error such as accidental dropping, as well as prevent healthcare workers’ terrible back and limb injuries – everybody wins!

  2. Antibacterial Lighting

    Yes, you heard us correctly, antiseptic lights that can actually kill bacteria in a room. Specially developed blue-violet LED lights have the potential to kill dangerous bacteria in hospitals to help decrease the high instance of life-threatening hospital-related patient infections.

  3. Telestroke 

    Mobile stroke units are in place to help provide continuing aftercare to remote stroke victims who can’t continually come in for check ups. Telestroke is an offshoot of telemedicine that allows the patient’s condition to be monitored even when they are not at the hospital or are on the way to the hospital (many ambulances are set up with mobile stroke units). Modern telemedicine has enabled many other types of remote patient monitoring as well.

  4. Bedsore Prevention Clothing

    According to a troubling recent study, over 75 hospital or nursing home patients die daily from bedsore complications. What a tragically simple and preventable way to die as these people are being treated for other conditions. Luckily, medical advancements are witnessing inventions like Project SMART, pants that send short, mild electrical currents to the patient’s underside every ten minutes to increase circulation to the area and give the muscles necessary intermittent movement that can prevent the formation of bedsores. Amazing!

  5. Food Scanning 

    Companies like Tellspec and Scio have developed (or improved upon) personal food scanning technology that can let the person know the true ingredients of a food item so they know what they are putting into their bodies. This will be a must-have for those with allergies or anyone who is health-conscious about specific ingredients.

So there you have it, some of the many wonderful technological advancements in the field of medicine. With all these amazingly helpful gadgets that aid healthcare staff and even save lives, we should all be avid cheerleaders for telemedicine and other modern medical technologies! Thanks for visiting DocChat, keep an eye out for more information about new medical technologies in the future.

Tele-ICU – Revolutionizing Critical Care for Remote Patients

Tele-ICU has existed for decades, but is only getting the recognition it deserves recently. It allows under-resourced rural hospitals without the appropriate specialists to handle critical care patients by teleconferencing with specialists thousands of miles away each step of the way, and also allows other hospitals to monitor remote ICU patients using audio visual technology.

Nurses Sing Tele-ICU Praises

In a survey that questioned 1200 American ICU nurses on the effectiveness on tele-ICU technology, 79% reported that tele-ICU helped improve patient care. Moreover, 63% said it enables quicker work performance and 75% said it allowed them to do their jobs more effectively.

Tele-ICU Monitored Closely From A Distance

With approximately 200 participating hospitals in the US, and thousands of nurses working to help facilitate it, medical technology is enabling the critical care of over 6000 remote patients. Tele-ICU allows health providers to electronically review vital signs, test results and oversee medication administration of remote patients, allowing them to also communicate medication changes or care changes to the on-site caretakers technologically. This system may be even more secure in some ways than traditional ICU units, as distant doctors can closely monitor patient safety round-the-clock and quickly detect any abnormalities or instabilities in the vitals.

Room For Growth

Tele-ICU is a field that is still progressing however, and depends on the understanding and willingness of attending nurses and doctors to participate in order to work properly, though it is clear that without this technology, thousands of patients would be suffering or worse.

The Bottom Line

Telemedicine continues to facilitate more revolutionary and progressive healthcare options as time goes on, improving upon current methods and allowing care to the previously out-of-reach. Tele-ICU will continue to grow and advance, saving lives and helping doctors and nurses reach the next level of care.

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