BY VAL SCHOGER
Technology has found its way into all aspects of our lives. Smartphones and Fitbits are omnipresent. Can you imagine going back to the old-fashioned landline phones? What about finding your way around in a new city without a navigation system, wielding a large paper map instead? Or life without a car… it would probably lead to more exercise and a healthier lifestyle but for convenience’s sake let’s not go there. How about having to make a trip to the library for every bit of information that exceeds an encyclopedia’s content? And have you ever tried to type a letter with a typewriter?
In its best applications, technology saves time, space and, for most of the people who have good health care, it can save lives.
Are there any medical procedures in our society that do not involve some degree of technology? Given the fact that all of our healthcare starts with patient information that needs to be transferred into a database, I would answer this question with “No.”
What would we have to endure without technological advancements? How many of us depend on dialysis, pacemakers, insulin pumps, and/or scrupulous monitoring of health conditions?
Our lives are faster and more competitive than ever. I can’t help but think that there is at least one positive aspect to the occurrence of serious health conditions: it makes many of us take a step back and reflect on and appreciate a new chance at life.
We can thank decades of scientists for their pioneering work that has lead us to today’s advanced medical care and procedures. The discoveries of microscopy, anesthesiology, and antiseptic procedures in the mid 19th century have paved the road for today’s cutting edge technology. General surgery has evolved in the last five decades to robotics and computer- aided surgery and the latest developments include breakthrough neurosurgical procedures on molecular basis. Certainly, there is plenty of controversy. Human remains, if fresh and preserved, are highly sought after commodities. A little less known are the medical resources that are used for research for the food and pharmaceutical industry.
In the next issues of Panama City Living we will dedicate a series of articles to the advancement of technology in medicine. Local personalities will share their stories and experiences. My deepest thanks go to Terri Hoehn who is sharing her story with us on the next pages.
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