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3 Advances in Healthcare That Improve Patient Outcomes


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The healthcare sector is in a constant state of change and development. It is heavily reliant on the latest advances in both knowledge and new technologies, as these can drive improved patient outcomes. Today, many serious and life-threatening conditions can be effectively treated thanks to modern medicine and the latest research knowledge. For instance, some forms of cancer (such as skin and prostate cancer) used to have an extremely poor prognosis for the patient, often leading to eventual death.

Today, all forms of cancer are still extremely serious, but many patients can make a full recovery if the cancer is identified early, and the latest treatments are applied. In this article, three key advances in healthcare that have improved patient outcomes in a variety of circumstances will be explored. Some advances have been present in healthcare for several decades, but are still the main form of effective treatment, and other advances are still in their infancy.

Laser Eye Surgery

Modern laser eye surgery has been available for patients with sight problems since 1998 when laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) was approved by the FDA. This modern form of corrective eye surgery involves reshaping the cornea using an extremely precise laser. The accuracy of the procedure is such that it has an extremely high success rate, with 96% of patients reporting that they are satisfied with the procedure and that their vision has improved.

Today, this procedure is considered to be routine surgery and millions of patients have benefitted from it, no longer needing to wear glasses or contact lenses. Whilst it is a common medical practice, the technology and methodology are still being researched and improved upon to further enhance the accuracy and reliability of the procedure.

Cancer Research

As previously mentioned, many forms of cancer historically had extremely poor survival rates. Today, more invasive forms of cancer (such as pancreatic and lung cancers) still have high mortality rates. For example, pancreatic cancer only has a 7.9% survival rate after five years of the initial diagnosis.

However, medical research in this field is ongoing and it is expected that mortality rates will reduce as knowledge and treatments advance. Specific cancers, such as breast cancer in women, now have dramatically improved survival rates, thanks to medical research. By using the HCC1954 Breast Tumor Model in research, a greater understanding of this type of cancer and its development has been realized. Today, the one-year survival index for breast cancer is 97%, which is far higher than that of only a few decades ago.

Drones in Emergency Care

Emergency medical drones represent one of the latest breakthroughs in medical technology. They are now used in remote or extremely rural areas when a patient needs life-saving emergency equipment (such as a defibrillator in the event of a cardiac arrest). The drone’s medical payload is transported rapidly to the scene of the incident by staff working in an emergency control center.

It is operated remotely and can use grid reference coordinates combined with satellite navigation technology to ensure that it arrives at the exact location of the medical emergency in the shortest possible time. Whilst this technology is still being developed and improved, it represents an exciting development in emergency care and has the potential to improve survival outcomes for patients in remote areas.

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