Monday, September 6, 2010

Medical Technology Advances

When I think about my hopes for the future of science the biggest thing that stands out to me is the hope that medical technology continues to become more advance. In high school I was in a group called Medical Explorers. We explored different careers in medicine, but we also got the chance to spend a hands on day at the hospital (Maine Medical Center), and they would show us certain medical equipment and teach us how to do stitches and stuff. One of the most interesting and amazing things we got to try out was the Da Vinci Surgical System. This is an amazing machine which allows minimally invasive surgery. With this system the surgeon doesn't even need to touch the patient. He or she sits at a machine a couple of feet away and controls the surgery in a way that reminds me of playing a video game. There are four arms, three for tools and one for a camera. The arms of the machine are stuck in ports in the place where the surgery is being preformed. This means that there are no large incisions in the person, and often times there is less pain after the surgery. As of right now, the machine is used for mostly heart, urology and OB/GYN surgeries. These machines cost upwards of a million and a half dollars due to the technology being used. I feel very privileged to not only have seen the machine in person, but also to have received the chance to test it out, something that not even very many doctors at the hospital had done.

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