Schools Training

Technology in Medicine

24 JAN 2013
Career Path : Healthcare

Modern medicine means high tech. From Computer Topography (CT) scan machines to digitized medical records, the march of scientific progress brings constant innovation to the field. Perhaps if you’ve considered a career in medicine, you thought about a medical degree or going to nursing school, but did you consider IT school?


Even a medical office assistant, the cheerful and sensitive person at the desk who takes appointments, needs to have general computer competency. They will be using word processing software to do medical transcription, and integrating services like email into appointment reminders. The doctor or dentist they work for, meanwhile, needs to keep up with changes in treatments, from surgery robots to increasingly more sophisticated medical imaging systems. They may even do all this with an online subscription to a medical journal. Meanwhile hospitals and clinics communicate urgent information over fibre optic and satellite networks, linking between next door offices and institutions that may be continents apart.


Medical insurance companies keep vast databases, of clients, medical costs, the odds of particular demographics coming down with a particular disorder, and even the effectiveness of treatment rates. They can plug this immense volume of data into statistical prediction software and get ever increasingly accurate insurance quotes customized to every client. The dentist can not only get a full rotational x-ray of your head, but may even have painless laser drills to gently excise cavities to the considerable relief and comfort of patients.


Not only do healthcare courses have to cover more technology, but the means of delivery may be highly technologically dependent as well. Doctors, nurses and midwives learn to deliver babies with robot birthing simulators, while dentists in training can take advantage of touch response sensitivity trainers that let them learn not to cause pain long before they ever touch a real mouth. Lectures are live streamed to students doing distance education, who can turn around and complete course material in their web browsers.


Keeping up with this also means employing a legion of computer scientists, engineers and programmers. An IT school will prepare graduates to design, program and calibrate medical machinery, administrate hospital networks and move, maintain and install the many computers and displays. Many of the modern medical innovations come from dual trained individuals or teams of people from healthcare and tech backgrounds. For example materials engineers with health science backgrounds are building artificial bone that integrates with the real thing, while the seemingly science fiction future of cyborg limbs and replacement parts are the joint project of neurobiologists, computer scientists, mechanical and electrical engineers.


Wherever the future of medicine will go next, it’s clear that from medical office assistant to master surgeon, the next decades will continue to integrate high tech to a deeper and deeper degree.



Visit the Academy of Learning College for more information on healthcare courses.