Medicine and Health in a Changing World
There is a growing realization of the general public across the world today that it is not only doctors or other medical experts who possess knowledge about medicines and illness. Everyone is in a position to maintain a well-being through the understanding of our bodies like following a regular diet chart, exercise routinely and taking care of the general lifestyle. These new patterns while considering health and criticizing modern medicines are paving the way to remarkable changes in health issues and medicines. Similarly the natural factors and scale of diseases are also undergoing transformation. In earlier times, people died due to infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera, malaria and sometimes even viral fever. But in post-modern societies today these diseases have become curable and became minor causes of demise.
Advances in the Medical Treatment
Improvements in the medical treatment benefitted the lives of almost all the people in the entire world. Spectacular advances in treatment made it possible for the patients with chronic diseases like cancer to survive longer span of life than expected. Starting from basic innovations like adhesive bandages and ankle braces, to larger and more complex technologies like MRI machines, artificial organs, and robotic prosthetic limbs, technology has immensely contributed in the medical field. This has also made diagnosis more identifiable to the doctors who can advise appropriate treatment considering specific health conditions of the patients. Use of methods like minimally-invasive surgeries, better monitoring systems, and more comfortable scanning equipment allow patients to spend less time in recovering and sustain a healthy living.
Nowadays hospitals as well as patients seeking an advice can easily hold video conferences with doctors where they can interact face to face virtually and act accordingly as they doctor prescribes. The stupendous integration of medical equipment technology and telehealth systems has also created robotic surgeries, where in some cases physicians do not need to be in the operating room with a patient when the surgery is performed. Instead, surgeons can operate the patients from anywhere and patients undergo the procedure in a hospital or clinic close to their place of convenience eliminating the hassles and stress of health-related travel. The other robotic surgeries are performed with the surgeon in a room conducting the necessary procedures and operating the robotic devices. Such a technology is very convenient to the doctors and in such situations also patients take less time in recovering because highly advanced methods of treatment are involved.
Health and Society The twentieth century has witnessed a significant rise in life expectancy for the industrialized countries and a general rise in life expectancy for the world’s population to 67 years by 2007 (World Bank 2007a). But according to Anthony Giddens, a British sociologist such averages hide the major inequalities between the developed and the developing countries. The standards of health and well-being are relatively high in the industrialized countries as compared to the other parts of the world. Diseases like polio, scarlet fever, tuberculosis have become curable in the industrialized countries. Such improvements attribute to the power and use of modern medicines. But on the other hand it is found that there is increased emphasis on ‘lifestyle choices’ such as smoking, exercise and diet responsible for many chronic diseases.