Medical Tech – Technology as a Helpline for Saving Lives

medical tech

All over the world the doctors are given the stature next to God. Why not? After all they are the lifesavers. But ever imagined a doctor without a stethoscope, or what if the doctor cannot diagnose the disease based on its symptoms. The end! In this article, Let’s see how medical equipments like Sphygmomanometer, Electrocardiograph or ECG, X-Ray Machines, Dialysis machines and MRI (Magnetic Resonace Imaging) works. How these instruments or machines makes use of technology in medical field and the significance of Medical tech.

Firstly, life is easy if we include some life changing inventions working on different principles and for various purposes. So let’s look at some evolutionary technology based machines used for diagnosis of threatening diseases and conditions and how it has proven itself as a helping hand to the doctors and health workers.

Sphygmomanometer – Blood Pressure

We can also see these in our homes. It’s also known as blood pressure meter. It is used to measure blood pressure. There are two types of sphygmomanometer i.e. manual and digital meters.

Working of Sphygmomanometer

The device contains an inflatable cuff which helps to collapse and then release the artery allowing blood to flow vigorously. The meter measures the systolic (high) and diastolic (low) blood pressure. Meter employs the oscillometric measurements and electronic calculations. The meter uses a differential capacitance or a differential peizoresistance and also includes a microcontroller.

Digital vs Analog Sphygmomanometer

However, the digital meter measures the mean blood pressure and hence is less accurate than the manual meter.

Digital meters are easy to use and can be used at homes for measuring blood pressures. These can be used by patients having atherosclerosis, diabetes, hypotension, hypertension etc. 

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A blood Pressure Monitor or Sphygmomanometer

X-Ray Machines

Discovered by Wilhelm Roentgen in 1895. Used for a common imaging test to look into your body without any incisions. It is most useful invention in medical tech.

xray medical tech
A X-Ray Machine

Working of X-Ray Machines

X-ray machine is a vacuum-sealed glass cylinder containing a pair of electrodes. X-rays gets released at the positive electrode when electricity is sent through the tube. The machine uses X-rays which have a relatively high energy and can pass through the body. The X-ray passing through the body of the patient. These are able to be detected by the detector present on opposite side of the patient. This produces an image on photographic film. Many other types of detectors used for producing digital images. Abroption of X-Rays takes place in different amount by different tissues based on radiological density. The tissues having high radiological densities produce a greater contrast as compared to those with low density. If you have ever observed an X-ray photographic film you must have seen bones appearing with a better contrast, as compared to other tissue appearing black or dark greyish based on their radiological density.

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X-Ray Output

Uses of X-Ray

Used in diagnosis of bone fractures, certain tumors, dental problems, pneumonia, calcifications etc. But good comes with bad! In the same vein, More exposure to X-rays can even cause mutation in your DNA (Genetic Material) and hence is a reason for cancer.

Electrocardiograph or ECG

It is an instrument for evaluating the electrical events within the heart during a cardiac cycle. The instrument picks up the electric currents produced by the heart muscle due to changing electric potential caused due to relaxation and contraction of the muscle.

Electrocardiograph or ECG Machine

How ECG Machines or Electrocardigraph Works

When action potential occurs simultaneously in many individual myocardial cells, currents are conducted through the body fluids around the heart and can be detected by recording electrodes at the surface of the skin. The system comprises of four electrodes which are either placed on chest or four extremities according to the nomenclature (RA= Right arm, LA= Left arm, RL= Right leg, LL= Left leg). Variations in these set up can be done to allow more flexible and less intrusive recordings. It hence gives a graphical record presented as potential difference against time.

Uses of ECG or Electrocardiograph

ECG provides information concerning only the electrical activity of the heart. So, If something is wrong with the hearts mechanical activity and the defect does not give rise to altered electrical activity, the ECG will be of limited diagnostic value.

Dialysis Machine

Purifying the blood becomes very hard when kidneys gets damaged. A dialysis machine helps in filtering patient’s blood and hence removes excess water and waste products. It takes medical tech to the next level.

How Dialysis Machine Works

The machine consists of plastic tubing which carries the removed blood to the dialyzer, and a bundle of fibers having semi- permeable membranes allowing diffusion. Inside the dialyzer, resins are present and two semi-permeable membrane tubes, one containing the dialysate solution (a saline solution) and the other containing the impure blood flows in antiparallel direction. The impurity from the blood diffuses into this solution following the principles of simple diffusion. On the other hand, Patients receive the filtered blood.

This machine works as an artificial kidney and hence are life saving machines. It helps the patients with kidney impairment to survive when no matching kidney donor is available.

medical tech
A Dialysis Machine

Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI

It is a type of scan that uses magnetic and radio waves to produce a high definition black and white image of inside of body. Firstly, It works on the principles of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). i.e. atoms with odd number of protons and neutrons have high spin and a moving charge produces magnetic field.

mri medical tech
A person getting ready for MRI

How MRI or Medical Resonance Imaging Works

Patients lays down inside the tube of the scanner. Due to strong magnetic field of MR scanner, hydrogen nucleus in the body align. Hydrogen nuclei in the body absorbs the energy and generates the MR signal when short bursts of electromagnetic energy in the form of radio frequency pulse producing the image on screen. It takes medical tech to the next level.

Uses of MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging

MRI, commonly used for multiple medical diagnosis for example rectal, prostate cancer, anomalies in brain or spinal cords, Most importantly tumors and cysts etc.

So, now we know how technology is important in saving lives and what will be the condition of medical field without these technology. To sum up, it can be concluded that medical intrustry uses technology upto a high extent.

Related: Tech and COVID-19. What is Arogya Setu App?


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Author: Prateek

Technology Enthusiast, Computer Science Student

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