One factor that impacts health more than ever is technology. Technology is the crux of modern civilization but it is a two-sided sword when it comes to health. Humans have brought about marvelous technological advancements at the expense of putting our health at risk. Since the industrial revolution, people have begun to mass produce goods at factories that emit pollution into the air, water, and soil. This definitely destroys and changes the environment we live in, but essentially we are worried about this issue because our very own survival is determined by it. We breathe the air we pollute, we drink the water we contaminate, and we grow crops on the land we poison. Exposure to pollution exacerbates our physical functionality and could even lead to different disabilities and/or cancer. According to the WHO, “an estimated 4.2 million premature deaths globally are linked to ambient air pollution, mainly from heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections in children” (WHO).
On the bright side, we are also using technology to better health. Technology gave birth to medical equipment like the X-ray generator, MRI scanner, and many other inventions in surgery and therapy. To bring together technology and science & medicine, we have seen a great deal of contributions these had on health in 2020. In efforts to tackle COVID-19, many countries around the world have collectively been analyzing clinical data and producing detection kits, and not to mention developing the vaccine for the deadly virus. What became the most prominent technological contribution to health, we believe, is the use of data. With data, not only did we become more capable of holistically analyzing patients and personalizing treatments, but also predicting potential medical conditions. We have witnessed the extent to which data provides intelligent solutions to enhance health outcomes. Our service Lepius, for instance, connects physicians to search & share relevant clinical cases in the most efficient manner. Physicians could then utilize these shared digital information to augment prognosis and treatment in their daily practice. The range of benefits technology could provide for health always strikes as a huge surprise.
- “Ambient Air Pollution: Health Impacts.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 25 Sept. 2018, www.who.int/airpollution/ambient/health-impacts/en/.