For centuries, healthcare has been riddled with evasive and dangerous procedures but as technology has improved, so has the quality of care found within medical facilities. This is due largely in part to the introduction of embedded systems into the medical industry (similar to the embedded systems found in the automotive industry.) Everywhere we look in the medical industry we can actively see embedded systems improving the quality of life and medical care through diagnosis, treatment and home healthcare.
Embedded Systems for Diagnosis of Illness
Embedded systems are computers with detailed and specialized functions that assist where they are needed. In the case of embedded systems for the healthcare industry, these specialized functions can consist of helping doctors and surgeons diagnose health problems, such as life altering or even threatening diseases in a much quicker and accurate manner. Embedded computers can be found in most portable diagnostic technologies including EKG, ultrasound and even positron emission tomography scanners as well as in imaging systems used to diagnose patients such as MRI machines, CT scanners and many more.
In the case of imaging embedded systems, they are more actuate that traditional X-rays by providing deeper images that in some cases can even give doctors a three hundred and sixty degree view with three dimensional imaging. This technology can be developed to test for cancers and prevent evasive and risky diagnosing procedures while giving patients speedy access to treatment and medications earlier than would have been possible before.
Treating Patients with Embedded Systems
Embedded computers are required to know and provide more and more information in the medical field and this includes having and gathering current information from scientific articles and publications, medical databases (including image, pathology and proteomic databases,) the results from clinical trials as well as healthcare guidelines. This means that doctors are provided with the best information possible and on a consistent basis. This also helps treat patients because embedded systems can also review and summarize a patient’s full medical history (providing electronic medical records,) which allows for quicker diagnoses and treatment. Embedded systems can be used to treat patients from afar with remote surgery technologies and robotic arms as well.
Embedded PCs for At Home Healthcare
Home health care refers to physical fitness as well as health monitoring and it is no surprise that embedded systems can be found in personal fitness equipment, such as treadmills as well is in in-home and sometimes bedside, monitoring terminals. Embedded PCs are found in monitoring systems such as hand held devices that monitor the sugar levels in a diabetic patients and this is done with the embedded system’s function being to quickly analyze and report on the blood sugar of the sample taken. It happens quickly and easily and patients are unlikely aware that they are using an embedded system while monitoring their blood sugar.
Other embedded systems and server appliances can be found throughout home healthcare for those with heart conditions and in need of a monitor as well as for those suffered from long term illnesses. In every case, embedded PCs analyze and report progress or digression in a patient back to a care physician and the next steps can be taken in treatment.
Changing Healthcare for the Better
Through embedded technologies, the worn out and painful procedures of the past have been adjusted to be more comfortable for patients as well as more informative for doctors. These systems have improved the quality of life for those in need of at home healthcare, those seeking diagnosis and those needing treatment. With time, we will see further implementation of embedded systems in the healthcare industry and see how it continues to benefit the medical industry.
Brian Jensen works for Dell and has a passion for learning and writing about all things technology. In his spare time he enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with his family.