Impact of Technology in Health Sectors
A healthy life means more productivity to humankind and consequently a greater lifespan. Everyone yearn to live a healthy life; both physically mentally and psychologically. Unfortunately, there is nothing guaranteed in life except from death and taxes. There are those who strive to diet in order to lose weight, or may try to quit smoking so that one may not die of smoking related diseases. But it may be all in vain.
Good health can’t be shopped at a local retail store; there are some practices and habits that we have to adopt in order to stay healthy; such as attending a fitness center for a workout or eating organic foods. It means that we need to stick to health related habits; which can help us stay fit. Today technology has provided numerous avenues to guide us into living a healthy life.
It was back in 2001 when I lost my mother to breast cancer after a four year fight. I partly attribute her death to the lack of modern technology then; which could have helped in earlier detection of the breast abnormalities. But I also still wonder why my mum never went for routine mammogram checks even though she was a retired nurse and her elder sister had too been living with breast cancer for a while. She should have known better than be ignorant. However, I don’t want to annoy her peaceful sleep as she rests till we meet again.
Better health Tools Can help in Earlier Diagnosis of Diseases
In 1997, she started feeling some discomforts in her breast; which prompted her to seek medical attention. At the hospital she underwent a mammogram and went back home to wait for the results; which took a whooping three months to arrive. All this time, she was still suffering silently as we waited for the results. Upon arrival, they signaled the start of a battle that we finally lost.
The radiologist wanted her to undergo some more tests because the initial mammogram scan didn’t capture well the breast abnormalities. But there were some signs that she could be having breast cancer. After having a family meeting where she broke the sad news to us, we sat down and decided to go to a better health center with the initial mammogram report. We figured out that if she went to see the same radiologist in that, lousy county hospital, who had her results delayed, we would end up wasting more time and thus putting her life in danger. In essence, we also wanted to know as soon as possible what we were up to.
Together with my dad who was also ailing from prostate cancer. But was recovering well, we accompanied my mum to the city for further scan. Here we met a lovely radiologist who after checking the mammogram report and noting down other symptoms that my mum was experiencing she recommended an urgent biopsy.
This was scheduled for the next day
She underwent a Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) biopsy; which revealed the worst. According to the report that we got later that evening, there were concerns that the cancer could have spread from the breast to other part. The report was stamped urgent and my mum was required to undergo a Breast MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging); which confirmed that she had a Stage IV cancer.
The report was quiet startling and troubling to all of us and I could see the fear in my mum face when the news was broken to her. Having been a medic, she clearly knew the task at hand. I could see that she was not attentive even as the radiologist and another doctor explained to us how best we could do in such situations and as they scheduled the chemotherapy sessions.
What happened that evening
After we went back to the hotel that we had booked, we sat down together so that we could reason the way forward. We wanted to agree on several issues such as financing the therapies and medications if the insurance didn’t cover all costs as well as how we could be there for her at such times. We also tried to find out about cancer foundations where we could meet other cancer survivors to inspire her.
Mum wasn’t with us through all that. She just kept quiet and listened to us as we exchanged ideas. The time she opened her mouth to speak, she shocked us by telling us that she wasn’t ready for radiation and other medical stuff. But we needed to leave her die ‘honorably’. Hearing this, I had to restrain myself from not slapping her. Being the firstborn daughter, I knew the burden that I had to carry.
Back home, it took the intervention of the rest of the family and friends to convince her that we all wanted the best for her. And that how she accepted to undergo the therapy sessions, until her death four years liters.
3D Mammography (Tomosynthesis)
Today technology has greatly improved the health sectors by modernizing it. For those who go for routine scan, technologies; such as tomosynthesis has enabled mammography reports to be more detailed and accurate than traditionally 2d mammography scans.
The best part of this digital technology is that the results are obtained fast and cover all region of the breast. Hence earlier detection can enable one to battle with breast cancer and get completely healed in time. Moreover, there are other tools like breast cancer calculators that can help one determine and estimate the risk of having breast cancer.
It is not only in breast cancer that special tools have been programmed to help in the fight. There are other tools like BMI (Body Mass Index) calculators and other apps that can help one quit smoking or reduce alcohol. Some online apps offer questionnaires to help assess if you need to seek medical help, for example there is an OCD Obsessive Compulsive Disorder questionnaire and many others too.
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