(Click the image above for a larger version)
Hospitals in the developed world rely on increasingly advanced technology, which is helping practitioners to treat a wide range of maladies and extend our lives. Of course, technology is often a double-bladed sword.
New genetics tests can help screen for metabolic disorders that can be treated with diet, but they can also find risk factors for serious diseases that currently have no cures. Would you want to know if you have a high chance of getting early onset Alzheimer’s, but there’s nothing you can do about it?
Technology can make medicine more expensive, putting a serious strain on employers to make insurance payments, or forcing the growing ranks of the uninsured to make some terrible choices. Medical technology can also result in toxic waste and pollution, including potentially dangerous nuclear materials.
The above infographic, created for Top Masters in Healthcare by a design firm, gives a hint at some of the future medical technology we might encounter. Hopefully, on balance more lives will be saved than harmed.
Brian Clark Howard is a writer and editor with NationalGeographic.com. He was formerly an editor at The Daily Green and E/The Environmental Magazine and has contributed to many publications, including TheAtlantic.com, FastCompany.com, MailOnline.com, PopularMechanics.com, Yahoo!, MSN and elsewhere. His latest book, with Kevin Shea, is Build Your Own Small Wind Power System.