Technology has greatly impacted the lives of modern humans. These days, there seems to be no action that we can do without needing the aid of some machine or other. The advancements in technology have immensely benefited the entire human race by improving the quality of our lives in almost every area of existence. But perhaps the greatest gifts technology has given us is in the field of medicine.
There now exist machines which can detect illnesses in their very early stages so that the treatment processes can be initiated right away. There are machines that monitor every single aspect of a patient’s condition so that doctors can respond to any emergency in the same instant it occurs. Thanks to technology, humans can now live healthier, longer lives.
Blood Pressure Monitors
A blood pressure monitor, also known as a sphygmomanometer, is a device utilized to measure blood pressure. It usually consists of an inflatable cuff, a measuring unit, and an inflation bulb and valve in the case of manual instruments. Three types of monitors exist. Digital monitors have manual or automatic inflation. They are electronic and easy to use. Digital portable finger blood pressure monitors are the smallest ones in use.
They are extremely portable and also easy to operate. Manual blood pressure monitors can only be operated by a trained person. Mercury manometers are considered to be the best ones since their measurement is absolute and does not need a re-calibration.
A hearing aid is a device which can fit in or behind the wearer’s ear and is designed to amplify and modulate sounds for hearing-impaired people. A cochlear implant is a similar device but, instead of amplifying sound, it directly stimulates any functioning auditory nerves inside a person’s cochlea with an electric field. Hearing aids are relatively simple devices composed of four basic parts.
It has a microphone which picks up sound and converts it into an electrical signal which it then sends to the amplifier. The amplifier increases the volume of the sound then transmits it to the receiver. The receiver or speaker converts the electrical signal back into sound and sends it to the ear. A hearing aid also has a battery which makes it work.
Ultrasound imaging is a well known imaging technique commonly employed in medicine. It uses high frequency sound waves and their echoes to visualize subcutaneous body structures. When an ultrasound machine is used, it transmits high-frequency sound pulses into a person’s body through a probe. The sound waves then travel into the body and hit the boundaries between different tissues. Some of these sound waves are reflected back to the probe while others continue to travel until they reach another boundary and get reflected back.
All these reflected waves are picked up by the probe and transmitted to the machine which then calculates the distance from the probe to the tissue boundaries and the time of each echo’s return. The machine displays the distances and the intensities of the echoes to form a two-dimensional image.
Vital Signs Monitoring Units
A vital signs monitor or a medical monitor is an automated electronic device used in medicine to measure and display a patient’s vital signs. These monitors can be classified as hand-held, portable, tabletop, networkable or non-networkable, mains powered or mains and battery powered. In the intensive care units of hospitals, these monitoring units are used to allow the constant monitoring of patients so that the medical staff can be kept informed in case there are any changes in the general condition of the patients under their care.
Medical monitors used to be extremely specialized, with different units keeping track of different vital signs. However, modern medical monitors can now monitor several vital signs all at the same time.