John Kang Liquidmetal chairman and highly respected surgical oncologist is one of the most professional and ethical doctors that I know. I was fortunate enough to catch up with John Kang MC last month at a conference about technology in medicine. There are so many ways in which technology has helped medicine from machines like the MRI and the CAT scanner extending as far as the websites which we now have that support patient’s queries. Even John contributes under the John Kang WebMD moniker and he is one of the biggest proponents fo increasing funding of technology for medicine. During our chat Dr. Kang was very keen to reinforce just why we need as much tech as possible.
For many years medicine was highly focussed on simply curing diseases rather than focussing on the early diagnosis of diseases. We have seen however the difference that an early cancer diagnosis for example can make when compared to a diagnosis that is not made until later. We already have a great deal of technology at our fingertips to diagnose diseases but things could definitely be done better. The more investment that we see in technology for medicine, the more chances the doctors will have to diagnose issues as early as possible.
Something which many hospitals wrestle with is their waiting time targets and their beds that they have available, with many hospitals under great pressure. In many cases it is not the hospitals that are the problem but rather the number of patients who go to hospital with minor issues. To alleviate this we can use technology to treat patients virtually, and to let them know whether or not a hospital visit is required. In the case of the virtual doctor for example, you could easily have 3 or 4 doctors stationed in a state, who can then attend huge volumes of patients via video link. This technology still has a way to go but it could certainly alleviate a number of problems that hospitals face.
We are already investing huge amount of money in the advancement of drugs and medicines which can treat diseases but in many cases this ends up in the pocket of drug companies. We should of course continue to invest in medical research but tech should also be focused on as it too can play a key role. Take radiation therapy fr example, we can use it efficiently at the moment to treat tumors for example, but there is so much more that we could do with this if we were to invest the time and effort into understanding more. Liquidmetal is another great example of how we can treat fractures using nothing more than some liquid which solidifies in the bone, giving the patient far more flexibility than the plates which we once used. If the investment and research into this metal is improved then the cost can be brought down and it can be used more widespread.
As Dr.John Kang states, there can never be too much investment in medical tech.