Technology is a means, not an end

technology

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Ana Paula Weber and Mr. Lucas Gheller Machado, medical students in their third year of studies at Unicesumar, Brazil. They are affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Over time, humanity has gone through several stages of development, so that each society has a share in the contribution for social environment’s evolution. In the 18th century, for example, the Industrial Revolution took place, a milestone in development that forever changed humanity’s way of life and consequently health conditions in general. Technology advanced more quickly than humans were able to withstand without any damage. This triggered a series of diseases that culminated in the involvement of a wide spectrum of individuals. Thus, it was observed that technology and health should not to progress isolated, but together, in order to obtain mutual benefit to society. Therefore, there is an increasing demand for the development of mobile technologies to save lives nowadays, once there is an increase in population demand and in the cost of acquisition, and in contrast a reduced amount of resources available to serve the entire world in a short time. 1,2

Even before emphasizing the importance of technology to save lives, it is necessary to reassess that there are fundamental precepts for the establishment of that in health. Edward Teller, for example, even though having  the technology to discover the hydrogen bomb, said that ‘‘today’s science is tomorrow’s technology’’, revealing the far too much importance of what preceded technology. Similarly, it is possible to infer that humanity was responsible for discovering technology and not the other way around, and therefore following Socrates deductive syllogism, has the capacity to develop simple technological measures appropriate to current and future health systems. 1,2

In addition, technological innovations in healthcare typically emerge in line with emerging demands. In this sense, examples such as artificial intelligence algorithms for image analysis and electronic medical records were crucial innovations in advancing health, and currently are simple and quick to be performed, helping immensely in health systems. 3 Furthermore there are the wearables and smart watches, devices created to monitor the health of individuals, which can detect possible adversities conditions and monitor comorbidities that offer health risks, facilitating continuous monitoring and increasing patient’s autonomy. However, nanotechnology, biotechnology, 3D printing, bioabsorbable stents, among others, are highly effective and necessary technological solutions for the improvement of the technique in health as a whole. 4 The big problem, however, is making these alternatives simple, low cost and accessible to the point of standardizing in the national territory and perhaps on a global scale.

That said, it is concluded that mobile technology is a potential ally to health systems in order to save lives. However, there is a notable problem in health systems: the difficulties in making simple what was originally simple, although shielded from bureaucracy. By eliminating the complexity of the determinants, the simplicity of technology becomes explicit. Besides that it appears that there is a lack of incentive, support and mass implementation processes, that is, the validation is simple and many times, it has already been done, leaving to optimize the execution and reach to the healthcare systems. 5

References

  1. Steinhubl SR, Muse ED, Topol EJ. The emerging field of mobile health. Sci Transl Med. 2015;7(283):283rv3. doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.aaa3487.
  2. Bhavnani SP, Narula J, Sengupta PP. Mobile technology and the digitization of healthcare. Eur Heart J. 2016;37(18):1428-1438. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehv770.
  3. Zhu W, Shen Y, Zhen H, Yang X, Hu K. Study of the Application of Mobile Medical Technology in Construction of Grading Diagnosis and Treatment System. Zhongguo Yi Liao Qi Xie Za Zhi. 2018;42(2):95-98. doi:10.3969/j.issn.1671-7104.2018.02.005.
  4. Cox SM, Lane A, Volchenboum SL. Use of Wearable, Mobile, and Sensor Technology in Cancer Clinical Trials. JCO Clin Cancer Inform. 2018;2:1-11. doi:10.1200/CCI.17.00147.
  5. Mather C, Jensen S, Cummings E. Clinical Simulation: A Protocol for Evaluation of Mobile Technology. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2017;241:179-184.

About the authors

Ana Paula Weber is 20 years old and is studying the 3rd year of Medicine in Brazil, at Unicesumar (Maringá-PR). She is currently vice president of the Academic League of Intensive Care Medicine of Maringá (LAMIM), treasurer of the Miguel Nicolelis Academic Center (CAMN), member of the Academic League of Clinical Medicine of Maringá (LACMMA) and member of the Academic League of Plastic Surgery of Unicesumar (LACPU). In addition, she has part of Humanizart, a project of clowns aimed at social actions of empathy and joy to patients. She seeks to build her trajectory with academic activities and extracurricular activities.

Lucas Gheller Machado is 19 years old and he courses the third year of medicine. Currently, he is local coordinator of IFMSA Brasil UniCesumar, president of the Miguel Nicolelis Academic Center (CAMN), president of the Academic League of Intensive Medicine in Maringá (LAMIM) and member of the Academic League of Medical Genetics (LAGeM). In addition, he constantly participates in Humanizart social actions, aimed at serving vulnerable populations and collaborating with humanization in the streets and hospitals. His objective is to combine graduation with scientific and artistic development, constituting a formation of solid and essential pillars.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Qualcomm to be the next target of EU antitrust regulators? China might be the answer

France breaks budget promises once again and the EU’s finance offices are shaking

COVID-19 shows why we must build trust in digital financial services

Amazon: our green is turning to ashes

EP President praises Nobel Peace Prize award to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad

Suriname’s climate promise, for a sustainable future

Medical students: catalysts to close the gender gap

As people return to work, here’s how we can make commuting more inclusive and sustainable

Safety fits into our palms: The role of mobile technology in healthcare systems and life saving

Keep Africa’s guns ‘from firing in the first place’, UN political chief urges

Algorithmic warfare is coming. Humans must retain control

Paris, Rome, Brussels and Frankfurt to confront Berlin over growth and the Athens enigma

How the institutional response to COVID-19 can prepare us for climate change

Germany is turning its old mines into tourist hotspots

Turkey’s Erdogan provokes the US and the EU by serving jihadists and trading on refugees

Yemen bus attack just the latest outrage against civilians: UN agencies

We need to protect 30% of the planet by 2030. This is how we can do it

Friday’s Daily Brief: UN chief in China, counter-terrorism, updates from Bangladesh, Mali and Mozambique

7 steps to becoming a ‘CEO Academy’

Merkel refuses to consider the North-South schism of Eurozone

Coronavirus: Commission adopts new exceptional support measures for the wine sector

MEPs vote for upgrade to rail passenger rights

Juncker and Tusk killed Greece on 07 July 2015 to meet the Commission’s summer vacation plan? #Grexit #Greferendum #Graccident

‘Protracted crisis’ in Venezuela leads to ‘alarming escalation of tensions’: UN political chief

Afghanistan: Civilian casualties exceed 10,000 for sixth straight year

A letter from Italy: Our insecurity in COVID-19 times

These coastal countries are sinking the fastest

Women still struggle to find a job, let alone reach the top: new UN report calls for ‘quantum leap’

‘Act now with ambition and urgency’ to tackle the world’s ‘grave climate emergency’, UN chief urges UAE meeting

European Commission statement on the adoption of the new energy lending policy of the European Investment Bank Group

A challenge for inclusion in the Dominican Republic’s health care services

There is no recipe for a healthy mental state

Outbreaks and pandemics periods can be stressful, but how can we turn it to a positive life-changing experience?

International World Summit Award calls for outstanding digital applications with impact on society from 178 UN member states

China greenlights first underwater high-speed railway

Three out of the past five Julys were the hottest on record

COP21 Breaking News_04 December: Commitments Made to Reduce Black Carbon, Methane and HFCs

Medical workforce migration in Europe – Is it really a problem?

Investing in rural women and girls, ‘essential’ for everyone’s future: UN chief

European Parliament speaks out against “killer robots”

10 million Yemenis ‘one step away from famine’, UN food relief agency calls for ‘unhindered access’ to frontline regions

These are India’s cleanest cities

EU Border and Coast Guard: new corps of 10 000 border and coast guards by 2027

7 lessons leaders should take from the COVID-19 crisis

We won’t win the online security war without people power

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page

Q&A on extraordinary remote participation procedure

EU Elections: new rules to prevent breaches of data used to influence elections

Mining the deep seabed will harm biodiversity. We need to talk about it

Congolese expelled from Angola returning to ‘desperate situation’: UN refugee agency

In West Africa, UN Security Council visits Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea-Bissau

JADE President opens JADE Spring Meeting 2014

Commission welcomes the political agreement on the transitional rules for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

Cameroon: Clear ‘window of opportunity’ to solve crises rooted in violence – Bachelet

The EU Commission fails to draw the right conclusions about corruption

How youth and technology can drive Africa’s COVID-19 response

We are ‘burning up our future’, UN’s Bachelet tells Human Rights Council

How to change the world at Davos

5 ways to get your business ready for AI in 2020

UN, global health agencies sound alarm on drug-resistant infections; new recommendations to reduce ‘staggering number’ of future deaths

More Stings?

Advertising

Trackbacks

  1. […] READ MORE FROM SOURCE ARTICLE […]

  2. […] Read More: Technology is a means, not an end […]

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s