In medicine, it is crucial that doctors know exactly what they are dealing with in terms of illness or injury before proceeding to treat the patient. Most failed treatments actually stem from not knowing what really was wrong with the patient (misdiagnosis). So that would explain why most advances in medical technology are devoted to devices and methods of determining illnesses and conditions. The better and more accurate the diagnosis, the better chance the patient has.
When you walk into your doctor’s office, most of the things that you see around are used to diagnose. The stethoscope allows the doctor to hear your heart, the sphygmomanometer for checking blood pressure, the otoscope for looking into your ear, the opthalmoscope for checking your eyes, etc. All of that medical tech just devoted to diagnosis. This is to say nothing of the tech designed for treatment.
So how much tech is reserved for diagnosis? Well, aside from the above, there are a lot more devices:
- X-rays for seeing bone structures
- Cat scans for looking into the tissue of the brain and bones
- Blood tests for determining a wide array of potential problems
- Biopsy test for again checking into organic matters
- Bodily fluid test (urine, saliva, etc) for checking into a plethora of areas
- Eye exams for checking vision
- Hearing tests for checking on the state of hearing
And there are many more.
So as you can see, one of the most important parts of the modern medical process is to correctly diagnose the patient. And a whole lot of technology has been created for doing just that. As time goes on, one can expect to see even more developments in this field, until we have something akin to the Star Trek doctor’s device which can perform a rapid diagnosis or virtually anything on the spot.