The history of diagnostic testing is as fascinating as human evolution. It started when Hippocrates advocated the examination of urine to diagnose disease in 300 BC. From some doctors advocating tasting urine earlier to some of the most sophisticated diagnostic procedures now, laboratory testing sure has come a long way. In this article we will explore the advanced medical and scientific techniques applied for diagnostic testing and bring into perspective how far ahead we are from Hippocratic Medicine.
Ancient diagnostic tests were rudimentary but some of them laid the foundation of how diagnostic science has evolved through the years. For instance, tests on urine and other bodily fluids were documented well before 400 BC. Apart from tasting urine, Hippocrates listened to the lungs, observed the skin and other outward appearances. Appearance of bubbles on the surface of urine or blood and pus or urine sediments was associated with kidney diseases and chronic illnesses. Following Hippocrates, Galen evolved a diagnostic method wherein he combined the knowledge of Hippocrates with Pythagorean principles bringing up yet another law that held four elements of earth-air, water, fire and earth to closely understand the physiology of the sick person.
If we were to characterize the most recent advances in diagnostic science, then it would be in the field of genetic analysis and next generation sequencing technologies. These technologies have allowed us to descend to the molecular levels and understand the molecular mechanisms of a particular gene mutation, causing a hereditary blood related disease or anaemia. These technologies, however, are not the final solutions. It has been observed that these technologies come with their own set of limitations as the same gene mutation could be associated with different symptoms of the disease combined with varying cellular properties. Often these technologies come at a cost which cannot be afforded by the economically weaker sections of the world hence low-cost diagnostic tools are the want of the hour. Although entrepreneurs are developing financial solutions to increase the affordability of such high costs tests, the answers lie in medical science. In case you are looking to afford a diagnostic test of this kind, you may Sign-up for Multimed-USA Medical Discount Plan in Miami which offer discounted plans for major health conditions and diagnostic tests which end up saving a lot of your hard earned money for you to put to a good use.
We cannot discuss an advancement in a particular field without discussing the artificial intelligence variable. AI based on artificial neural networks will make the foundation of all diagnostic tools and devices as long as they depend on computational powers. In the above discussion where we discussed how Hippocrates observed blood has been completely reinvented with the use of artificial intelligence-rendering the cells three dimensional for a precise observation and classification of blood cells by the artificial neural network. It is still being explored if the cell shapes have any contribution in the development of certain blood disorders, but it is important to appreciate how far we have come in terms of medical diagnostics.
It is not enough to invent these special tools and not worry about how they are going to be delivered to the concerned patient. Rare diseases often present a problem of logistics, where specialised research is often present in select geographies. The current most common way is blood sample transportation. However, changes during the shipment cannot be managed in an ideal way especially when it comes to living cells. Some studies have also pointed out that the effect of transportation was even bigger than that of the disease. Therefore, options are being explored to assemble mobile specialized laboratories that can travel to the concerned person and collect specimens as required. The idea is being further solidified due to the fact that most medical devices now are being manufactured for on-the-go purposes even fairly complicated devices such as cytometers. This is still being explored because even though the chances of success are high and the risks are limited, funding of this project remains to be seen. In any case, if you are in requirement of a medical diagnostic service that is seemingly expensive, you may Sign-up for Multimed-USA Medical Discount Plan in Miami to ease the load on your pocket.