Interview

            In an attempt to learn more about technology in the medical field, I contacted somebody whose career focuses directly on the link between technology and medicine. My mother works as a laboratory technician and I asked her for the contact information for one of her coworkers, Danielle who is another lab tech. I never really looked into my mom’s job, so I asked Danielle to explain to me exactly what a lab tech does and why they are important. Basically, a lab tech is somebody who uses instruments in a lab in order to perform research or run tests. Danielle is a lab tech in a hospital in my hometown, so her responsibilities involve running tests on samples for doctors. These samples are usually bodily fluids from patients that are observed for abnormalities such as excess white blood cells in a blood sample or bacteria forming. Lab techs will use multiple types of instruments in one day depending on the different samples they run or the typeof disease they may think the patient has. In a hospital, lab techs are extremely important in allowing doctors to understand what is possibly wrong with the patients and to give them an accurate diagnosis. Their responsibilities put them hands-on with advanced technology that is important in the medical field.

            Danielle and I also talked about the importance of technology within the medical field and how she views the connection between the two. The way she described the relationship between the two made it very clear how necessary it is for advancements in technology in the medical field to be made. She expressed her disbelief in how treatment could possibly have worked before having the instruments she uses on a daily basis. I also learned that, quite often, the instruments she uses in her lab get upgraded to newer models with more advanced features and that whenever that happens the lab techs are required to obtain further training for that specific instrument. Those training sessions usually take two days, which is shocking that it takes so long. These lab techs could be shown how to use the instrument once or twice, but they are required to understand exactly what that instrument is doing and have a mastery for working it. Hospitals want to ensure that the technology we use to keep everyone healthy is completely understood as if the lab techs have been using it their entire career. Danielle’s hospital prioritizing its technology and the understanding of that technology is something that makes me happy because it means that society has a strong understanding of the importance of technology in medicine.

            Besides becoming more informed about the responsibilities of a lab tech, contacting Danielle and hearing what she had to say gave me a good feeling about the way technology is handled in hospitals and other medical facilities. The topic is large and complicated, so having a talk with somebody like Danielle is good for further learning and understanding other people’s experiences with the interests you have. Networking gives you that opportunity to talk with people who share the same interests as you in order to allow you to gain more information on the topic and to become more informed. This also allows you to have people in your field of interest see that you really have a passion in pursuing opportunities related to that interest and they may be able to help positively influence those opportunities. Networking is key in learning, gaining opportunities, and meeting people who may give you positive feedback.

Earbud Translators

One aspect of society that connects every individual is communication. The ease of communication allows for the formation of bonds and the passing of information between people. If humans did not have any way to communicate with each other then learning would be limited and human interactions would not be possible. Even in our current time, people do not have the ability to communicate with anybody they want. Different languages and dialects cause groups of people to be hopeless when it comes to communicating with each other on the fly. Not everyone can have a translator walking around with them at all times when they visit foreign places, luckily that may no longer be an issue. I found an article that talks about a tool that is early in development that can translate conversations efficiently. One of the users wears a specific set of ear buds while the other person in the conversation holds their phone. When each individual speaks, the ear buds and the phone will translate the words to whatever the set language is and say them in the understood language. This allows for fluent conversation between individuals all while maintaining eye contact and reducing the awkward rush of trying to translate words using google translate or a book with translations in it. Conversation between people, whether it be diplomatic matters or small talk, is important in creating comfortable environments and connections with other people. Perfecting this technology would completely tear down any language barrier experienced between individuals. With more comfortable communication between parties, more information can be shared between societies which would benefit the world as a whole.

Don’t Panic, Grab Your Babel Fish: The Cutting-edge Earbuds Offer Real-time Translation

AI in Cancer Treatment

Throughout the history of humans, different epidemics have struck a population and caused great damage to a population. Recently, thanks to our advances in science and medicine, many of these diseases and illnesses have been found to be treatable and even more effectively preventable. Cancer is the main enemy of medicine in our current generation. Almost every person you interact with can show to have some form of connection to cancer whether it is that they have/had cancer or have a loved one who has/had cancer. Any form of advancements in cancer research are wanted and are worth further development. I managed to find an article that highlights the detection and diagnosis of cancer, another difficulty. Specifically, this article talks about a computer that has been trained to scan a lung tissue sample and be able to identify specific types of lung cancer, if any, found in the sample with 97% accuracy. The computer can also determine any genetic mutations that are associated with lung cancer. It is also noted that this process is completed within a short period of time compared to the tests we currently use. A genetic test to identify mutations usually takes about two weeks to obtain results, but this AI can allow for biopsy to be completed while the patient is still available to obtain other samples. If this method were perfected and used for any type of cancer, diagnosis could be a one time trip to the doctor, versus waiting weeks for results. This is beneficially for those people who do have cancer, because a specific, effective treatment can be started immediately which would increase the likelihood of successfully curing that patient. If our society could find a way to reduce cancer down to a disease that can be dealt with in a short time, then there could be potential in the same happening for any disease. The future may be doctor visits that only include the patient and AI which can help identify any disease within your body. Medicine will always be a necessary field of study and articles such as this one give assurance that our medical advances are becoming greater every day.

https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/cancer-currents-blog/2018/artificial-intelligence-lung-cancer-classification

Advances in CO2 Capture Technology

Global warming is the largest environmental issue that society has had to ever solve. As society grows, so does the amount of pollution we provide to the Earth, mainly carbon dioxide emissions. I found an article that actually talks about recent advancements in technology that allow for carbon dioxide to be collected and stored during coal burning processes. This would be a massive advancement in the scientific community, because rather than looking for alternative, eco-friendly fuels, we could continue to use our current methods of fuel without the side effect of releasing green house gases. Without the main restriction on using these fuels, our scientific community can utilize even greater energy usage for future inventions. There is also potential to utilize the captured carbon dioxide. If technology can be advanced to the point of converting carbon dioxide directly into oxygen, then all of our main concerns of fuel burning would be solved. Green house gases would be eliminated entirely and there would be development of ways to use those gases. This would also, at the very least, reduce the effects of climate change that we have been warned about occurring in the next decade or so. I truly believe that developing a technique through which all concerns of carbon dioxide emissions could be dismissed should be a major priority of our scientific community in order to promote the growth of the technology our society can utilize.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1750583607000941