Technological advancement appears to have influenced all aspects of life in the universe leading to remarkable changes in the society. Currently, the world is flooded with new technologies and scientific discoveries and, more are still emerging. This implies that these new technologies and scientific inventions will exert an immense impact on society. However, the wave of technological advancements seems to favor some fields with others experiencing the shock of technology impact. Interestingly, the field of healthcare and medicine are some of the beneficiaries of the newly emerging technologies; hence, medical practice has become relatively sophisticated owing to advanced delivery of care, treatment of chronic diseases and identification of newly emerging diseases and health conditions (Hughes, 2010). It is worth noting that healthcare systems and the scope of medical sciences of the 21st Century are relatively different from the 19th Century versions because; the impact of technological developments in the last decade seems to have transformed healthcare delivery systems with some of the newly invented technologies producing extraordinary performances. However, it is worth noting that technological advancement in healthcare and medicine has not only led to the discovery of new drugs but, it has also improved safety and precision in clinical investigations. Moreover, it has led to the emergence of new medical procedures, which have, in turn, improved the quality of care offered to patients by healthcare professionals. For instance, the practice of anesthesia, which is seemingly built on technological advances, appear to have achieved a remarkable progress, especially with regard to the quality of care, owing to a number of technologies developed in the past decade. Therefore, this essay will discuss the newly invented technologies in anesthesia.
In the past decade, several technologies have been developed leading a significant progress in the practice of anesthesia. Patients are currently receiving reliable healthcare, especially with regard to surgery and intensive care and, this is attributable to the current advancement of medical technology. New electronic devices such as the Bispectral Index (BIS), fully automated anesthesia robot and Endoscopic Ultrasound-guided Fine Needle Aspiration (EUS-FNA) have enhanced anesthesia practice by increasing the performance and precision in investigations. Moreover, the incorporation of the Information Technology in anesthesia procedures has imparted a significant influence on various matters in the field. For instance, the currently introduced Decision Support System (DSS) has led to an immense improvement of emergency medicine and intensive care through enhancing communication between healthcare professionals and efficient record keeping for efficient retrieval.
One of the most remarkable inventions, which have occurred in the past decade, is the bispectral index (BIS) monitor. This monitor is quite amazing on the manner in which it operates to provide electroencephalography (EEG) trace by generating electrical signals, which indicate the quantity index. In regard to application, the BIS has become popular owing to its reliability in pediatrics, intensive care and the entire scope of anesthesia. It is worth noting that anesthesiologists encountered enormous challenges before the invention of the BIS because; they only relied on clinical signs as the principal guide in anesthetic management (Bunchungmongkol et.al. 2010). However, these challenges have been solved by the BIS monitor because; it guides the administration of various anesthetic agents. Some of the most outstanding features of the BIS monitor, which makes it highly reliable include it dose response, ability to display the depth of sedation and maintenance of the baseline values.
In regard to the reliability of the BIS monitor in anesthesia, the monitor tracks the effect-site concentrations of different anesthetic agents. It also indicates the effects of hypnotic drugs on the cortical electroencephalography (EEG). AnesthesiaUK (2005) remarks, “BIS is therefore, best described as a monitor of the depth of the hypnotic component of anesthesia or sedation; it appears to track the effect-site concentration of hypnotic drugs and their effect on the cortical EEG” (par. 4). The BIS monitor tracks the decreasing effect-site concentrations to indicate the level of consciousness of the patient at the end of anesthesia. It has been found that BIS analysis enables anesthesiologists to correlate the dose-response relationship with clinical assessments, especially with regard to behavioral investigations on the level of consciousness among patients.
On the other hand, BIS monitor has proved to be quite reliable in anesthesia, especially in non-surgical stimulation in which its values are not influenced by the concentrations of nitrous oxide, unlike the case observed in EEG. Nitrous concentrations of as high as 50% do not cause any significant influence of the baseline BIS values. However, it is worth noting that nitrous oxide has been observed to cause a significant decrease in baseline BIS values in surgical stimulations, and this is attributable to the antinociceptive effects of the agent.
On the other hand, BIS monitor has led to the improvement of intensive care to patients because; it can monitor sedation continuously to reflect some significant anesthetic parameters such as pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of sedative agents, especially in critically-ill patients (AnesthesiaUK, 2005).
McSleepy; a fully-automated anesthesia robot is another significant discovery, which seems to have turned around the practice of anesthesia owing to its enormous benefits and potential impact. Anesthesia monitoring and automation appear to have reached an advanced level, in 2008 when the McSleepy, the first world’s fully-automated anesthesia system was tested successfully at McGill University Health Centre, in Montreal. This automated anesthesia system combines advanced Closed-Loop anesthesia technology with patient monitoring algorithms and techniques to perform anesthesia administration throughout the surgical procedure. It also maintains the essential conditions during the process; thus, enabling anesthesiologists to perform surgical procedures with ease and increased performance (McSleepy, 2008). The reliability aspect of the McSleepy anesthesia system was first revealed by Thomas M. Hemmerling, MD, during the testing of the system at McGrill University Healthcare center by remarking that, “Think of McSleepy as a sort of humanoid anesthesiologist that thinks like an anesthesiologist, analyses biological information and constantly adapts its own behavior, even recognizing monitoring malfunction” (Hughes, 2010 p. 5). McSleepy monitors the patient’s level of pain, muscle movement and consciousness during the surgery procedure and, it also maintains the dosage of anesthetic agents depending with the required conditions. Surprisingly, McSleepy has the ability to learn the anesthesiologist’s preferences because; it has an artificial intelligence system, which is also able to store information (Hughes, 2010).
McSleepy has proved to produce high quality care to patients by enhancing accuracy in anesthetic agents’ dosage and maintenance during surgical procedures. It also offers intraoperative monitoring in anesthesia. Therefore, the subjectivity of human anesthesiologists is extensively eliminated; thus, enhancing the reliability of surgery outcomes, eliminating human errors in the surgical procedures as it used to be witnessed before the ‘anesthesia robot’ was invented. Another significant benefit of the McSleepy system is that, anesthesiologists will not be consuming much time in monitoring the levels of intraoperative agents because the monitor has the ability to maintain adequate dosages. Time management among anesthesiologists is believed to be one of the most significant aspects of anesthesia because; they consume 20% of their time managing and monitoring intraoperative agents but, the use of McSleepy will allow them adequate time to focus on other fundamental aspects of anesthesia (Hughes, 2010). As a result, the patients’ care will be enhanced significantly, not highlighting the aspect of reduced costs of surgical operations in healthcare centers.
- Quote paper
- Patrick Kimuyu (Author), 2017, The Practice of Anaesthesia and Technology Advancement, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/381141