Physician in front of medical graphicsTechnology is changing our lives almost daily, and one field that has profited greatly from the use of technology is the medical industry. As technology advances, medical equipment specialists and doctors are discovering ways to make procedures and treatments less invasive, painful, and traumatizing for patients. Read on to learn about some of the awesome ways that technology is providing us with minimally invasive procedures.


Heart Surgery without the Surgery

Because of the amazing imaging and camera technology available today, heart surgery has become much less invasive than it used to be. Instead of cutting through the chest, the heart is accessed by threading catheters into a tiny incision made on the inside of the thigh. Cameras can be threaded in to view the heart for diagnostic purposes, blocked arteries can be opened, and valves can be replaced using this method. Using this technology, doctors have even begun to implant tiny pacemakers without surgery.

Blood Sugar Level Monitoring without the Needle

Diabetics currently have to prick themselves multiple times a day, every day, in order to check their blood sugar levels. However, a new testing device that measures blood sugar levels through the skin is in development and expected to receive FDA approval very soon. This device, the “Symphony System” continuously measures blood glucose through the skin and sends the information to a remote monitor. An alarm will sound if the levels go too high or too low. If the device proves to be safe and effective, it would benefit hundreds of thousands of diabetic patients.

Non-invasive Monitoring of Stroke Victims

Traditional monitoring of stroke patients requires placement of a monitoring catheter inside the body, but fragile patients often cannot tolerate this additional trauma after suffering a stroke. A new system, the Edwards Clearsight Hemodynamic Monitoring System, collects the required information from a non-invasive device slipped over the finger rather than inserting a catheter. The Clearsight system has recently been approved by FDA, but after more testing and research, this will be a helpful, commonplace method for monitoring stroke patients without putting them in additional pain.

In-dwelling Catheters

Patients who suffer from urinary retention or incontinence used to have limited options for managing symptoms. They could carry a urinary bag around with them, or they could insert a catheter multiple times a day, with pain, trauma and risk of infection occurring each and every time. The invention of valved, in-dwelling catheters eliminates these problems. The new catheter is implanted once, and it keeps the urine in the bladder until it is released by turning a valve. This can be extremely helpful for those who are dealing with catheterization after serious surgery.

Non-invasive Screening for Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is curable and even preventable if caught early. However, many individuals are reluctant to undergo invasive colonoscopy screening for colorectal cancer. Thankfully, a new non-invasive genetic test called Cologuard that can detect early forms of colorectal cancer with great accuracy was just approved by FDA. Not only would this make the detection of this cancer much less invasive, but it would likely motivate more people to get tested due to the ease of the procedure.

Non-invasive Acid Reflux Treatment

Chronic acid reflux is very common. It can lead to severe complications such as cancer, and the inability to swallow. Surgical procedures used to be the only option for patients if medication failed. However, a new procedure that requires no surgical incision and minimal recovery time can cure the problem. The procedure, called transoral incisionless fundoplication, installs a new valve to keep the acid in the stomach—without even making an incision.


As you can see, advances in technology are allowing the invention of minimally invasive and non-invasive diagnostics and treatments across the board, for all body parts and a wide range of medical conditions. Although it is unfortunate to get sick, we are lucky enough to live in an age that combines rapidly advancing technology with medical procedures in order to improve patient care.


AUTHOR BIO: This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, health, and women’s interests. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters. Dixie got her advice for this article from experts at Interface USA who specialize in PTCA catheter equipment and balloon catheter technology.

You can follow Dixie on Twitter, @DixieSomers


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