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Reflecting back on how technology has advanced over the past 2 decades truly is astounding, particularly in cardiology. In the 1990’s, the involvement of cardiologists arose primarily when patients had become desperately ill, in most cases requiring CABG or various other forms of surgery, if it became necessary for PCI’s to be utilised, this could possibly be done with metal stenting. In addition, another development differing from 20 year ago and the present was that those who suffered a stroke and the causing factors were for the most part only researched by neurologists. Those unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with HF didn’t always have the best outlooks. With a dwindling number of individuals approaching cardiologist departments to be tested or analysed.
However, for 2 decades, in a large number of countries across the globe, there has been an impressive decline in CVD and CV mortality rates. By utilising surgeries and technologies that are much less invasive, more patients can be effectively diagnosed and treated for cardiovascular issues. Furthermore, with better quality medication and more efficient distribution, alongside a more comprehensive recognition of older medical practises, have allowed patients to go longer without any form of intervention.
A key differentiation spanning since the late 1990’s until now, is the case that the field of cardiology has plenty more sub-sectors and specialities. At the time, you could have selected to specialise in fields like intervention or even electrophysiology/arrhythmias, however the majority of sub-specialities available now were non-existent. Looking on to recent times, specialists with experience in a plethora of topics are helping to expand their networks and influence, taking on practices like cardio-metabolic, cardio-renal and cardio-oncology.
Nowadays, there are a fair few exciting and innovative treatment methods and imaging techniques to aid not just cardiologists of varying disciplines, but healthcare professionals as well in a more general sense when possible technological applications are fully explored. For example, using 3D imaging and modelling allows for incredibly accurate and informative 3d-printed models to be made of the heart, which would in turn provide better opportunity for cardiologists to effectively analyse a patient’s medical condition. This would also improve communication between the medical team and the patient’s family, being able to better demonstrate the situation.
Another exciting prospect would be seeing the outcome of fully utilised AI in the medical industry. As the overall amount and classification of data that cardiologists need access to and have to handle daily grows increasingly cumbersome and sophisticated, a more systemic and faster rate of work is required from physicians. To ease this workload, either rudimentary or more sophisticated forms of Artificial Intelligence could be put into place to handle workloads of large data where varying levels of interpretation are needed.
Even with Artificial Intelligence and 3D imaging being used, the human component is always needed, if you are interested in getting involved, have a look at the healthcare roles we have available here.