A brief survey of emerging medical technologies.
The introduction examines applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence in diagnostics, patient analysis, and treatment plans. The first chapter compares 2020’s scramble for a Covid-19 vaccine to a 1964 rubella outbreak then catalogs genetic technologies including vaccination, gene therapy, genomic sequencing, and personalized medicine. The book then takes a macroscopic look at nanotechnologies, zooming in on applications for improving diagnostic outcomes, specialized medication delivery, and highly targeted treatments. Other topics covered include robotics, including microbots (microscopic metal devices guided through a patient’s body by an external magnetic field); uncanny “super mannequins” (anthropoid training tools that approximate the bodies and reactions of human patients); surgical assistants (that allow for minimally invasive procedures that reduce blood loss, recovery time, instances of infection, and even scar size); and 3-D printers that can generate custom pharmaceutical dosages, low-cost prostheses, and surgical tools. The book concludes with an exploration of telemedicine, especially in field hospitals and psychiatry. A major oversight is the failure to address ethical concerns about R&D and patient privacy as well as issues of racial and gender bias that are built into technology and medical care. While this is an accessible starting point for report writers, the rapidly changing nature of the subject limits its usefulness. However, the subject matter is intriguing, and the writing is clear and readable.
All right but already aging.
(source notes, further research, index, picture credits)
Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020
Page Count: 80
Publisher: ReferencePoint Press
Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020