From sophisticated MRI machines to top-of-the-range heart monitors, there’s no doubt we are living in a world our ancestors could not have imagined. Back in the day, scary-looking utensils, such as the osteotome (a bone-cutting tool once used without anaesthetic) and haemorrhoid forceps were common place, but these days medicine and equipment has advanced so much that a trip to the hospital is not always a complete horror story.
In fact, companies across the globe including Tente UK are putting science, maths and construction into practice to design and build an array of exquisite medical facilities. Indeed, according to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) there are now more than 10,000 devices available used in the global health industry these days.
Many of these are selected depending on the local, regional or national requirements – considered factors include the type of facility where the devices are to be used, the health care force available and the burden of disease experienced in a specific catchment area. So, with this in mind, let take a look at some of the most carefully designed products in medicine.
Castors and wheels
We all know that the wheel is one of the most important inventions of all time, but have you ever considered how much this simple device has revolutionised the world of medicine? Not only do castors and wheels allow hospital beds to be moved from A to B quickly and easily – often saving people’s lives – but they allow disabled people to live independently thanks to the development of wheelchairs and such like.
What’s more, hospital food can be served in a hassle-free way thanks to the wheels on the bottom of food trollies and even computers and medical machines can be transported on a moveable table. When you put your mind to it, you start to realise that the wheel is an essential part of any medical institution – both public and private – but the fascination doesn’t just stop there.
While a wheel might just go round and round, there’s plenty of thought that goes into providing the best fittings for certain equipment. Powered castors, for example, complete with motors and switch electronics, are ideal for hospital beds allowing for maximum mobility as are those with central locking which prevent unwanted movement. Quick and efficient brake function is also essential for wheelchairs with side-mounted actuation levers guaranteeing a safe and comfortable operation.
Castors for heavy loads are also common place within the world of medicine and are used for the transportation of drugs, as are castors with integrated springs which can be adjusted to your specification and allow for the safe transportation of fragile merchandise. Moreover, castors with spring loaded foot protection stop heavy trollies from rolling onto the feet of health care professionals – with many meeting the exceptionally high safety requirements set up for the aerospace industry.
In short, castors and wheels must be designed to perfectly compliment the equipment they will support, especially in a hospital environment where very specific needs have to be met to ensure patients aren’t injured. That said, wheels make perfect logical sense in a medical environment as they’re not only useful but can be tweaked to suit individual needs.
It’s also important to remember that the world of medicine is ever changing with new and innovative inventions constantly revolutionising the healthcare industry. Both private and public sector hospital are businesses in need of cost-effective ways to look after patients which is why technology is being improved to enhance patient care and to reduce unnecessary procedures.
Optical scanners, for instance, are currently in the pipelines and are designed to closely analyse tissue morphology reducing the number of people needing melanoma biopsies. They use missile navigation technologies, originally paid for by the Department of Defense, to optically scan the surface of a suspicious lesion at 10 electromagnetic wavelengths and the collected signals are then monitored and matched against a registry of 10,000 digital images of melanoma and skin disease.
It’s safe to say that technologies will never stop evolving. People are always looking for a better way to do things, which is what makes product design and the logistics of medicine so interesting.
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