Medical service meets high-end IT technology
Thanks to technological development, the evolution in the medical service sector is also picking up steam.
Cutting-edge IT technology fuses into the medical sector...and increases accuracy and effectiveness in medical treatment, thereby improving patient outcome.
Our news feature tonight with Lee Minyoung.
Advancements in technology have made our lives much easier and more convenient,... but they've also enabled people to cope with things we couldn't before... like certain health problems.
Technology continues to transform the healthcare sector at a rapid pace.
And here in Korea,... where medical technology meets state-of-the-art IT,... patients are already seeing the changes.
Dr. Kwon Oh-ryong at Yonsei Sarang Hospital is Korea's leading authority on knee replacement surgery using 3D printing technology.
"The shape of the patients' knees are all different and the degree of wear and tear in their cartilage varies, too. With 3D printers, we can make custom surgical devices that fit precisely into their knees."
Before they go into surgery, patients get MRI and CT scans of their knees to simulate an accurate 3D image of the joint through a simulation and modelling program.
Surgeons plan the operation by conducting a virtual onethrough this software.
Then, with the 3D printer, they create a custom-made guiding device used for cutting knee bones.
The device perfectly matches the patient's knee, which enables the surgeons to insert the artificial joint into the patient's knee more accurately.
"This technological breakthrough gives us greater accuracy, which is crucial to extending the life span of the artificial joint. Also, the surgical process is made simpler, which minimizes bleeding and helps prevents complications."
"I had surgery on my right knee two years ago... and 3D artificial joint surgery on the other leg a week ago. This time I recovered so fast and I'm really surprised.
But the technological advances improving medical care go well beyond 3D printing.
Seoul National University Hospital in Bundang, Gyeonggi-do Province... provides rehab treatment for stroke patients in a rather unconventional way through ICT game technology.
"This webcam-style motion sensing device was intially used in video games, but now it's being used by stroke patients. It enables them to do physical therapy at home, just as if they were playing a video game."
Rehab after brain damage requires a long attention span... because it's time-consuming and repetitive... and patients get bored with traditional therapeutic exercise routines.
However with these devices, therapy can be fun.
It's made possible through the help of a device called 'Kinect'.
It is a virtual reality game program developed by Microsoft, and doctors here have customized the program for stroke patients.
"We can adjust the difficulty of the game modes for stroke patients based on their varying physical conditions. The performance of each patient is saved as data to be analysized and checked regularly... which enables us to prescribe the right treatment to maximize the therapy effect."
Technology has played an ever-increasing role in improving the quality of healthcare.
Given the complexity of modern medicine, it's inevitable that healthcare providers will adopt information technology more widely in their everyday work... and that will bring changes as yet undreamt of.