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Health care has developed over time into a basic consumer service in the US. The private sector primarily has been the chief deliverer of this vital service with the government delivering health care to a small group in the American arena. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) are medical technologies that are widely used in visualizing internal body organs and they are a different as they are similar. The American nation ha s positively welcomed medical technology.
Healthcare has a long and detailed history in the US. It has all along been a hotly debated political topic, and it has been on the floor of both houses of Congress for as long as most people can remember. Health care is part and parcel of the consumerism culture of the country. The delivery of health care has been impacted by technology (Carson, 2000). The advances of technology and the impact of technology on the health care, have aroused different responses from the general American public especially in this century.
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Historical perspectives and technological advances on the delivery of health care.
Historically, healthcare has been primarily delivered by the private sector in the US. But the government, both federal and state, has also been involved in the delivery of health care. Health care for the average American is provided and delivered by private firms (Mahir, 2006). The private firms are either profit making organizations or nonprofit making organizations.
These private firms provide health care mostly for the American middle class families that typically encompass the working class families; like Lawyer families for example. The services historically delivered by the private sector include in patient services like surgeries and medical examinations among others. Historically, the American society pays for these services through health insurance schemes. Thus the insurance industry teams up with private hospitals to deliverer the vital consumer requirement of health care (Mahir, 2006).
The government also provides health care but is quite selective in its provision and delivery of health care. Traditionally, it provides health care to children, the poor, the disabled, and war veterans. The government provides mostly in patient services although it also delivers outpatient services. However, for the war veterans they have to prove that the treatment they receive is for medical conditions incurred in combat, or developing directly as a result of combat. The government also provides health care for military families.
Technology, especially medical technology, has not only affected the delivery of health care; it has actually revolutionized it. Beginning the early 1960's, the medical world has seen the invention and advent of electronic medical equipment such as the electronic remote imaging machines, X-ray fluorescence machines, hand held electric drills and computer aided medical recording machines.
These technological advances have made the delivery of healthcare quite efficient. Technology has also made possible novel medical treatment such as brain surgery (Carson, 2000). Technological advances have been used to prolong the lives of terminally ill patients like those suffering from cancer and other terminal illnesses. These advances have revolutionized the monitoring of disease like Diabetics and heart diseases. The access to medical records has been made easier through these advances, and health care in whole has benefited immeasurably from medical technological advances.
MRI and CT: Contrast and Comparison
Both magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography imaging (CT) are two recent medical technologies that have greatly transformed the delivery of health care in the US. Both are used in the detection or treatment of medical complexities like cancer and brain complications.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is mainly a medical imaging technique that is used to view or visualize the internal body organs without physically invading or cutting the body. It's primarily used to visualize the body's soft and vulnerable tissues (Joyce, 2008).
Computed tomography is also an imaging technology that makes use of digital computers to view the internal body organs especially the oncological structure.
One of the chief contrasts between MRI and CT is that Ct is mainly used to give detailed structure of the bones, while MRI is used to view the soft tissues like blood vessels and brain tissue (Joyce, 2008). Thus MRI is effective in one area and CT is magnificent in another.
MRI uses magnetic imaging and magnetic fields to visualize the various body organs. On the other hand, CT utilizes X-ray technology through ionizing radiation. This difference makes some people especially those affected by radiation to prefer MRI to CT. MRI because of using magnetic imaging is able to give a sharper contrast in the soft tissues. CT cannot do this, and hence MRI is preferred to CT in the sensitive areas like the brain (Joyce, 2008). However CT more clarity when used to view hard body tissue like bones. It also more often used by doctors in diagnostic purposes than MRI.
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However these two medical techniques have a lot in common. First, they are both non invasive. This means that the doctors don't open the patient's body to diagnose the problem. They are also both radiological and they are used to visualize the internal organs of the body. They both require special and very expensive equipment.
Public Opinion and the future of Technological Advances in Health Care.
The US public has actually been very receptive to technological advances in health care. Public opinion has actually been positive as the populace has not only welcomed technological advances, but it has embraced them.
Actually, one only needs to visit the waiting rooms of hospitals to authenticate this claim. Americans love technology and no doubt they have taken to the advances in medical technology expectantly, and with the belief that the said technology will help to eradicate the diseases that have traditionally scared the American public.
Technological advances will continue to improve health care and its delivery in the US. They will improve both inpatient care and outpatient care regardless of who foots the bill for health care in America (Mahir, 2006).