Medical Technology

Point Break

Super Anarchist
26,298
3,957
Long Beach, California
So today I went for the 1 year since Myeloma diagnosis PET scan. (really good news, no evidence of malignant lesions) As I waited and then had the scan I was just stunned for some reason on the level of sophistication of todays medical technology. Injection of the tracer and take a nap in a quiet room for an hour then only 15 minutes in the machine to do an entire body scan. Last March that took 1 hour in the older machine (that means you have to lie completely still without moving that entire hour :blink: ). New technology, faster scanning ability and I'm out in 15 minutes. It gets read by the radiologist today and by tonight I have the results and findings posted to my patient portal. The test was ordered only 2 weeks ago, its scheduled immediately, Medicare covers it...............no financial fuss.

 As I reflect on the whole thing........its truly amazing.

 

Sean

Super Anarchist
15,396
2,546
Sag Harbor, NY
So today I went for the 1 year since Myeloma diagnosis PET scan. (really good news, no evidence of malignant lesions) As I waited and then had the scan I was just stunned for some reason on the level of sophistication of todays medical technology. Injection of the tracer and take a nap in a quiet room for an hour then only 15 minutes in the machine to do an entire body scan. Last March that took 1 hour in the older machine (that means you have to lie completely still without moving that entire hour :blink: ). New technology, faster scanning ability and I'm out in 15 minutes. It gets read by the radiologist today and by tonight I have the results and findings posted to my patient portal. The test was ordered only 2 weeks ago, its scheduled immediately, Medicare covers it...............no financial fuss.

 As I reflect on the whole thing........its truly amazing.
I can relate. Been going through a similar experience for a year now, but with advanced skin cancer (both basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma). Monoclonal antibody treatment seems to have knocked out the cancer, but the side effects nearly killed me. Lesson learned - get looked at by a dermatologist on a regular basis, and don’t get sick until Medicare kicks in. 

 
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mikewof

mikewof
45,639
1,209
As I reflect on the whole thing........its truly amazing.
The imaging is neat, but the other half of the imaging is the radiotherapy. That is where it pushes the medical technology into "miracle domain."

Of course, the credit has to widely shared with the engineers and scientists who made it happen, regardless that the medical folks seem to want to take most of the credit for it, but aside from the internal shitfight over radiotherapy, the results ...

A ten year-old with spinal cancer, for instance, skips into the gamma knife room, gets secured to the couch, listens to his favorite Rugrats soundtrack for 15 minutes, get about ten of these treatments, and the success rate hovers somewhere above 90%. No pain, no discomfort, just a bunch of silent and fairly weak gamma sources that focus in on the malignant tissue and burn it to carbonized chunks. Before this magical stuff, the child would have had to endure painful spinal taps and chemotherapy, maybe his parents would have had prayers for the efficacy to hit 50%. And before that, the kid was probably a goner, parents praying for a miracle that statistically rarely came. The targeted alpha-particle therapy for skin cancers was neat, the patient stands in front of the particle accelerator output, like old Soviets trying to catch some rays with the sun hanging low in Odessa.

And in imaging, with the MRIs, they can see diseases -- like disparate pneumonia from vape -- that they could never see before with regular x-ray, even image turbulence in the bloodstream!

So much more is possible, but the eternal shitfight between medical and science continues. A few M.D./Ph.D.s have been able to bridge the gap, but the workaday engineers and scientists that are needed to make these innovations work tend to subrogated below the medical, turned into employees of the medical side, without a lot of give-and-take, the most creative ones can't survive in the field because the compliance requirements for them is so high. Worse, the need to push billions of dollars through the system makes both the imaging and medical technologies essentially impossible for almost all of the children and patients in Developing Nations. Those of wealth get the good stuff, those of global poverty tend to die from low-tech diseases like worms, diarrhea and air pollution, they are unlikely to even see a decent antibiotic, let alone advanced imaging and radiotherapy. For all the miracles that the medical industry has created here, it's a miracle that applies mostly to those of great wealth, which is a shame ... the basic technology isn't that hard to simplify and make cheap, but the medical industry can't run money through broke-ass humans.

My dad had cancer on his back, he was okay with them cutting the big chunk out, didn't want any of the advanced treatments for the rest, survived another ten years anyway on whiskey and carrot juice. I sometimes think that the cancer was pissed that he didn't give a shit about it, and stopped metastisizing out of disinterest.

 
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Grande Mastere Dreade

Snag's spellchecker
So today I went for the 1 year since Myeloma diagnosis PET scan. (really good news, no evidence of malignant lesions) As I waited and then had the scan I was just stunned for some reason on the level of sophistication of todays medical technology. Injection of the tracer and take a nap in a quiet room for an hour then only 15 minutes in the machine to do an entire body scan. Last March that took 1 hour in the older machine (that means you have to lie completely still without moving that entire hour :blink: ). New technology, faster scanning ability and I'm out in 15 minutes. It gets read by the radiologist today and by tonight I have the results and findings posted to my patient portal. The test was ordered only 2 weeks ago, its scheduled immediately, Medicare covers it...............no financial fuss.

 As I reflect on the whole thing........its truly amazing.
yeah, they have this software , where you can dictate a book and not have to do any typing... :lol:

glad everything is ok...

 

Grrr...

▰▰▰▰▰▰▰▰▰▰ 100%
9,979
2,451
Detroit
So today I went for the 1 year since Myeloma diagnosis PET scan. (really good news, no evidence of malignant lesions) As I waited and then had the scan I was just stunned for some reason on the level of sophistication of todays medical technology. Injection of the tracer and take a nap in a quiet room for an hour then only 15 minutes in the machine to do an entire body scan. Last March that took 1 hour in the older machine (that means you have to lie completely still without moving that entire hour :blink: ). New technology, faster scanning ability and I'm out in 15 minutes. It gets read by the radiologist today and by tonight I have the results and findings posted to my patient portal. The test was ordered only 2 weeks ago, its scheduled immediately, Medicare covers it...............no financial fuss.

 As I reflect on the whole thing........its truly amazing.
You touched a nerve when you mentioned Medicare covers it, but my wonderful free market "insurance" that I pay $15k a year for will still charge me $800 or more for the same thing. 

Ah well.   Great that you had good news! 

(and where is my single payer) 

 

Gangbusters

Anarchist
879
295
Chicago
You touched a nerve when you mentioned Medicare covers it, but my wonderful free market "insurance" that I pay $15k a year for will still charge me $800 or more for the same thing. 

Ah well.   Great that you had good news! 

(and where is my single payer) 
Since I’m still working my free Medicare only costs $950 a month. I didn’t have to pay any additional for my angioplasty and stent last month.

 

bmiller

Super Anarchist
5,898
1,180
Buena Vista, Colorado
Good news PB, and what everyone else said.

Gotta shop around for medical procedures the same as you would for any other purchase, for example.

I've got a minor shoulder issue going on. Dr said lets start with an Xray. I think OK and had it done right there at the clinic, couldn't be more then a couple hundred bucks. 

In the meantime it gets worse so we decide to do an MRI, this I shopped for. Imaging center down in Denver quotes $450, sounds good. So the Doc calls in the order, they call to set an appt, I go in the next morning. Less then 16 hours from the time he calls in the order to getting it done for a very reasonable cost.

Now the fun, I get a bill from the local Clinic for $975 for the Xray. WTF!, MRI was only $450. So I called the imaging place and they would have done the Xray for $120. Several days of arguing and ranting got a measly %15 discount from the clinic. Expensive lesson learned.

 




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