Technology in Research, Past, Present, and Future
Technology has had a major impact on all industries in the last three decades in ways we could never have dreamed of. One of it’s greatest impacts has been on the world of medicine in general, and on research in particular. Researchers found out that using technology will facilitate their research and produce even better results and so began to switch to technology gradually. Many scientists also predicted that technology will one day be an integral part of research studies. Nowadays it is so glaring that technology has replaced all the old ways of doing things.
Technology has led to various improvements in research, some of which can be seen below.
First and foremost, technology helps us in conducting research without having to go to old libraries to flip through one book after another. There are many available E-Books on the internet which you can download, read and search through in a few minutes as compared to the hours spent looking for and searching through hard copies.
Various fields of science use technology differently. For instance, fields of science such as chemistry, neurobiology, and physics which carry out experiments that give millions of results per second and make use of computers which can easily record these events as they occur.
We can also say that technological improvements have given scientists better tools to explore the unknown and help them to be familiar with or improve what they already know. For instance, many people were dying of fairly simple diseases in the past because there was no cure or means of producing one. But the coming of technology has made that possible and is helping scientist to discover treatments and vaccines for these diseases.
In the past, many researchers could not come up with adequate or accurate data for their projects, but nowadays technology has made it possible for researchers to access information online and make use of various computer software and equipment which help them to analyze and manage their research data and thereby realize their projects in less than no time and with minimal flaws.
Some of these computer software include; EDC (Electronic Data Capture) systems which allow the facilitated upload of data by researchers which can later be accessed and viewed for validation. An example of a leading EDC is the mobile friendly Castor EDC; Clinical trial management software (CTMS) such as Oncore, which is integrated with other existing healthcare solutions like hospital management and laboratory information management systems (LIMSs) to help identify and manage potential participants for specific clinical trials, plan and track the deadlines and milestones of clinical projects, provide analysis on clinical trial information, etc.; Medical Statistical Software such as QlikSense, SPSS and SAS which are designed to help with more technical data analysis, algorithm development, numerical computation and visualization that can be valuable in predictive analytics with the identification of unexpected trends and patterns. Medical statistical software usually require some degree of training for proper manipulation.
Other than computer software, we have also advanced and evolved in the area of research equipment and instruments. Some of the equipment used today include the spectrophotometer, chromatograph, calorimeters and many more. A spectrophotometer makes use of light properties and wavelength variances to measure the amount of light absorbed by a substance. Used in almost all science areas, the technology of the spectrophotometer has been revolutionary in the easy identification and measurement of substance content from bacterial growth to urine uric acid concentration etc.
A chromatograph is an equipment used for mixture separation which has added great value to clinical research processes.
The future holds with it many opportunities that can be achieved through the advancement of technology in all fields and will impact our societies in many ways.
It will enhance the generation of electricity through wind turbines and also develop solar power energy which people will depend on more than fossil fuels which tend to destroy our planet.
A good number of people around the globe don’t have access to quality education. With the help of the internet, everyone will be able to have access to basic education and even advanced studies. Renowned educational institutions around the globe are putting together recordings of lectures and publishing them, so with better internet connectivity, everyone will be privileged to learn something.
Technology has the potential to bring more revolutionary changes to mankind, so we will just have to wait and see what the future will bring.