Groundbreaking Medical Devices That Students in Regulatory Affairs Should KnowJune 13, 2017
The human body is resilient and capable of self-healing to amazing degrees, but it’s far from perfect. That’s why medical devices that can help the body heal from grave injuries, overcome serious illnesses, or that allow deeper looks into a person’s body are so common and important in today’s medicine.
There are so many medical devices that do great things today that it would be impossible to discuss them all. Here, though, are a few examples of medical devices that are particularly valuable.
Students in Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs Can See MRI Machines Are Vital to Modern Medicine
Radiation-based scans, like x-rays, are good for getting a look beneath the skin at tissues and bones. They produce rather undetailed images, though, and aren’t quite as good at producing images for examining soft tissues. This is why magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is so valuable. It uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create highly detailed images of the structures and tissues of the body. As a side benefit, MRI doesn’t have the radiation present in x-rays. Though x-ray radiation is very weak, radiation in general is best to be avoided.
MRI machines are not as common as x-ray machines, and the scans take longer (15-20 minutes, compared to the few minutes needed for x-rays to take multiple images), so the process is usually reserved for diagnosing serious injuries or maladies. Still, the value MRI has to offer means it’s likely that you will see the technology continue to be popular well into your careers in regulatory affairs.
Pacemakers Are Lifesavers, and Offer Important Challenges for Professionals in Regulatory Affairs
The heart must beat at a regular rhythm to ensure that adequate blood and oxygen can move through the body, and for most people, this isn’t a problem. Some people, however, have irregular heartbeats, which can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other complications.
Pacemakers are medical devices that can help people with irregular heartbeats. Pacemakers use little electric shocks to provoke the heart to beat at regular intervals, ensuring a regular rhythm and proper function. Unfortunately, they can also sometimes have interactions with drugs that patients take.
New advances in technology, as well as the continued development of new pharmaceuticals, mean that new pacemakers and drugs will be on the way all the time. Study pharmaceutical regulatory affairs and you could someday contribute your expertise to ensuring these new products all work properly to help people whose hearts need a little assistance.
The Humble Syringe Is One of the Greatest Achievements in Modern Medicine
Medicines are hugely important tools for preventing and curing ailments, and being able to inject them into precise areas of the human body is an important capability that syringes allow for. But modern syringes go far beyond that basic functionality. They are sterile, and can be made to be single-use, so that there is no potential for contamination from one use to another. This has allowed for a dramatic reduction in disease transmission, with particular benefits in developing areas where the temptation for cost-saving reuse might be greater.
Many new kinds of syringes are being explored. In fact, syringes pre-filled with medication, and ultra-sterile syringes (with the absolute minimum of contact with outside objects) are particularly hot areas for development. Expect to see much more work done in these and other areas of syringe design and manufacture throughout your future career in the pharmaceutical industry.
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