Advances in technology have allowed us to accomplish amazing things. From the creation of medical equipment like the brain scanner to the first lunar landing, all major milestones for humanity can be linked back to the ingenuity of inventors and creative minds. Where medical x-rays are concerned, it is no longer necessary to have a specialist radiologist in every hospital — there are hospitals in the US, for example, which obtain out-of- hours reports on urgent x-rays from radiologists based in Australia. Technology is used here for time-shifting, to allow doctors to work more normal hours.
The medical needs of developing countries are similar to those of the industrialised world, but there are far fewer doctors. Humanitarian organizations providing aid to developing countries often send medical staff to work there. Technology has an important role in supporting the work of these field doctors, who are usually generalists. When a specialist opinion is required, technology can assist: the act of practising medicine at a distance is known as “telemedicine”.