How Have Technological Advances Affected These Industries in the Last 50 Years?

Humanity is always looking for new tools and methods for getting work done, and all of the technological advances in the past 50 years have been designed to make life easier, faster, cleaner, and more fun in all sorts of ways. All of these technological advances in the past 50 years have included the likes of the internet, home computers, advanced dentistry, more efficient and safer cars, new ways to get an education, and much more. A highly diverse array of people from around the world have innovated these technological advances in the past 50 years in part or in whole, and these advances have allowed entire new fields of work and study to come into existence. In the early 1900s, for example, there were no IT experts or web traffic professionals, but now, computer technology has created all kinds of jobs. Some 32.5 million businesses can be found across the United States today (most of them small), and a variety of them wouldn’t even exist without the technological advances in the past 50 years.

Dentistry

Good health is everyone’s concern, and a number of technological advances in the past 50 years were designed to make medical care more efficient, safer, and more reliable in all sorts of ways. Some earlier innovations, such as vaccines in the late 1700s or scalpel sterilization techniques of the 1800s, have made medicine much more effective. But in more recent years, dentistry has enjoyed more advances than ever. Teeth cleaning is easy and routine now for children and adults alike, and the standards for teeth health and appearance are high. In centuries past, many people’s teeth were in bad shape by modern standards, but now, practically anyone can have a mouth of straight, white teeth, and even if teeth are lost, it is fairly easy to replace them.

The entire field of cosmetic dentistry is possible due to medical technological advances in the past 50 years, such as the use of tooth whitening gels to restore the pearly luster of a person’s teeth or porcelain veneers that can coat discolored teeth and make them look better. If a tooth is missing, meanwhile, a replica can be made from the mold of the patient’s existing teeth, and a dental bridge is fitted into the gap and held in place with braces that fit over the real teeth flanking the gap. Physically and cosmetically, this seamlessly fixes the problem, restoring the patient’s eating and speech capacity. A sealant is routinely applied to children’s teeth, to help strengthen them even more and protect them from harm, and sealant can be flavored so the young patients find it more palatable.

Medicine

Dentistry is not the only field that has benefited from medical technological advances in the past 50 years or so. Pharmaceuticals, surgery, and more are all highly advanced by now, and entirely new medical procedures are now done that were impossible 100 years ago. Today’s pharmaceutical research labs have ultra-strict standards for cleanliness and efficiency, and the staff complies with GMP, or “good manufacturing practices,” make sure their products are always high quality. Pharmaceuticals are vital for maintaining public health, after all, and technological advances in the past 50 years such as air filtration systems and humidity control keep a clean room quite clean so those pharmaceuticals can be made. In decades or centuries past, making pharmaceuticals like that wouldn’t have been possible. But now, the air in a cleanroom can be many times purer than typical outside air, and particles larger than a certain size will not be found in the room’s air at all. Even the humidity can be controlled within 1% in that room to maintain perfect conditions for work.

Physicians and surgeons can use robotics and computers to make medicine more effective than ever, such as large pills that contain cameras and lights in them. Once a patient swallows the capsule, the machinery inside it can illuminate the patient’s insides and take photographs, and transmit the data to computers. No such thing could have been done in the mid 20th century or earlier, but now it is routine and gives doctors vital information on a patient’s health. Meanwhile, robotic arms can be controlled from a distance in order to perform surgery, and a doctor can be miles away but operate on a patient by use of remote controls and a computer screen. This means a doctor does not even need to be in the same room as their patient (cutting down on travel time), and a robot’s appendages are steady and not prone to human error. This can reduce error rates during surgery.

As an aside, doctors can also use telemedicine to help patients from afar at any time. Patients can look up virtual doctors with video chat apps online, and meet a doctor without even leaving their home. This is helpful if a patient can’t or won’t visit a doctor’s office or clinic nearby, and doctors can use Cloud data storage systems to access any patient’s medical records and other files on demand.

Automotive

The field of automobiles has enjoyed many benefits from technological advances in the past 50 years, to make cars safer, more powerful, and more fuel-efficient in too many ways to count. Some famed entrepreneurs and brand names are working to truly push automotive tech to the next level, such as creating self-driving vehicles that can make routine deliveries. This technology is a work in process, but tests show that it is likely viable, and a combination of a self-driving vehicle and a person inside can provide good results. Many experts suggest that a car can drive itself by default, but in tricky situations, such as complex city traffic, the human occupant can assume manual control.

Anyone who wants to buy a new car can get all the paperwork done quickly at the dealership via the staff’s computers, and they can look into more options once they drive the car off the lot. For example, some cars are now equipping themselves with cameras and an internet connection, so they can get updates on traffic conditions or weather conditions during a trip. For example, a sedan’s driver cannot see a bad traffic accident or a construction zone five blocks away, but the car’s advanced computer can learn about such obstructions ahead of time, and advise the driver on a different route to avoid those obstacles. This can help prevent traffic jams and other inefficient driving. And of course, commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks or other delivery vehicles can use geospatial data to figure out an optimal delivery route to save on time and gas (and avoid bad traffic).

Automotive technological advances in the past 50 years can also help prevent crime on the road. If someone is convicted with a DUI, the court can compromise by having an ignition interlock device fitted into the convict’s car, complete with a breathalyzer apparatus. The idea is that the car will not turn on until the occupant submits a clean breath sample, and during driving, the driver is alerted so they can safely pull over and submit another breath sample. This means the convict can maintain their freedom of movement via their car, but they can’t easily drive drunk again. Naturally, tampering with the interlock device or breathalyzer, or trying to remove them, is illegal.

Construction

All kinds of hardware & tools have benefited from technological advances in the past 50 years, such as factory tools or methods for constructing buildings. Diamond drill tips are coated with ground-up diamond bits, which makes them extremely hard and allows them to operate smoothly for a long time before needing to be replaced. In addition, cutting apart materials such as wood, plastic, and metal is now possible with laser cutter heads, which use thin beams of concentrated light to slice materials apart or etch their surfaces. Laser cutter heads do not create rough burrs, since no physical saws or drill are being used on the material, and the hot laser beams are narrow, so they cause no heat-based collateral damage to the rest of the material. Laser cutter heads are prized for their precision and lack of burrs as a side effect of their work.

Cosmetics

Even the field of cosmetic surgery has gained something from technological advances in the past 50 years since people will always want to look their best. This ranges from Botox injections to new hair transplant methods to address balding or thin hair patches. Men, in particular, are looking for ways to resist balding, and while there is no “magic hair potion” out there, FUE transplants may be the next best thing. Using minimally invasive surgery, hair surgeons can remove patches of the patient’s hair in small groups at a time, with those hair follicles being held together on a small, thin patch of skin. The patient’s skin is then placed wherever it is desired and oriented correctly, helping fill out thin or bald patches of hair. This does not actually add more hair to the head, but the side effects are minimal, and many patients report satisfaction with the results.

Education

As mentioned earlier, education is a field that has benefited a great deal from technological advances in the past 50 years or so. Students still go to school and college campuses for classes like they always have, but by now, they have quite a few extra options. Computer labs are practically standards in middle and high schools, not to mention colleges of all sizes, and this is how students can learn the basics of using a computer and navigating the internet responsibly. And, of course, a computer is arguably the single best tool for conducting research and writing papers, and students can submit papers and other files to their teachers or professors in this manner. Colleges have internal websites and databases geared for students’ education, and students can take part in educational forums for classes, receive assignments from professors, and access the college’s databases.

What is more, computers allow students to take virtual or online courses, and some colleges are primarily intended for virtual classes like these. It is a strong option for students who can’t easily visit the college’s campus for various reasons, and even full-time employees or single parents can take classes at their convenience. This makes college education accessible to many students who, in previous decades, wouldn’t have this option at all.

Home Improvement

Houses are safer and more efficient than ever thanks to technological advances in the past 50 years, such as their walls being made from hollow concrete bricks that easily insulate the home and thus cut down on the electric bill. Not only that, but high impact glass windows help houses and commercial buildings resist the strong winds and wind-blown debris of hurricanes and similar storms, protecting their interiors with special glazed glass. Modern HVAC utilities are more energy-efficient and thus cut down on the electric bill, and water utilities are also efficient so they slash the water bill. Even floorboards have enjoyed some advances, such as the use of bamboo floorboards that ease the strain on natural hardwood forests. Bamboo is much more sustainable than hardwood is, in terms of ecological preservation.

Manufacturing

Along with laser cutter heads and diamond drill bits, factories and workshops can also use burnishing tools to modify metal surfaces before a product is ready for the market. Burnishing tools don’t use heat or chemicals; they are tools with hard, metal spheres at the end that are rubbed all over a metal surface with intense but even pressure. In this way, the metal’s surface is compressed and made more uniform in strength, allowing it to endure greater pressure and strain while in use. In addition, burnishing a metal surface makes it smooth and polished, and thus more attractive to the eye. For these reasons and more, many product descriptions emphasize the burnished metal surfaces that are included.

Security

Home security solutions are much stronger now, thanks to the many technological advances in the past 50 years, and that includes smart home technology. For example, a homeowner can remotely turn the lights inside (and outside)their home on and off via their smartphone, and they can even control motorized window blinds and shades the same way. Meanwhile, the doors can have electronic keypads in them, which require a certain digital combination to unlock. Security cameras can easily be placed all over the home, and just their presence can deter many would-be burglars. The homeowner can use a laptop or smartphone to view the video feed from those cameras, too, to be more hands-on about security.

In short, the myriad technological advances in the past 50 years have made life faster, easier, safer, and more efficient than ever for business, education, health, and home safety, and many more advances are bound to be made in the coming years, too. This makes a high standard of living possible, and any American citizen can benefit from that tech in any or all aspects of their lives.

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