The Most Perfect Medical Device of 2018

Hello and welcome. I am Dr George Lundberg and this is At Large at Medscape.

Many readers of the recent column on irreproducible results were intrigued enough by my description of "the perfect medical test" to make further inquiry. And I told them. As a follow-up, I thought I would list the most important advances in medical procedures and devices, and discuss 2018's most important diagnostic and therapeutic medical device.

  • Is it robotic surgery?

  • Is it PET to detect early Alzheimer's?

  • Is it next-generation sequencing to find actionable cancer mutations?

  • Is it some GI endoscope?

  • Is it the latest drug-eluting stent?

  • Is it still the light microscope, or is it the electron microscope?

  • Is it the trusty old stethoscope?

  • Is it still-valuable diagnostic x-ray?

  • Is it the contrast MRI that details the nuances of your bones, ligaments, and joints?

  • Is it the proton beam machine for treatment of cancer?

  • Is it the vacutainer that continues to enable safe, efficient blood specimen drawing?

  • Is it CT scanners for occult malignancies and coronary artery calcium scores?

  • Is it the liquid biopsy?

  • Is it the medical Internet, with which you can access all knowledge?

  • Or is it the most exciting, wearable mobile apps?

No. The best medical device for this year is none of those basic or advanced technologies, all of which may be wondrous inventions but may have little effect on the totality of American life and health. The best diagnostic and therapeutic device, by far, is the most effective, least expensive, and most trouble-free of all: the bathroom scale.

Everyone should use the bathroom scale in the privacy of the home every day. Recognize and implement the actionable results, thereby changing your life and your health for the better, at almost no cost to yourselves, the government, or the health insurance company. Proper use of the bathroom scale can help prevent obesity and, with that, heart disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, stroke, osteoarthritis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, 12 types of cancer, depression, even erectile dysfunction.

What a deal—a real medical miracle machine! Use it every day. And don't let your number rise.

That's my opinion. I am Dr George Lundberg, at large at Medscape.


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