The last 70 years has seen major changes in all the Healthcare Science disciplines. We have evolved from a technical, laboratory support and manufacturing service to a digital design and manufacture profession. City and Guilds artisan ‘makers’ to evidence based Clinical Scientists. Reconstructive Science is patient facing and during this time, there has been a real shift in the entire medical and scientific disciplines attitude to treatment. The patient has become the focus, the centre of the treatment. The professions want to understand the patient needs, and to measure quality of the treatment outcome not just the eradication of the disease. Technology has played a huge part in the improvement in patient rehabilitation. Digital imaging and the manipulation of digital patient data has enabled the Scientist to utilise this information to improve patient treatment and functional rehabilitation. In the past 15-years, 3D printing and additive manufacture have become accessible routine processes that allow us to plan and accurately guide complex resection and transplant surgery in the head and neck region. Our function has become even more important as functional rehabilitation rather than cure has become the focus. The centralisation and regional specialisation has improved this further. The multidisciplinary team, vital in providing the best resources and best treatment for an individualised treatment approach. The changes in science and medicine will be even greater in the next 70 years. As Scientists we must continue to challenge and explore to improve our services and patient outcomes.
- The Institute of Maxillofacial Prosthetists & Technologists