This is a summary of was an article titled "Mind-Boggling Medical Technologies" that recently appeared on MSN's Health website. Article here http://health.msn.com/health-topics/slideshow.aspx?cp-documentid=100217759 . The article provided overviews of 9 emerging technologies in the medical field. Some of them may seem far fetched, but I suspect there are many scientists working on these ideas and we will no doubt see many of them in our lifetime.
- Blood bots. Someday surgeons will guide small robots through the body. These robots may perform certain tasks, like clean plaque-filled vessels, slice off tissue for biopsies, or deliver targeted drugs
- Thought-controlled artificial limbs. In the future a biological interface would link a patient's nervous system to an artificial limb that responds to thought.
- Brain-clot vacuum cleaner. In the same way a vacuum cleaner suctions up debris, a device called the Penumbra is being tested that could suction life-threatening blood clots out of a stroke patient's brain.
- Deep transcranial magnetic therapy. This technology sends an electromagnetic pulse through the skull and can induce neural excitation or inhibition deep inside the brain and is being tested for treatment of depression, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even eating disorders.
- Breathalyzers for disease diagnosis. This emerging technology will perform tests on a person's breath that might reveal a range of illnesses or conditions, including cancer, asthma and many others.
- Diagnosing Alzheimer's with a blood test. Diagnosing Alzheimer's by means of a simple blood test may become a reality in the foreseeable future.
- Spit here to detect breast cancer. Researchers are trying to develop a simple breast cancer test that uses a person's saliva.
- Implantable nano wires to monitor blood pressure. A little invasive, but researchers are working on an idea to implant small wires (we are talking very, very small wires) in the body to remotely monitor blood pressure
- Laser-powered heart beats. This technology uses lasers to stimulate a release of calcium ions within the heart, which can restore a heart to a steady beat.
This was an interesting list to read. Healthcare Technology is such an amazing imagine industry. We are living in an age where technology advancements in healthcare are happing rapidly. The next 50-100 years we will see so many more fantastic innovations. I can only hope that we find a way to deliver these innovations and other important medical advancements to less developed nations.