My last blog we spoke of, Smart Wearable Technology. Let’s just take a peek into the future of health, and check what researchers have in store for us. We are gradually stepping into the realm of implantable wearables. These go right inside your body, without you having to worry about the appearance or the weightiness of the device being strapped onto you 24/7. What’s even better is, the smart implantable device manages to communicate directly with the clinician giving them a detailed insight on the patients’ health.
Hence there maybe instances where one may find themselves, stuck between the rock and the hard plate (Wink). But the implantable wearables are here to take over well before the decade closes in.
The big question is, how and why implantable will prove to become more useful, as compared to external wearables?
- The answer to this is simple. Imagine communicating with your loved ones using email/text as compared to meeting them directly. It is the same with the implantable devices. The device goes straight inside your body, this in turn gives the sensors an opportunity to gain a deeper and more appropriated insight on what’s happening inside.
- Smart wearables prove to become cumbersome to the wearer in just about 16 to 18 months of wearing the device. With the implants going right on the inside of the body, tracking health becomes a lot easier and constant. The implants don’t also come in the way of the wearer.
- The device also fosters overall improvement of your health encouraging minimal use of medication. It also severs the need of going through surgery.
- One can monitor the status of one’s health anytime anywhere, without having to spend oodles of cash on reports.
Some of implantable health devices
Obviously since these devices are being laboriously worked upon in famed laboratories around the world, most of them don’t have a tag to them. But these are some of my personal favourite medical implantable smart devices.
- Researchers from the University of Boston in America, have developed an innovative bionic pancreas, that help curb diabetes. The device is embedded with advanced sensors, which communicates all the recorded data onto an application that is installed on your smartphone.
- Obesity is witnessing its all-time rise in the recent decades. We can also pass the buck onto the accelerating intake of junk food. Researches from ETH – Zurich, Martin Fussenegger has designed a capsule with a certain genetic material that makes the patient feel ‘full’. The pill in turn fosters weight loss, and encourages the patient to exercise keeping complex lifestyle ailments at bay. https://www.ethz.ch/en/news-and-events/eth-news/news/2013/11/implant-slimming-aid.html do feel free to follow this link for further details.
- This is ideal for every pill concocter to keep a tab on his or her patients. Proteus Digital Health developed a very smart pill, that don’t only record data onto your smart phone, but will directly communicate with your clinician. This pill is infused with certain microprocessors that help record all data. It serves as useful in tapping on the reaction to the medication prescribed by the doctor. The pills are indeed smart as they directly communicate with your doctor. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/smart-pills-with-chips-cameras-and-robotic-parts-raise-legal-ethical-questions/2014/05/24/6f6d715e-dabb-11e3-b745-87d39690c5c0_story.html
- With so much exposure to radiation, cancer cases are swelling. Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a sponge like device that keeps a tab of cancer immune cells, and also keeps the relapse of the deadly disease at bay. The device is designed to choose all body cells, but especially those cells that choose cancer cells over any other cell in the tissue.
- Inked! Well try this version of being inked. A Texas based research group has developed the smart health-tracking tattoo. The micro-particles of this device are injected just under the skin, like tattoo ink. And this tattoo can then give you a detailed insight on a multitude of body functions. The tattoo can also serve as a memory chip that can store all important access codes and passwords. It can also perform a hoard of routine activities including controlling the electrical appliances at home while you’re at work. (Tried looking up a link for this one but couldn’t find it.)
There are hoards of implantable devices that can be used for numerous health related issues. These also include birth control devices, designed by Gates foundation. The device can be switch on and off depending upon the preference of the woman to start with a family.
Also there is the smart dust. The device is smaller that the size of a grain of sand, The dust arrays a full computer with antennas, which when lodged in a certain part of the human body can keep a track of the same providing for precisioned accuracy.
There is also the computer brain interface, and the list doesn’t seize to come to a haul. – not able to understand clearly as reader, when user will search on web it will not able to search details.
Implants indeed have a very bright future. Researchers foresee a time where smartphones will have just a virtual presence on the forearm of one’s hand. There will be a chip inserted within an individual’s wrist, and with the help of a band, the vision of the phone will be relayed onto the forearm. The human eye will serve as a camera to the phone. The implantable devices are rapidly taking over the military of almost every nation.
While the implantable devices have their own set of advantages, they do have some daunting pitfalls that cannot be overlooked by researchers.
- There are privacy issues that the wearer could face. The information could be fabricated and reused too.
- Researcher must keep a track of the numerous allergy issues that a patient could be faced with.
- It is very difficult to control the power on and off of devices that are within the body.
- While there is a large bulk of the population that resists that a device fitted on them, there are an equally large number of people who resist having a device entering inside their body.
- What if the device decides to trail off on a whim, exerting excruciating physical pain to the wearer?
- While implantable devices prompt the patient on the condition of their health, there is another rising problem of patients resorting of their own quick fix of DYI medication, which could in turn prove detrimental to their health.
While there are several questions being raised by the onlooker and researches have busied themselves in solving the puzzle posed to them by the onlookers. Researchers hope to perfect these complex looking wonders, before they launch into the market at the brink of the turn of the decade. Till then PINK on, while you await my next blog that will speak on implants that are used for other purposes barring health.