Working as a Doctor, Nurses in a hospital of the future will be a very different place to now. Technology currently being developed will change everything, innovative wearables could mean people spend less time in hospitals, avoid GP visits and we could even easily replace parts of our body that no longer work.
Health Monitoring Wearables
Wearable technology that monitors your fitness levels have been around for a few years, the future could see garments with built in technology that monitors your temperature, pulse, blood pressure and breathing. This means when you are ill it will be clear, so fewer wasted trips to the doctors, you will act quicker to get treated and if hospital treatment is needed instead you can be monitored easily at home. Companies such as Manchester based Smart Life and Hexoskin have developed clothing with this technology built into them.
3D Printed Body Parts
3D printing is being used to print artificial body parts such as replacement hips and 3D printed ears with built in hearing aids. The next step is actually 3D printing real skin, yes human skin, it is called bio-printing, biotechnology. Successful experiments have been done by companies such as Cellink, still in its early stages the idea is in the future skin will be printed for burns patients, maybe even organs such as livers, heart for transplant, imagine all the lives that could be saved instead of having to wait for a donor. Will it end here, maybe one day we will be able print ourselves a new body and just add our brains.
No More Needles, Big Ones Anyway
Everyone hates needles, for people who are diabetic who need to monitor their blood sugar they are part of everyday life. Smart fabrics are being developed that have lots of tiny little needles so small they can not be felt when held against the skin and can be used to monitor blood levels. This pain free technology could be built into a wristband, meaning no more injections, blood tests, as over a few hours immunisations, medicines sink into your body and blood levels are monitored. The idea is that in the future you will be treated at home instead of hospital, instead to being hooked-up to a drip you will wear a wristband where Biologic drugs such a those developed by Mike Hooven CEO of Enable Injections will seep pain free into your body.
Wearable technology offers masses of potential to improve the lives of people with disabilities such as The Dot Watch, a braille watch for the visually impaired. Open Style Lab is an organisation on a mission to do just this with innovative clothing developed personal to each persons disability. Projects include speakers built into clothing to help people with speech problems, other ideas are using conductive fibres so wearers can control their wheel chairs by touching their pocket.
Many mental health issues such as depression, anxiety are linked to stress and general physical health. To tackle this Sensoree have made a mood detecting vest that changes colour to make us more aware of our emotions and how we are feeling. The issue is everyone else can also see our mood, this maybe good as people can then support us in stressful situations, the downside is a lose of privacy about how we are really feeling.
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