The Future of Health Technology in Our Life

Thanks to advances in applied research and medical technology, we are closer to reaching the age of increased man.
Monitoring systems that let you know the calories you’ve ingested in real time sensors that detect stress and augmented environments provide a layer of information about the products we eat. It is the embedded health, research conducted by the Institute for the Future that collects forecasts of advances in technology and science related to health, for the next decade.
Zoom estimates for 2020.

Photo Credit: US Army Africa
Health Horizons forecast includes a map of 2020.

The Health Horizons Program research group Institute for the Future is to anticipate trends in the coming years the convergence of science, technology and health, especially directed to explore what services and products surround our lives. Also, the ethical dilemmas that may entail.

The forecast map draws a healthier future and quick to prepare food products as well as devices that measure the calories of each product. In this sense and there are examples like 3D printer MIT Media Lab, able to print food. Systems are also expected to display information and simulators that interpret our health data such as blood sugar or blood pressure, and augmented reality environments that provide digital information on the composition of the products. LookTel, for example, has developed a mobile application that recognizes objects and gives information about them in audio, designed for people with vision problems.

Health Horizons the study includes three future scenarios, aimed primarily at showing trends and possibilities, some more desirable than others. The first is a smoker and overweight that want to adopt healthier habits girl. Late in the day, he receives a text message on the mobile with the calories consumed and burned, information it collects a patch attached to his arm. At home, the girl is wearing augmented reality glasses that recognize caloric foods and marked as hazardous. It also carries a chip on his neck that releases electric shocks if you think of lighting up.

Another scenario is focused on reducing stress at work. Displays an office of the future with webcams that detect facial expressions and bracelets to record vital signs of workers. If someone has signs of stress, get alerts to your mail to take a breath and light changes color your desk so no one bothers you for a while.

The third scenario is in a local community created to care for both the elderly and their families. At school community only healthy food grown in local public spaces, while foods with too much fat or sugar are banned in store service. In restaurants rates to less healthy choices apply, and that money is used to fund community vegetable cultivation. In the houses there are sensors that detect mobility problems in older people, and if someone takes too much time lying on the couch. If so, there comes a text message proposing alternatives to continue sitting activities.

The relationship between technology and health sciences have been widely discussed in Think Big, from advanced bionic eye prosthesis as the Argus II, to Alzheimer’s research using Big Data, through issues such as the integration of robotic elements in our bodies. The potential of health technology are apparently open and endless.

And that despite the advances that medicine has known since the early twentieth century, it was not until the nineties that has begun to incorporate information technology and communication as tools of progress and improvement.

Then begins a phase which we may call the “digitization of medicine” which includes aspects such as the computerization of medical records of patients, and the possibility that they are shared among different medical centers and teaching hospitals, digital imaging and diagnostics or online management appointments and consultations. All this contributes to the health system saves time and money, and gains in efficiency.

Currently we can speak of a new era in technology applied to medicine, some experts call the “personal health” and being analyzed in a recent monograph of Fundación Telefónica, ICT and personal health.

We are in a phase where ICT developments and applications occur extremely rapidly (sometimes in a disruptive manner) hitting hard in medical science. The most affected areas are mainly the processing and monitoring of health, disease diagnosis and research and dissemination in medicine.

As an example of applied technology research, recently reported about a Dutch brain scanning technique that can get to rebuild the thoughts. We also did echo in this line of work of an MIT video game that helps map the brain.

Internet is a powerful educational tool and information on diseases, epidemics and health care and social networks allow inform people in real time about any aspect of individual or collective health importance.
The man of the future increased

This frenetic pace of medical innovation allows us to predict a new future phase of evolution in which talk about “increased health” and in which the possibilities opened by technology even more spectacular, including things like 3D printing organs and bones, nanorobots inside our body or self-diagnosis of diseases.

ICT and personal health publication allows us to conceive the following future trends in medicine:

Self testing of all diseases – The developments of diagnostic devices allows us to have them at home and submit to self-test in order to detect diseases. Smartphone and other mobile devices play a key role in health care.
3D Printing organs – The printing of complex organs in 3D sounds very futuristic but it is something that is already experiencing at MIT, namely printing 3D human bones that allow solving fractures.
Biomimicri / nanobots – Get new component designs but with increased capacity, usually using nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is one of the most interesting in medicine by offering the possibility to insert nanorobots in the human body to support the functions of the body to correct problems or fields. An example of this is presented in Think Big in August, the use of robots to prevent thrombosis.
The grown man – A final aspect that describes the report as a new extension of the concept of health, which means “no longer to maintain an acceptable level of health parameters to prevent a deterioration of the body, but get superior capabilities with the use of technologies, technological prostheses or implants. “concepts appear here as the” Body Hacking “, a series of techniques to” tune “the human body components for new functions.