The Era of Smart Implants
To replace entire organs, smart implants are now being tested. The long-term goal is to eliminate the waiting time for patients for a donor transplant. The bionic heart is the most anticipated organ replacement device. Out of the many designs that have been showcased, the most promising one is a device that can pump blood around the entire body without a pulse.
While that is impressive enough and something out of science fiction, there’s a new class of implants that have the potential to improve human performance. These new health regulating implants can be likened to pacemakers but they monitor the body and share your biometrics with an app on your phone. But here is the kicker. When it senses the onset of an illness, it releases medications or electric currents, which are designed to bring your body back into a normal state of balance. You might think this is pure sci-fi but consider this! The US military’s advanced research arm called DARPA is hard at work on this technology. They have a project called ELECTRx that stands for ‘electrical prescriptions’. This tech is based on a biological process called neuromodulation. Its a tiny implant and the idea is for it to monitor your peripheral nervous system (these are the nerves that connect the body to the brain and spinal cord). If it detects an imbalance that could lead to a disease down the track or an immediate illness, it releases tiny electrical impulses to rebalance the nervous system that will allow the body to heal itself.
While that is an exciting step to alleviate sickness and disease, the best stuff is yet to come.
The Era of Nanotechnology
The idea behind it is quite simple but the technology involved is very advanced. Billions of nanobots are programmed with the cure for the ailment are injected into a targeted area of the body. These nanobots will then spread throughout your body looking for the damaged tissue. Once they find it, they would release enzymes that will ‘cut’ the damaged tissue away from the healthy tissue. This will allow the healthy tissue not only clear away the damaged tissue but stimulate the regeneration of more healthy tissue around the area. These nanobots could also target the nerve cells around the damaged area and dull or suppress the nerve cells leading to no pain felt by the patient. This alleviates the need for drugs to reduce the pain. Now that’s got to be a technology worth investing in.
Using this technology, these nanobots could be programmed to attack cancer cells all with no pain or discomfort to the patient. The need for dangerous and toxic cancer treating drugs will be a thing of the past. Chemotherapy rendered obsolete and long stays in hospitals no longer needed. However, as exciting as this sounds, this technology is at least still 15 years away from widespread medical adoption. But, the work on this tech has been underway for some time now.