Bioscience · Ethics · Future · Medicine · Science · Technology

Technology in medicine F.T.W. – Part Two


A short summary of “Technology in medicine F.T.W. – Part One”

We have taken into consideration pro and against arguments for implementing new technologies in medicine, such as a diagnosis system. In conclusion, with the technology that is currently in use, the contra arguments have a majority over the pro arguments. But what would happen if we were to consider tomorrow-day technology?

To answer the question that we closed the first part with, I will take a look at three possibilities, i.e. three different technologies.

1) “Anti-ageing drug”

The explanation of why I have added the ” ” is that this drug does not really stop the ageing of the body or reverse it.  It works such that it promotes healthy growth, by inhibiting the mTOR pathway.

The experimental medication, a version of the drug rapamycin, improved the seniors’ to a by 20 percent, researchers said in the current issue of Science Translational Medicine.
Rapamycin belongs to a class of drugs known as mTOR inhibitors, which have been shown to counteract aging and aging-related diseases in mice and other animals.

You can read the full article here http://m.medicalxpress.com/news/2014-12-baby-anti-aging-drug.html

What I am really curious about, is how much time does that give us, and is it a permanent solution?

I am interested to know how much time does that give us because I want to know whether doctors would be granted extra time to carry out more detailed investigations when it comes to the 5% (see part one).  This would make possible a more often use of the diagnosis systems in hospitals.

2) Nano-bots

“Much Sci-fi, Much speed. So Wow.” – WOW DOGE

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Ido Bachelet

Nano-bots are extremely small robots designed and programmed by humans. Ido Bachelet is a leading figure in the field of DNA nanotechnology. Bachelet and his team may be the first ones to use nano-sized robots to cure one of the most spread disease – cancer.

I included nano-bots in this section (‘implementing diagnosis systems in medicine’) because these machines don’t only work as a treatment, but also as a diagnosis system for a dozen types of tumours. It does not require doctors/nurses to spend more than 5 minutes with a patients, and the robots are self-caring.

The nano-bots behave more or less like T-Killer lymphocytes. They scan through the body for cells that present certain glycoproteins on their cell surface membrane, and bind to them. At this point the nano-bots release the drug within, which is carried to the complementary cell, killing it.

The bots are made of organic, biocompatible material. They are supposed to not give birth to any adverse effects when they come in contact with the patients’s white cells.

3) Cyborgs – Quite an unrealistic title, but true. This last topic will also answer the last question of the first Part of this article “But what if we were to use something other than a computer?

The term cyborg is often applied to an organism that has restored function or enhanced abilities due to the integration of some artificial component or technology that relies on some sort of feedback.

(I) Biometric sensors/implants start to become more and more popular on the market. You could take for example these biometric bracelets that most jogging fans like to wear. The bracelet measures the number of steps you take, the distance your run/walk, your heart rate at some point in time and many more. This information is then uploaded to either your mobile phone or computer.

Those sort of biometric sensors can be reprogrammed to record only vital information in a patient.

For example if you have a person who suffers of hypertension, the implant/bracelet would measure his/hers heart rate every hour for a week. The next time this patient goes to the doctor, their GP will be able to upload the data onto a computer and graph it. With some extra information from the patient (E.g. Time at which the patient ate, or whether or not there was any particular point in time at which the patient got angry etc.), the doctor would be able to make sense of the data and reach a conclusion quite fast.

(II) Brain implants that boost your brain performance are not reality at this moment. But they will be by 2020, sustains Michael Snyder in his article “A Chip In The Head.” The only technology we have now, and which resembles this futuristic idea of brain boosters, is brain implants which can actually treat some of the neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease by stimulating the deep brain.

Brain boosters will most probably connect us to the internet or, even better, they will connect doctors to databases such as Isabella’s. They will be able to run a throughout check and make sure that all the possibilities are added to a differential diagnosis process.

I will not go further into this 2nd part of the topic “cyborgs” because, really!, everything is very uncertain and sci-fi.

TED

References:

1. Chip implants http://singularityhub.com/2014/11/25/summit-europe-chip-implants-easy-as-piercings/

2. Chip in brain http://www.jewsnews.co.il/2013/10/31/a-chip-in-the-head-brain-implants-will-be-connecting-people-to-the-internet-by-the-year-2020/

3. Anti-ageing drug http://m.medicalxpress.com/news/2014-12-baby-anti-aging-drug.html

4. Anti-Cancer Nanobots http://singularityhub.com/2015/01/08/can-dna-nanobots-successfully-treat-cancer-patient-first-human-trial-soon/

5. Peter Blog http://peterdiamandis.tumblr.com/ (The last video is taken from here).

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