Future Medical Technology May Eliminate Disease

 Future Medical Technology  Comments Off on Future Medical Technology May Eliminate Disease
Jan 032017

Two months ago, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, together with his pediatrician wife, Priscilla Chan made a pledge of $3 billion dollars over the next ten years that will aim to treat, manage and cure all diseases by the end of the century. A project that is seen to pay off in 20 to 50 years, the couple already mentioned about their plans after their daughter was born.

It can be remembered that Zuckerberg announced that 99% of their Facebook shares will be donated to their new initiative which was around $45 billion at that time.

Other big names in the industry of technology have also expressed their plans and have already taken actions to help in the field of medical research and other aspects related to health.

Microsoft bigwig and philanthropist, Bill Gates together with his wife, Melinda, have been making their share years ago by funding public health projects all over the world through a charitable foundation they have started. These include polio and malaria prevention efforts. Gates was there during the announcement made by Zuckerberg with his wife and went up the stage to express his support.

Meanwhile, Silicon Valley billionaire Sean Parker made a donation amounting to $250 million, in the earlier part of this year, for the development of immune therapies for cancer.

Google, for its part, is also gathering genetic data to contribute to enhance human longevity as well as developing contact lenses designed for glucose monitoring on diabetic patients.

Fifteen years ago, the sequencing of the human genome was first accomplished for $3 billion but today, the costs are much less than it is projected that in 2022. Genome sequencing will be less expensive than blood testing and with computers able to process genome, it has become part of information technology.

What used to be an industry related to devices, electronics and inventions, technology has already conquered the field of medicine to find cure to diseases. With the use of advanced technologies such as sensors and the artificial intelligence system developed by IBM, more medical advances can be expected in the next ten years.

In the recent years, other technology giants have designed products for health monitoring. We now have the Apple Watch and the Fitbit to monitor sleep cycles, stress and energy levels as well as physical activities and send the data to mobile devices via mobile apps. Even the smartphones of today are able to monitor a person’s psychological and emotional status.

CEO of San Diego-based cancer drug and diagnostics company, Ignyta, Dr. Jonathan Lim sees the efforts of the Zuckerberg family as a gap filler. He said that the money will be funding basic science and prevention which do not really get much support as clinical efforts do.

The philanthropic foundation is known as the Chan Zuckerberg initiative which will create Biohub, a cooperative that will be responsible in developing a “cell atlas” of the human body as well as the establishment of an infectious disease initiative to develop diagnostic tests, new drugs and vaccines against Ebola, Zika and HIV.


Mood Modulation Technology in the Future

 Future Medical Technology  Comments Off on Mood Modulation Technology in the Future
Jul 052016

Mental states that only used to be altered for the better by drugs and surgery can now be enhanced with the use of technology. With an alternative method to change brain activity with the application of non-invasive brain stimulation, technology might become a significant factor in balancing activity in the brain of a depressed patient.

This technique works by using electrical or magnetic energy to stimulate the left and right hemispheres of the brain in patients diagnosed with depression. Moreover, this method is believed to be both effective and safe without the manifestation of side effects that can be experienced in treatments associated with drugs. Apart from these appealing qualities, this technology is also relatively cheaper than other existing treatments.

The technology known as transcranial direct current stimulation has been used on sixty-six early adult women who were not diagnosed with clinical depression. Results showed that this technique showed improvements in the moods or at least 64.7% of the total scores in the experiment manifested a reduction of negative mood states.

Today, questions have been raised if these types of techniques be applicable in what is known as “cosmetic mood enhancement. Since it can be readily accessible to a great number of people and is low in cost, there are several products available in the market that boast of the use of this technology. Also, there are already private clinics that offer a course in neurofeedback training.

Meanwhile, there is also some evidence that the effects of these alternative techniques are not far behind the effect of placebo and that efficacy is slim. But despite these issues, there are still people who are willing to try treatments like these even if they have not been proven to be effective.

Questions about Mood Modulation Technology

There have also been skepticisms about these cosmetic mood enhancements. Questions have been raised on how much the people are informed of the possible adverse effects of mood modulation technology and if the benefits really outweigh the drawbacks. Concerns over the possible dependence of an individual on the technique of brain stimulation just as a person becomes addicted to drugs and alcohol have been presented. Some also ask about the accountability of private clinics and manufacturers of mood enhancement products as well as their commitment to monitor potential harm and informing the public. The controversy on only the people with money can take advantage of this technology has also been mentioned.

Available Clinical Depression Treatments

A person suffering from depression can be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy which is part of a pathway of care. In some instances, these therapies will also be combined with drug treatments. Patients will be given serotonin re-uptake inhibitors to balance chemicals in the brain. If these methods prove to be ineffective, patients will be given other drugs with side effects. These side effects are what lead experts to consider alternative treatments such as the use of technology.

Conversely, deep brain stimulation is also done to help patients suffering from mood disorders. This involves drilling a hole into a patient’s skull to give way to fine electrodes that will work on the targeted area of the patient’s brain. Although this has been used in some patients with Parkinson’s disease, there are also risks involved.

Having said that, making use of technology as a better option to enhance the mood of patients and non-clinically depressed people is likely to happen in the near future. If this happens, more people will benefit from technological advancements.





Pros and Cons of Biohacking

 Future Medical Technology  Comments Off on Pros and Cons of Biohacking
Feb 232015

Biohacking DNA

Biohacking is the term used in conjunction with your biological process and the integration of hacker principles. If you think of biology as a computer, and the way a hacker can infiltrate the system to make it work the way they want it to, biohacking can be easier to understand. The process of biohacking can involve a distinct combination of medical, nutritional and electronic methods to make the body function exactly as you want. Typically, those who engage in biohacking support the theory of “Transhumanism”, which states that fundamental altering of the human condition is possible through technology, which leads to a more advanced specimen of humans.

Benefits of Biohacking

For those who struggle with mental health disabilities, research suggests that biohacking can have a great impact on treatment. One of the goals of many biohackers is to boost serotonin and dopamine, which are the common neurotransmitters that increase good feelings. Biohacking can increase long term memory and productivity, and is said to have positive effects for both the mind and body.

In a scientific term, biohacking further advances the understanding of the body and its processes, with very little input from the medical community. Many biohackers feel that they can break free from the bars of traditional science and medicine, and make great progression toward being in charge of our own biology.

Many biohackers focus on cognitive health, balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, a positive productive mindset, and quick results. In theory, any progress toward improvement of the human mind and body can only help further a better population.

Disadvantage of Biohacking

The biggest issue many take with the idea of biohacking deals with the ethics involved. Because the field of biohacking is unregulated, many wonder if biohackers have the potential to create carcinogenic and pathologically detrimental organisms, either intentionally or unintentionally. The field has spawned a new discussion of biosecurity, which seeks to discover and manage the risks of biohacking to society. A specific code of ethics was created in 2011, by DIYbio for which biohackers should adhere, however there is no distinct rule requiring them to do so.

Additionally, biohacking is a relatively new theory, and while biohackers are quick to claim positive long term benefits, the longevity of the methods and techniques has yet to be truly tested. Biohacking is generally a free-for-all in terms of who can become a biohacker and what they can do with it.

Why it’s important

Biohacking can change the future of how we deal with our bodies. It’s an important new science which needs to be studied and have close attention by the public. In a regulated environment, biohacking can give humans a new perspective on their biology and really made tremendous advances in treating several conditions, like mental health and addiction. However, it’s not something that should be taken lightly, because the risks are real. Here’s to seeing what biohacking has to bring in the near future!


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