Future medical technology is rife with hope especially when you look at current emerging tech. Right now the leading edge of medicine has given us brain-computer interfaces, nano-robots, gene manipulation, robotic surgery, synthetic organs, organ cloning, individualized drugs, bionic body parts and cryogenic sleep. This kind of technology is happening in the here and now.
So, future medical technology will, mainly be based upon current tech. And there will also be discoveries, “happy accidents” and breakthroughs in medicine that will seemingly come out of the blue with very little precedence.
So, let’s take a small leap ahead in time to see what future medical technology will look like a few years from now. The brain-computer interface that is only offered to a few people right now will be in wide-spread use by the masses. In fact, this will become the standard at some point replacing the computer mouse and keyboard.
For patients this will mean being able to research records including one’s own personal medical history, interface with doctors and medical staff, form and participate in social media support groups and even participate in simulated holographic research studies all using the power of the brain.
Holograms will be a huge part of the landscape in future medical technology. Similar to avatars in today’s movies, personal holograms will be wirelessly connected to our brains at different levels for different reasons. For instance, a psychotherapy session with a trusted psychologist half way around the world can take place with the aid of your hologram.
Acupuncture, physical therapy, sports medicine and other kinds of therapy will be performed on one’s hologram which will be wirelessly interfaced with the brain. Security measures and delays may be in place to insure misuse of this connection will not be tolerated. Hackers will still exist but in far fewer numbers than today.
In future medical technology, nano-robots, (or nanobots) will also become the norm for specific drug delivery systems on a cellular basis. Exact drugs in precise doses to the exact cells may be performed at first by a trained physician and then later automatically.
Nanorobots will also be able to perform minute surgical procedure such as removing cancerous cells or repairing otherwise damaged cells. The treatment of various mental illnesses will also be aided by nanobots.
For instance, nanobots will be able to travel to one’s Amygdala in the brain and deliver precise doses of medication to deal with anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Rapid Emotional Processing (REP) will be the result of these drug delivering nanobots.
In regard to the future of medical technology the human genome will one day be well understood. Gene therapy, gene manipulation, gene generation and designer gene integration will become part of mainstream life in decentralized medical stations (most hospitals will be downscaled and decentralized and most procedures will be able to be performed in your doctor’s office complex).
Robotic surgery which is being used now will become more robust in the future. After years of medical procedures and the merging of medical databases the computers that perform the operations will become extremely adept at diagnosis, mapping of individual bodies and considering risk and reward ratios given a person’s medical history. The same surgical robotics will also perform with consent of the patient the necessary medical procedures.
In future medical technology synthetic organs will become the norm for hearts, livers, kidneys and other vital parts of the human anatomy. But, synthetic organs will fall short in some medical cases and a need for organ cloning will push to the forefront.
Organ cloning will grow in breath, depth and worldwide acceptance after social issues and mores are addressed. The growth of this industry will be uneven and non-uniform across the globe at first because conservative versus more liberal moral belief systems will need to be negotiated.
As these issues are addressed and the benefits of organ cloning are witnessed as far as preserving life, extending life, keeping families and friends together, longer, more money will be spent in this endeavor.
Future medical technology will also dictate that prescription pharmaceuticals for individual cases will be developed rapidly and effectively. Currently, there is little financial incentive for large pharmaceutical manufacturers to spend millions of dollars to develop prescription drugs for small groups of people.
This will change in the future. Small groups and even individuals will be diagnosed and treated as medical and pharmaceutical computers, databases and technology are merged and implemented, creating individually tailored medicine.
Bionics which is also being used currently will become wide spread in the future. The merging of man and machine will be aided with the brain-computer interface. This interface will not only be between the brain and computers outside of the human body but inside as well.
Artificial arms, legs, ears, eyes and other body parts will contain computer chips and microprocessors that may be controlled both by the autonomous systems of the body, but by manual brain manipulation as well.
In future medical technology, cryogenic sleep will replace the emergency medically induced coma of today. Patients in life or death situations will be cryogenically frozen until an optimal cure or treatment can be found. The patient will then be released from their cryogenic sleep, treated and released.
If you think this is all science fiction, it is not. This is the place where emerging technology is leading us to right now. It is only a matter of time until the needs of today are realized by the technology of tomorrow. The only trick is to live long enough to see this unfold.
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Credits: DaVinci Surgical Systems, National Geographic