If I can know the constant "health" of a network or website, I would like the same for my body. It's 2013, I think monitoring all aspects of personal health is key. I hope to see more of this in the near future. The X-Prize tri-corder especially.
Karen, Excellent article. I didn't think about how wireless could be an enabling technology but I can see how that is true. Is that primarily being used as a way to log data collected by the device in health care settings? Thanks.
Thank you all for your fantastic comments re QoL and MEMS! @Rich - I am especially pleased you see the enabling tech of MEMS as a way to bridge the gap between doctors and their patients (especially since you are the Design News Editor). :) I love how MEMS is "taking healthcare to the streets" - and giving it back to "the people, for the people" rather than how technology oftentimes de-humanizes so much of healthcare. I see MEMS as empowering folks to take care of themselves - to LOSE that Weight, to take that medicine and sit up straight (as I adjust my lumbar...eh hem).
Hi, Karen, it's great to hear an industry perspective on these devices and hear how they are changing the game for personal healthcare. I've actually written about both the Body Media and Proteus technologies (http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=257818) in an article on a very similar topic. I, too, find this an exciting space.
Science fiction writers have written numerous stories about MEMS in medicine and are not shy about intrusive use of the technology (Asimov's Fantastic Voyage leaps to mind).
Think of something like angioplasty or heart catheterization. Procedures like those are invasive already, and include some degree of risk. Injecting MEMS designed to navigate to the arteries of the heart and scavenge plaque buildups would mean safer procedures.
It's also worth mentioning, Karen, that MEMS is saving a lot of lives in electronic stability control for autos. I've heard estimates that when all vehicles on the road have ESC (many older vehicles still don't have it), we'll be saving 7,000-10,000 lives a year in the U.S.
Excellent post. It's interesting that the really simple user interface is allowing the use of consumer electronics to pervade into the healthcare space. Pretty soon doctors will speak to you via Facetime (if they aren't already). MEMS is definitely oneof the enablers there. Without those senors, a lot of these applications aren't possible.
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Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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