MEDICAL DEVICE INNOVATIONS: FROM SCI-FI MOVIES TO THE REAL WORLD

There are so many inventions in the movies that many people wish were available in the real world. Well, guess what? It’s happening already.
Some device manufacturers are already working towards creating certain devices seen in the movies in order to aid the work done in the medical field.
Here are some of the sci-fi movies medical device innovations that are currently being manufactured.

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1. Star Trek Tricorder

The Tricorder is a handheld medical device that was used in Star Trek Enterprise but it is likely to become a reality soon.
Qualcomm came up with a contest to find anyone who could create a working Tricorder. It is supposed to weigh less than 5 pounds and also fit into the palm.
This device is being created with the intention that it would be of huge benefit to the healthcare industry.
As shown in the movie, it should come with the ability to diagnose various medical conditions, which would range from anemia, diabetes, pneumonia, sleep apnea to any chronic diseases.
It would also be expected to monitor vital signs including blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and breathing rate of patients.
The Tricorder is to be made simple such that patients would be able to use it in their homes, without needing a visit to the doctor.

  • 2. Ender's Game Robotic Medical Assistant

    The movie, Ender's Game, featured a surgical robot that was able to perform brain surgery. These robotic medical assistants, as shown in the movies, were created to help reducing incidents of workplace injuries, facilitate safe patient lifting.
    These would subsequently improve the maintenance and satisfaction of clinician staff and also promote patient satisfaction. These medical assistants are created to be versatile and mobile such that can allow for seamless operation and movement in any direction or location. The robotic medical assistants can alongside with a trained nurse to perform simple tasks including monitoring of vital signs or administering drugs.
    These robotic assistants can function as interfaces for doctors when communicating with patients from a distance with remotely located nurse overseeing and monitoring all the activities robotic assistants. They would also work well for clinical expects who are in remote locations because they can easily monitor, diagnose and treat patients simultaneously.

3. Mission Impossible Augmented Reality Contact Lens

Google Glass may likely be outdated soon since augmented reality contact lenses are now being invented.
For those who have been dreaming of having a neon interface float right in front of you so that you can see information projected into your eyes instead of on screens, your dream might soon come true, just like in Mission Impossible.
Some manufacturers are already working on creating lenses that are capable of reading the light from projectors attached to glasses.
This device includes a camera, a small display, an RF antenna and sensors. Once these lenses detect eye movement, they will give patients the capacity to manage certain inputs just by blinking.
Using these lenses will allow users concentrate on both close and distant objects. They will be able to measure their blood glucose by analyzing their tears. Finally the lenses will dictate the treatment and management of diabetes.

4. The Next Black Smart Garment

The smart garments were first showcased on the movie ‘The Next Black’ but they are about to become a reality. These smart garments, also known as fibretronics, come fitted with microchips.
These smart garments react to body temperature. They are also able to track heart rate, monitor emotions and other vital signs.
The best part is that doctors can use them in unique ways. By disengaging the touch interface from the digital device, these fibretronics use their sensors to monitor and then transfer data through a wireless signal to the user’s mobile device.

5. The Fifth Element 3D Bio-printer

3D Bio-printer was showcased in The Fifth Element but now that concept is about to become a reality.
Normally 3D printing is used for creating objects but now that technology has advanced; medical practitioners are now using it.
Doctors use 3D bio-printers to build/rebuild human tissues and sometimes organs, majorly for research purposes and maybe organ replacements.
With the aid of computed tomography and MRI, these bio-printers reconstruct cells and tissues layer by layer. The reconstructed parts are now connected to oxygen and nutrients in order to keep them alive.

Conclusion

Looking at the detailed functions of these technological gadgets, it actually makes sense that they should not just be relegated to the movies alone. They would be of great benefits to the medical field, both to doctors and their patients.