With improved technology we benefit from the ability to download files upon files of data within seconds, drive smarter vehicles that can tell us when to stop backing up, and carry on a face-to-face conversations through video conferencing programs with friends, family and colleagues across the world. If these developments aren’t impressive enough for you to be convinced that one-by-one new technologies are dramatically changing the world we live in, consider the magnitude of change technology has affected on the medical world with seven of the coolest medical gadgets.
1.) Prolific Prosthetics
The Virtu-limb from i-Limb Pulse debuted at the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association National Assembly showcasing the capability to virtually tap into electrical signals via electrodes sent out by arm muscles. Most impressively, The Virtu-limb transmits those signals wirelessly to a prosthetic hand using Bluetooth technology. This data can then be used to model the artificial hand in the digital world directly on a PC.
Smartphones simplify some of our most mundane tasks, but now they have the functionality to perform at-home EEG brain scans. Using the Nokia N900 smartphone and the Emotiv EPOC wireless EEG headset, a user can self run an EEG practically anywhere and produce a 3D model of the brain highlighting brainwave activity in multi-color spectrums. The program will even track how well the brain responds to images and videos during the EEG test; results can be analyzed almost instantly on a PC for more intensive and quantitative analysis.
3.) Hair Harvesting
Forget Rogaine, the FDA has approved a robot that will harvest hair follicles to automate the hair transplant process. ARTAS precisely rips out a hair follicle and stores it until the physician performing the procedure is ready to manually transplant it. Not only does the device streamline the hair transplant process for doctors it also cuts out hours of surgery time.
4.) Skin Saver
While medical advancements have made skin grafting for burn victims more widely available, little has been done to improve or find a different process. A new spray-on skin gun could make a huge different. The gun operates similar to an airbrush tool, collecting stem cells from a burn victim’s healthy skin, combining them in a solution within the spray tool and spraying the treated cells directly onto the affected burn areas. Still in experimental stages, the tool has helped more than a dozen burn victims and the procedure only takes about an hour and a half.
5.) Comfy Crutches
Although not the most technologically advanced, these newly designed Mobilegs crutches are a vast improvement over the traditional models of crutches. They provide better stability and have the potential to mitigate nerve damage for long-use patients, reducing wrist strain and increasing comfort.
6.) Smart Sensors
For hospital medical assistants, nurses and doctors this new gadget could revolutionize daily duties. The Earlysense EverOn sensor is positioned underneath a hospital patient’s mattress to detect every single heartbeat and breath. All data is transmitted directly to the nurse’s central computer for 24/7 monitoring of a patient’s vital signs. No more 1 a.m. wake up calls for vital sign checks.
7.) Powerful Printing
With this new 3D printing gadget almost any physical prosthetic modeling just got a whole lot easier and more precise. 3D printing allows large-scale and expensive printing machinery to produce a 3D model of almost any item, regardless of its complexity. The bounds of this technology are limited only by the imagination. In other words, the technology empowers designers to craft prosthetics that almost perfectly mold to a wearer’s body, unlike more standard models from the past.
Jonathan Miller freelance writes on a wide variety of topics from new mobile technology and gadgets to medical college degree options like medical assistant programs. Some of Jonathan’s college and tech articles have been featured on large online publications.