I read yesterday how a company has perfected the artificial arm (or the Bionic arm?). I remember Steve Austin the Six Million Dollar Man – what a legend, there wasn’t anything he couldn’t do once they had rebuilt him.
Well the article explains how the arm is in many aspects inspiration for products like these are born out of Science fiction, remember when Luke has his severed arm replaced with an artificial one, much like his Father does in the Attack of the clone’s film
Anyway – my point is this….. Is there a limit to what we as humans will be able to replace in our bodies? Orthopaedic implants have been common place for many years, pace makers, artificial hearts and even new blood, the technology advancement is amazing and fast. I entered the medical world in 1987 when I trained and qualified as an RGN (Reregistered General Nurse) and then moved in to Medical Devices recruitment in 1994 after working in many High dependency Units as a Staff Nurse and since 1987 the developments in medical devices technology has been awesome.
Some of you that know me well know I write often about Robotic Surgeons and combined with a healthy interest in Science Fiction films the gap between realities and or future reality in medicine is getting smaller and smaller. So apart from the pressure on film makers to encompass amazing new medical technology in their battle scenes is the film Industry influencing medical advances? I think so and I wonder what will be next? Will we ever be able to replace the brain? I know we can add neuro implants which have been a huge benefit to many patients, but a complete brain? Is that ever going to be possible – will that be the ultimate fusion between human and technology? I’m not sure that we will ever get to that stage well not in my children’s life time but maybe a more realistic technology goal is cryogenics, freezing terminally ill patients and then bringing them back to the world at a time when the ‘cure’ is available for their illness. Indeed this will be linked again to our voyages to the Stars. If we want to boldly go where we haven’t been before into deep space then a technology to allow us to ‘sleep for long periods’ and then be revived has to be developed so mankind can explore those far flung galaxies. So I watch the web with interest to see what developments are coming our way and how they will enhance our lives and health.
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