Star Trek Gadgets and Other Cool Technology Used in Health Science

“Health Science” has gone from a euphemism for the biology class explaining the difference between boys and girls to a billion dollar industry, and one which promises to not only heal the human form but improve it beyond all recognition. A week doesn’t pass without some ridiculously Star Trek-level technology being announced.

Even better, these aren’t all emerging from the subterranean research complexes of some singular super-corporation. Breakthroughs are being made around the world, from academies to industry, proving that health science is a field whose time has come.

Check out the advancements 

iPad Apps, Health Science For Everyone

A huge part of health science is the population – they’re the ones its designed to help, and they have a huge wealth of information to be studied. And the more they know about health science, the more benefit they feel and the less likely they are to need serious treatment. The progress of portable computers like the iPhone and iPad have been a massive boon for this field. Easy access, always on to record, wireless transmission of data and well-designed apps mean anyone can benefit from medical studies without having to spend seven years in medical school.

Professional-level medical reference apps like Medscape can be downloaded for free. Diagnosis, monitoring and reminder apps mean that those who live alone can benefit from medical coverage without having to travel to a clinic every day, and help keep track of vital treatment and dosage data.

Apple understand how vital health science is, both in terms of progress and the basic idea that healthy customers will be able to buy more things! Apple Educational Seminars regularly sell out, such as the “Apple in Health Sciences” conference scheduled in Kansas City this November. This meeting aims for academic leaders, deans and department chairs in health science faculties, and especially curriculum directors. Many academic institutions are experimenting with the use of iPads in classroom settings. Apple are clearly aiming to move that beyond the school and into the field, arming doctors with tablets to easily review results, x-rays, complete patient histories, and even contact specialists from the same device.

It makes a lot of sense, and saved time means saved lives. And this is only the beginning for health science in an information age.

Upgraded DNA Tests

A huge part of the health sciences is pathology, performing the tests and gathering the data which allow diagnosis and treatment. This is a huge field, with health science technologists working in thousands of locations around the country, and one which feels the full benefit of advancing technology. Faster tests save time and lives, while new tests allow the detection and treatment of previously incurable diseases.

A new process unveiled by the Lawrence Livermore National Labs has massively accelerated Polymerase Chain Reaction, a vital step in DNA testing. DNA testing used to take a very long time – your only hope was to live long enough to see if anything happened. Then it took years. Then a day. And that still wasn’t fast enough, so their process only takes minutes. Processing your genes – what was once a mad scientific dream can now be completed over coffee.

Cyborg Limbs

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory melded man and machine this year, literally arming a human user with a robotic limb. You might fantasize that the first cyborg connections would be made to equip someone to punch a Terminator off the top of an exploding skyscraper, but this application is even more important. The user was paralyzed, losing the use of his body due to a spinal injury seven years ago, and this is the first time he’s moved anything since. He used it to touch hands with his girlfriend. We’re assuming it was very dusty in the room for the scientists all around them.

The limb is controlled by an electrocorticography grid implanted on the surface of his brain. We remind you that this is real health science, not science fiction.

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