If you haven’t noticed the advancements of technology in the last ten years, you haven’t been paying much attention. Tech is evolving fast. It is changing the ways that we interface with each other and the world. We can learn things quickly and make life more convenient for ourselves.
One of the most impactful ways that technology is changing things is through our bodies. Not only are there plenty of new developments when it comes to the ability to treat patients more effectively, technology is providing scientists new ways to study biology and, believe it or not, change it. Below are five ways that technology is impacting biology and medicine.
Robotics has always been seen as a distant dream. Even now, the robots we have aren’t that impressive. However, one thing that robotics has changed that has made a huge impact is human strength, endurance, and mobility. Robotic limbs help people get around. Robotic gloves can protect workers' hands in hazardous conditions like temperature, toxic chemicals, and sharp objects. Full robotic suits boost human endurance and strength. When it comes to robotic enhancements, there is an argument that one day soon we could become cyborgs.
Like robotic limbs, 3D printing also provides new ways for people in need to get around. Prosthetic limbs can be designed on the computer, printed out, and utilized for mobility. This is just the beginning to the amount of things we will be able to print in regards to the human body. There are even 3D printed organsthat can save lives. When someone needs an organ and there is no donor to provide it, it’s possible to design and print an effective organ. When it comes to 3D printing, there is no end to the possibilities. One of the technologies that feels like it is straight from science fiction is automated cell line development. There are now machines that allow biologists to study and duplicate cells from behind plate glass. With a robotic arm, the ability to effectively replicate individual cells and grow colonies has become a reality. Over time, you can track the development and even go back in time to look at where the cell development was at a certain point. This technology suggests humans will be able to easily create organisms from a single cell. Another biomed-tech development is the ability to analyze human health quickly and effectively with technologies like artificial intelligence (AI). AI can ingest large sums of data quickly and determine exactly how a person can improve their health, what diseases they may have to worry about, and how they can avoid health problems in the future. Furthermore, the health wristbandhas become a popular mainstay of the culture. With constant monitoring of vitals, recovery, calorie intake and burn, there is no end to analyzing human bodies and improving our health based on this information.
If the pandemic showed us one thing, it’s that telemedicine is a viable alternative. A lot of people were able to receive good remote treatment, but that is just the beginning of what remote medicine could look like. With the combination of augmented reality (AR) and 5G internet, remote surgeries are becoming more common.
This is when a surgeon and the patient are not in the same room when the procedure is performed. Using tools that are connected to precise software and AR tools, the surgeon can perform accurate surgeries from across the country. Since we all want the best doctors and surgeons, remote medicine will become even more common.
Perhaps the biggest changes technology is making are to the human body. With the ability to analyze, treat, and improve human health, technology is altering the way we think of life and health in general. This is just the beginning. There will be countless ways that tech improves and enhances our lives. With healthier bodies and minds, we will, hopefully, be happier and more productive. We will have more to live for. Only time will tell just how tech, medicine, and biology will evolve into the future, but it will surely be interesting.
Ryan Beitler is a writer and journalist who routinely covers health and technology.