Digestible sensors and digital contact lenses, what’s next?

1) Augmented Reality

The digital contact lens patented by Google aims to change the course of diabetes management by measuring blood glucose levels from tears. Microsoft Hololens aims to change the way we look at the world by projecting digital information onto what we see.

A clinic in Germany started experimenting with augmented reality in operating rooms. During surgery, surgeons can see through anatomical structures such as blood vessels in the liver which allows them to make precise excisions.

2) The Surgical iKnife

The intelligent surgical knife (iKnife) was developed by Dr Zoltan Takats of Imperial College London and works by using an old technology where an electrical current heats tissue to make incisions with minimal blood loss.

It is already used in hospitals around the world, but surgeons can now analyse the smoke given off when the hot blade burns through tissue.

The smoke is sucked into a hi-tech “nose” called a mass spectrometer. It detects the subtle differences between the smoke of cancerous and healthy tissue. This information is available to the surgeon within seconds. Tests on patients showed that the knife could accurately tell what type of tissue it was cutting and if it was cancerous.

3) Live Virtual Reality Surgery

On 14 April 2016, Dr Shafi Ahmed, performed a surgery while being filmed by virtual reality cameras at the Royal London hospital. Whether you’re a journalist, relative or medical student, anyone could log on to the Medical Realities website to watch the surgery live through two 360 degree cameras.

Medical students in the near future will be able to study the anatomy of the human body through virtual dissections and need not wait for their turn to get a cadaver. Textbooks will be transformed into virtual reality learning environments and students can observe, analyse and create anatomies in every way.

4) Wearables

No, we’re not talking about FitBit or the other common devices that we see around. We’re talking about the future – digestible and wearable sensors that are attached to our bodies. Bio-metric tattoos such as VivaLNK’s eSkin Tattoo have already been designed to transmit medical information discreetly.

These sensors can measure vital signs 24 hours a day such as body temperature, blood bio-markers and neurological patterns. It will then transmit the data to a cloud or alert medical services if it detects for example, a heart attack happening.

Click here to find out how artificial intelligence can help to cure cancer.

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