Talking about apps for your phone…this one is amazing from MIT Media Labs.
Attach a $1-2 eyepiece (the “NETRA”) to your phone and get your eye prescription in less than 2 minutes.
I wonder if they will come out with more apps for health and wellbeing that check your vital signs such as temperature, pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and more.
I can envision the smartphone becoming our personal health assistant for monitoring and alerting us to dangerous medical conditions.
This will increase our ability to get timely medical care and save lives.
This is a long way from “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,” and that’s a great thing.
Remember the TV shows The Bionic Man and Woman? These folks had implants that gave them amazing super-human strength, speed, hearing, and vision.
“Bionics is a term which refers to flow of ideas from biology to engineering and vice versa…In medicine, Bionics means the replacement or enhancement of organs or other body parts by mechanical versions. Bionic implants differ from mere prostheses by mimicking the original function very closely, or even surpassing it. (Wikipedia)
Believe it or not, bionic eyes are now a reality, at least in a research stage.
MIT Technology Review, 25 January 2008, reports that “researchers have created an electronic contact lens that could be used as a display or medical sensor.”
Although, this bionic eye cannot see miles away like a telescope yet, it was created to see if it would be possible to fulfill two primary purposes:
How is the bionic eye made?
It “incorporates metal circuitry and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) into a polymer-based lens…a functional circuit that is biologically compatible with the eye.”
What are some of the challenges in making the bionic eye work in the real world?
From a User-centric EA perspective, bionics is one of those incredible fields where end-users really benefit in everyday functions, in life-altering ways. Bionics opens up possibilities for people with disabilities (due to illness or accident) that are nothing short of miraculous. Imagine people being able to walk, look, hear, and so on not only on par with healthy individuals, but maybe even with an edge. Of course, this could open up all sorts of ethical dilemmas. If we think Olympians taking steroids is an issue, we haven’t seen nothing yet. Bionics is a field that is only just beginning, but it will have enormous implications for process improvement and reengineering based on new incredible capabilities of those that have these implants. Bionics is an example par excellence of technology enabling process (in this case, the very elements of mechanical human processes).