We always talk about the newest breakthroughs in the medical field, but we tend to think of the newest medicine for this or the best new surgery for that. What about the technology that makes medicine possible, though?
We’re starting to see some major innovations, especially where blood and the circulatory system are concerned. We’ve had breakthroughs in everything from diets based on your blood type to innovative attempts to create a substitute for human blood. However, there are still many more amazing new “inventions” just waiting to be uncovered.
As a society, we’ve become very concerned with cleaner energy sources, and while the turbine has been around since the late 1800’s, none have ever been powered by blood until now. Swiss researchers have invented a tiny turbine that uses our own circulatory system to produce energy. While this may seem strange at first glance, this nifty little contraption could be used to power pacemakers, drug delivery pumps or other medical devices that need batteries to run. The turbine still has a way to go before it’s ready for use, but once it’s finished it could have a huge impact on the advancement of internal medical technology.
Knowing one’s blood sugar level is very important to someone who has diabetes. Currently, you have to test your blood a couple of times every day by lancing a fingertip and placing a drop of blood into a blood glucose meter. What if there was a way to avoid that?
In Cambridge, Massachusetts, researchers are working on a specially designed ink that will changecolors depending on your blood glucose level. Tiny nano ink particles are tattooed under the skin and react to the amount of glucose in your bloodstream. If your glucose levels are normal, the ink stays orange but should your glucose level drop, the ink will turn purple. If your glucose level climbs above normal, the ink turns yellow. It’ll still be at least another two years before the ink is ready to be used on humans. But once it is, keeping an eye on your blood glucose levels will be a snap.
These are just two of the new inventions that will be becoming available to hospitals and doctors offices in the near future. Who knows what else is in store? What do you see being the next big innovations for the medical field?