The advancement of science has been the most remarkable thing in human race. It might have faced resistance from narrow-minded people. It might even have faced an in-house riot (trust me, there are many!) but in the end forward has always been the direction we have moved as far as science and technology is concerned.
Now, an argument might be made whether it has benefited the society or worsened it. There will always be people saying that video games make people violent. Or that too much Facebook makes person insensitive to actual human contact. I have no answers to this question. Maybe we should decrease a bit on the Cat Pictures.
Other than that though, I feel technology has provided us with means of improving ourselves. Most important in these fields is one that of medicine. Survival is one of the primary human concerns (to be honest, concern of every living being) and it is a shocking thing to know that as early as the beginning of this century, crossing the age forty was a feat. In our country, infanticide is still so high as to stun a person from a developed nation.
Technology has always been a pioneer in improving the condition of human life. In recent times, there have been three particular advancements that I am most impressed with.
- Stem cell research
- Portable testing equipment
The first one is controversial to say the least and I am not going to delve into that. Still, it is to Medicine what Nanotechnology is to well… technology. The promises are immense and sometimes it seems too good to be true. Yet, if successful, it is one of the most promising successes since the discovery of penicillin itself.
The second one is Prosthesis and whosoever has heard about Jaipur foot knows it. Here though, I am not just talking about the plastic foot but inclusion of a complete technology friendly machine that can become an integral part of the human body.
People who have disability can live a life akin to a person without a disability. To be honest, there is competition between stem cell and this as to who gives us a completely artificially grown but humanly usable (with our mind). I have hope that there might even be time when getting a limb amputated might be as serious an issue as breaking a bone is now; painful but curable.
The above two are the big guns like the machine gun and the bazooka which are good to have but not portable. Their research is long and their impact huge. Portable testing equipments though are already here and their impact can be seen in daily life so subtly that many people might not even realize this. The younger generation definitely won’t.
I remember a time when to check BP meant to go to a doctor. Then came a time where this could be easily done by a manual machine with pumping air and trying to read a barometer (I still do not know how to use it). Now, an electronic device will do it for you if you are able to strap your hand, no questions asked, at a touch of a button.
Similarly, once, diabetes was truly a dangerous disease because there was no way to know when to eat and how much. A person could not know what his sugar levels were and even people with high sugar could not know till they met a doctor. Many times, it meant after diabetes had struck.
Now, we find more people with high sugar than diabetes because it is diagnosed quickly and due to quick do-it-yourself kits a person knows when and how much he should take to keep the health right. The prices of these machines are not much but they can still go down. There is tons of scope that is left in this market.
How about an eye checker or maybe the whole bacteria culture? Why not a device with do-it-yourself ultrasound or X-ray? These devices need not be world class but if they can give a general idea to a person at home or maybe these equipments can be kept in the medical van and thus the diagnosis can begin a lot before a person reaches the hospital.
I am not an expert in health but I know there is scope in a field if it saves lives. Where the first two on their completion might mark important milestones in the field of health, it is the third one that brings instant relief for now.
Portable Health Instruments are the ones where the next big startup may lie.