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Imaging Technology Advancements July 8, 2012

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Science, Star Trek Technology.

“The future is here; it’s just not evenly distributed yet.”

There seems to be advancement of medical instrumentation and imaging on several fronts recently. Medical monitor developer LifeWatch has launched LifeWatch V, which is the world’s first medical smartphone, for Android-powered devices (that’s right, your phone; extra high-end processing not required). The Android smartphone has inbuilt sensors to help diagnose common disorders and illnesses. It allows users to monitor ECG, blood glucose, blood oxygen, body temperature, galvanic skin response, heart rate and stress level on their own. The company hopes to obtain EU CE Mark certification by the end of this year and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval the following year.

The tech from LifeWatch is largely image processing from a more-or-less stock phone camera, with contrasting pumped up to watch for venous coloration changes and such, and keeps records on your health and monitors changes.  It can report to your doctor as well.  Sound familiar?

Before Star Trek, computers were massive machines taking up whole rooms. But the crew of the Star Trek Enterprise had small useful computers that could be carried around with them. This "Tricorder" inspired the inventors of the personal computer and the Palm Pilot. PHOTO MERITUM MEDIA

Yeah, Star Trek imagined it first.  But wait, there’s more! A patient bed is under development by doctors at the University of Leicester that might seem even more useful:

The bed has a set of instruments which analyze a patient’s breath and skin, monitoring blood flow and oxygenation in real time.

They think the bed can be used to diagnose dozens of diseases, like some infections such as c. difficile and certain cancers. These are all standard techniques, but it’s the first time all these technologies have been brought together in an integrated way – and developing it involved scientists working in space research, emergency medicine, engineering and IT. "We are replacing doctors’ eyes with state-of-the-art imaging systems, replacing the nose with breath analysis, and the ‘feel of the pulse’ with monitoring of blood flow using ultra sound technology and measurement of blood oxygen levels," says professor Mark Sims, a University of Leicester space scientist.  Assuming they can properly design the computer interface they could have the correct product:

Now, I admit I got the images from Google, but the really shameful part is I got the article and idea from the Daily Mail.



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