Innovative Thinking: Enhancing Human Capabilities

As medicine advances, technology keeps pace to provide the sorts of solutions to help people with injuries or disabilities to achieve things that, just a few years ago, would have been simply inconceivable.

Take limb replacement, for example. For many years, artificial limbs were just crude replacements but today legs are being fitted that can respond to brain and nerve impulses and there are artificial hands which can sense heat and pressure.

Great advances are also being made in providing technological solutions to help everyone from people who are paralysed following illness or accident to those who are hearing or vision impaired.

One great example of this is called Lechal. These are an innovative pair of shoe insoles that help to direct people with visual impairments to find their way around. They achieve this by working in conjunction with a GPS-enabled smartphone to send vibrations to the foot that tell the wearer which direction to go. The original idea came from an eye surgeon called Antony Vipin Das, and is proving so effective and popular that many people with no visual impairment are now also using the insoles to help them find their way around unfamiliar places.

Technology has also had a key role to play for people who face difficulties with communication. Some of these advances, like GoTalk NOW, are available as apps that can be used with any tablet or smartphone while others are more complex pieces of equipment.

GoTalk NOW works in a simple way by showing words and images on a touch screen that, when touched, can form sentences to communicate even quite complex meanings. The user simply needs to be able to touch the screen.

For people whose movement is severely limited, perhaps through cerebral palsy or following a stroke, there is an invaluable aid called Dynavox. This uses advanced eye-tracking technology so the user simply needs to look at a word or phrase on the Dynavox screen and the machine’s technology converts it into spoken language.

For the hearing impaired, there is a product called Vibering which has been developed in South Korea and which combines stylish hi-tech looks with a real practical benefit. It consists of a wristwatch and two rings, one to be worn on each hand. When the Vibering senses a moving object nearby, for example a car, it vibrates according to the distance and direction the object is from the wearer, therefore providing a potentially vital early warning.

Of course, it’s not just brand new inventions that are coming to the help of people with hearing loss. Miniaturisation and digital technology is also helping to make conventional devices smaller and more powerful than ever before as amply demonstrated by products like the range of HH hearing aids.

So, as you can see, technology really is coming to the fore as a vital way to improve the quality of life for many. Looking to the future, brain-controlled wheelchairs and using human microbiomes to treat serious diseases are just two fields that are generating great excitement at the moment – and they could both become reality before we know it.

Jack Cage

My name is Jack. Graduated with a degree in English Literature. I am a Editor at Money News Now. Blogger by birth, Author and a father to a princess. Originally from LA, but have traveled to various parts of the world. I enjoy writing short stories and novels in my spare time with many online publication in Just Luxe as well as other websites.. the 3 most important things I personally believe in ...(Read More)

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