Perhaps the most dynamic agent of change in the modern world is Technology. Positive technological innovations promise e breakthrough but due to absence of generous investment, backdated regulatory frameworks and gaps in understanding, solutions to many pressing global challenges are left unanswered. Technology and innovations mostly have a positive impact in our lives. We have expectations from these in the upcoming years.
We should definitely be informed about what the firms are doing and in what they are investing and how they are willing to serve the people through such innovations. In this article the top technological trends for the year of 2014 have been highlighted.
The Top Technology Trends for 2014
Body-adapted wearable electronics:
Wearable technology has emerged as the next big thing and garnered significant attention over the last one year. These devices are able to perform different functions and helping people with their personal health and fitness issues. They are able to monitor the heart beat, their exercising rate and sleeping patterns and so on. The new set of wearables has been designed in such a way such that they adapt themselves with the human body at the sphere of their deployment. They appear in a tiny manner and are packed with tiny sensors so that they appear less intrusive and stay disguised.
They are like virtually invisible devices that come like earbuds monitoring the heart rate; sensors beneath the garments to keep a track of the posture, shoe soles that can communicate and transmit GPS Signal through the vibrations of the feet. This particular gadget has been proposed for the blind.
Google Glass are already being used by the oncologists during surgeries while they can access visual information and get access to voice commands. The success factors for such body adaptable wearables rely on three points – size, provide feedback, and non evasiveness. However challenges are to be met with and analysts are working on projects and hundreds of such devices are to come up by 2016.
These days a frustrating aspect of most of the devices is that they have been miniaturized and have become difficult to interact with. This lack of space on such display screens allows for the opportunity for screen less displays. Keyboards have already been projected on surface. Like the Star War films from the earlier days holographic images now can be shown in three dimensions. In the year 2013, a prototype of inexpensive holographic color video having the resolution of a normal standard TV was reported by the media lab of MIT.
This type of display as in screenless display can also be achieved on a person’s retina by directly projecting the image on the retina. This category or field faced rapid success in the year 2013 and made the path for some good breakthroughs. A number of other companies have made similar breakthroughs like innovations of virtual reality headsets, mobile phones for the blind and the elderly, bionic contact lenses and hologram type of videos without having the need for using glasses or parts.
Human Microbiome Therapeutics:
The human body can be regarded as the ecosystem rather than as one organism.The microbial cells are typically known to outnumber human cells by the ration of ten to one. Now in the past few years the human microbiome has been a intensively researched. The results revealed that the human ecosystem is occupied by more than 10,000 microbial species making up some trillions of cells and occupying a 1%-3% of body mass. Themicrobe species which are diverse in nature are identified and characterized through DNA sequencing, bioinformatics and technologies. Intense research has also revealed how these cells play an important role in our survival.
For example – a bacterium which stays in the gut on one hand allows the digestion of foods ingested by humans and help in the absorption of essential nutrients but on the other hand some ubiquitous pathogens can cause serious diseases leading to death. The gut microbiome is a subject of study because it has a role to play in infections, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and obesity. Antibiotic treatments that ruin the gut flora can lead to complications like Clostridium difficle infections which in turn make situations life threatening. Again on the other hand healthy gut microbiome has also been discovered under clinical development. Such advancement in human microbiome technologies shows us how treatments for serious diseases and to improve the general health care are taking place.
RNA Based Therapeutics:
An essential molecule in cellular biology is RNA which translates genetic instructions which have been encoded in DNA to help in the production of proteins that allow cells to function is a proper manner.Therapeutics based on RNA has been long known to have the potential for treating a number of health problems which even conventional drugs cannot do much. Though this field is very slow in developing and hopes are sometimes dented because of complexity efforts are still taking place.
Over the past few years youngsters and researches have taken interest in this field of biotech and thus the resurgence of healthcare. Two RNA-based treatments have been approved in the year of 2014. Drugs for several genetic disorders, infectious disease and cancer have been continuously developing. Even an all new platform which is based on messenger RNA molecules has emerged. There are some specific mRNA sequences which when injected into the veins acts as therapeutic agents by translating into proteins which deliver the therapeutic effect. It is expected that this field of healthcare will face increasing challenges and conventional new treatments for difficult diseases will be developed in the years to come.
Brain-computer interfaces :
Does not it sound fascinating when you hear that a compute can be controlled using only the power of mind? Interfaces like brain computer where in computers that can be read and signals can be interpreted directly from the brain.
This has achieved a lot of clinical success for those suffering from locked-in-syndrome or those people who suffered from a stroke and are unable to move their limbs. Additionally brain implants have helped to restore vision partially for those who have lost their eyesight.