Innovations for 2018/2019 that will transform smart cities
The healthcare sector is an ideal environment for all renowned researchers. While funding is not always easy to come by, the reputational benefits and the challenge of discovery are powerful motivating factors. It means that the sector generates its fair share of innovations, year in and year out.
Ophthalmic vision drops
The list starts with made-to-measure corrective eye drops that are supplied on prescription. The liquid in these drops consists of nanoparticles that fills cracks in the cornea. This innovation should help a large number of people who suffer from mild short or long-sightedness. In fact, as well as replacing eye glasses, the drops compare favorably to contact lenses in terms of both comfort and convenience.
However, the field of ophthalmology has previously taken a giant step forward in the form of highly controversial laser therapy. Here, however, it seems that there the disadvantages simply outweigh the benefits. The fear of the irreversible nature of laser surgery remains widespread, while the risk of unwanted side effects is too high.
It is worth noting that these eye drops will not be able to provide permanent vision correction, due to chronic rubbing of the eyelids and the tear fluid. However, the Israeli research into this topic was still in its test phase in 2018. So, further innovations can be expected.
A smart nail to monitor your state of health
Previous research has already demonstrated that prehensile strength is a valuable indicator of an individual’s overall health with respect to a number of different conditions. The term “prehensile strength” refers to the strength of the forearm when gripping objects. The purpose of this smart, connected nail will therefore be to analyze the patient’s movements. Thanks to this, we will be able to identify and prevent any illnesses.
A small, cordless device will place sensors on the nail to measure its movements, which will then be transmitted to a smartwatch or smartphone. The data will then be analyzed using artificial intelligence to create a reference database.
In addition, machine learning has already been used to track the progress of Parkinson’s disease.
A connected toothbrush
Also known as a smart toothbrush, this device allows users to track how regularly they brush their teeth. While these products have been emerging at the cutting edge of the market over the last few years, their popularity is expected to explode during 2019. There are some examples of leading brands such as the Oral B Smart Toothbrush, Genius, Colgate E1, Philips Diamond Clean and Xiaomi.
Featuring touch sensors and a dedicated application, the smart toothbrush can sense any irregularities in the way that the teeth are brushed. It is also to define an appropriate brushing routine.
The benefits are no longer in question. Smart toothbrushes prevent cavities and maintain oral and dental hygiene. They were conceived by dentists and are now recommended by the dental profession. While they are currently seen as high-priced gadgets, they are in the process of becoming an essential piece of equipment in any bathroom.
Organ transportation using drones
Drones are in high demand as transportation tools. The medical sector has shown particular interest in them as a way to overcome terrestrial limitations without hiring new workers. On the other hand, the airspace restrictions around major cities are a limiting factor. But drones are still a premium solution. Being both smaller and faster, they are an ideal tool for transporting human organs under the strictest applicable conditions.
In 2018, tests were carried out in the city of Baltimore, with fourteen journeys of around five kilometers each. Achieving a maximum speed of 67.6 km/h, the tests were a clear success. The kidney maintained a stable temperature of 2.5°C, which is the recommended temperature for transplantation.
Other research is currently underway in a number of different fields. However, some research projects have been abandoned or suspended. Tests on the use of contact lenses to manage blood sugar levels are one of them. These tests, even those that are largely inconclusive, offer the prospect of a better future. Nonetheless, one that is increasingly dependent on maintaining connectivity with our smartphones, in a world where artificial intelligence will no longer be optional. Instead, it will be an essential part of everyday life.