A Glimpse Into the Future

We recently have witnessed the smartphone and its various add-ons increasingly being used in diagnostic home testing. This trend will no doubt continue, but are there any clues as to where else we may be heading?

As with the recent introduction of smart watches and Apple glasses, it often seems that technological advances that are literally revolutionary, are being introduced at such a rapid pace, that we are becoming blasé, even before we have fully incorporated the technology into our lifestyle.

A Glimpse into the Future Flickr account Garry Knight. License CC BY 4.0.

A Glimpse into the Future
Flickr account Garry Knight. License CC BY 4.0.

So where are we heading with home medical testing? Without access to a crystal ball, perhaps we’ll get a clue by following the money trail?

Let’s pick up the trail at the University of Melbourne, where plans are being drawn to integrate the departments of medicine, life sciences, physical sciences and engineering – all this in an attempt to develop medical technologies that will allow citizens in remote areas to participate in health care currently available only in major cities.

In order to fund this effort, the university plans to raise $500 million by the end of 2017, in its venture entitled, Believe: the Campaign for the University of Melbourne – it has only $100 million to go. A recent donation of $5 million from an alumnus, Leigh Clifford, will serve to create a ‘chair’ that will combine education with research efforts in medicine, engineering and the sciences.Let’s pick up the trail at the University of Melbourne, where plans are being drawn to integrate the departments of medicine, life sciences, physical sciences and engineering – all this in an attempt to develop medical technologies that will allow citizens in remote areas to participate in health care currently available only in major cities.

In the Melbourne Engineer, Mr. Clifford is quoted as saying: “The gift will allow researchers to concentrate on progressing their pioneering and collaborative work ensuring people across Australia, and the region, have access to healthcare. The idea of small, low cost and easy to use devices for the best patient management is only one example of what is possible in the future.”

The inter-disciplinary cooperation is aiming at improving diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities in conditions such as:

* Epilepsy

* Parkinson’s Disease

* Spinal Injuries

* Psychiatric Disorders

Outcome expectations from collaborative efforts among the disciplines are high, as Mr. Clifford has stated “This is an exciting challenge as we work together to create not only portable diagnostic tools, but the next generation of bionic devices and implants.” At the current rate of technological advances, we’ll know soon enough if these expectations are justified.

Jacob Klausner

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