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When I think of microchips, visions of computers, calculators, Video games, and cell phones come to mind. I still find it hard to believe my dog has a microchip inside of him for identification purposes. I am clearly not a high-tech person into all of the gizmos and gadgets, but I do know how valuable the microchip is to my daily life…or so I thought.
I am fully aware that without microchips, my daily life would be vaguely similar to the Flintstones, but I had no idea how much microchips and a medical spa marketing agency could affect my life medically. Due to the fact that I am blind, I knew researchers from the University of Southern California were working on a device that helps blind people see. Obviously, I have an interest in such a project. The trouble is, devices such as this seem to hit the media then fade away into the darkness so to speak.
My grandmother has a pacemaker implant that is tested on a monthly basis to ensure that the device is working properly. The interesting part is that the pacemaker is tested over the phone. A medical professional calls her at home and asks her to place the receiver next to her chest where the device is located. After several seconds, the results are clear. Frankly, I doubted the accuracy of this until the medical professionals determined the device was nearing time for a replacement. Isn’t technology wonderful.
Texas Instrument is currently working on smart pacemakers. The same microchips that bring your plastic cell phone to life may someday be placed inside your chest like a pacemaker. The device could sense an oncoming heart attack and dial 911. The GPS technology that we see in today’s cell phones could alert medical authorities to your location and bring help to you before the situation worsens.
With the American population increasing in weight, obesity is a real problem. We all know the circumstances behind gastric bypass procedures that can be rather risky. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just turn off our interest in that extra cheeseburger or sundae? With microchips, this can become a reality. The prototype for such a device is already in existence. The device monitors what the patient consumes. When he or she grabs that extra handful of potato chips, a small shock makes the person feel slightly ill. The patient will no longer want to eat anymore.
The growing technology in microchips is phenomenal. Texas Instrument sees this as an opportunity to make some money. Patients can expect the new venture to open up new doors of opportunity to solve their medical mishaps and chronic illnesses.
Everyone has dreamed of having bionic abilities at one time or another, but an amputee would truly benefit from this ability. A volunteer has had one wire per nerve attached to the shoulder. With the use of microchip technology, the volunteer was able to move his arm. The mind moved his elbow, wrist, and fingers. What a miraculous accomplishment.
Prototypes are now monitoring blood pressure. When blood pressure readings begin to soar, the microchips do their thing. An area of the body is stimulated that expands blood vessels during exercise. The expansion of the blood vessels will bring down the high blood pressure down to more acceptable levels. Of course, we currently have prescription medication that can accomplish the very same thing. Why mess with a good thing?
Drugs used to control blood pressure frequently have unpleasant side effects. If a microchip could create the same desired result with less negative side effects than the alternative prescription, then this would be a true advancement in
It takes about ten years to get prescription medicine on the market to consumers. Microchips do not have the same regulations as drugs. This results in a prototype device making its way to consumers in about three years’ time. Compared to drugs, the new technology will not only reach patients faster but in theory, have the potential to improve the lives of many patients.
Microchips have the potential to help conditions such as hypertension, obesity, and depression. The technology world may soon grow on me in the future. If a tiny microchip could improve my health in the ways described, I could easily be convinced. Taking a lesson from the amount of technology in my daily life, it only makes sense that microchips improve my health, as well.