How technology is enhancing the medical industry: 3D Printed Limbs, Robotics Limbs powered by the mind and Artificial Intelligence diagnosis and prescription

Adam Milton-Barker | Feb 8, 2015 | MedTech | 3294


Over the last few years technology has played a major role in the medical industry, from 3D printing to Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, all types of technologies are helping medical staff to improve the efficiency, accuracy and capabilities of the service they provide. Major breakthroughs have been made in the medical world that have allowed early detection and more accurate diagnosis of illnesses, 3D printed artificial limbs and even 3D printed spinal vertebrae. 3D printing is one of the most well known technologies that has been changing the medical industry immensely by creating affordable, lightweight and durable prosthetic limbs. In 2014 there were many cases of people 3D printing prosthetic limbs to help family members and friends have a better quality of life. More recently the method seems to be being adopted throughout the world to help reduce the cost and increase the speed of creating prosthetic limbs, a great example of this is a program that will be helping provide 3D printed prosthetics to amputees in Uganda after researchers were awarded $112,000 CAD from the government in Canada. As mentioned above, 3D printing is not only enhancing the production of prosthetic limbs, but all types of artificial implants such as a case in China where surgeons implanted a 3D printed spinal vertebrae that helped a young boy to walk again. One of the most advanced technologies that has emerged is the use of thoughts to power robotic arms. There are now a number of projects that capture thoughts and turn the thoughts into electrical signals that control robotic arms. One of the first cases of this type of technology was a monkey that was able to control a robot twice its size and on the other side of the world using its thoughts. The technology has now been used successfully on humans, in 2012, a paraplegic woman that had not been able to feed herself for ten years was able to use a prosthetic arm controlled by her mind to do just that. Another example of this technology is a paralyzed man in the States that was paralyzed during a motorbike accident who was able to hi five his girlfriend using a mind controlled prosthetic arm. More recently the FDA has granted approval to a project called the Deka Arm which was given its nickname, the Luke arm, due to the inspiration of the project coming from Luke Skywalkers robotic arm in Star Wars. Other types of technology are helping to detect symptoms earlier and more accurately, illuminating human error. One such technology which I covered last year is the Miroculus Cancer Detection Device ( which uses MicroRNA Profiling that can detect microRNAs without using expensive equipment. Another example is a project that I am personally involved in, through oIsCore, myself and a group of developers in Sao Paulo are close to launching an open source Artificial Intelligence Neural Network that will assist medical staff by providing more accurate diagnosis and prescription using advanced AI algorithms that analyzes data input into the system by doctors. ( These are only a small number of examples of how technology is changing the world around us and I have no doubt that it will continue to do so even more so in the following years. Below you will find some videos that show some of the above mentioned technologies in action and show just how much they have helped individuals overcome the limits of their disabilities.