Techknow: Things to come - Bionics

Techknow: Things to come - Bionics - As our understanding of biology and IT improves, so 'bionics' will boom.

by JAMES WOUDHUYSEN
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

As our understanding of biology and IT improves, so 'bionics' will boom.

Surgeons are experimenting with optoelectronic films implanted in the retina to improve vision. In Pasadena, California, Cyrano Sciences (who will shortly launch the 'electronic nose' below) is helping Hewlett-Packard make a chip that, once miniaturised and inserted in the lining of a nose, could help older people relish their food more. And although no virtual reality electronic glove can yet emulate the feel of cashmere, electronics are already being used to stimulate muscles of paraplegics and nerve endings of amputees.

Cardionetics in Fleet, Hants, makes the Cnet2000. This Walkman-sized electro-cardiograph machine analyses heart palpitations and chronic heart disease within seconds. Working with the DTI and Kevin Warwick (the guy with the chip implant) Cardionetics has just raised pounds 2.5 million for new product development.

Now perhaps NHS minister Alan Milburn will place a big order.

James Woudhuysen james.w@seymourpowell.co.uk

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