Almost 60 percent of adults in the United States are taking prescription drugs. Whether they're antidepressants, medication for diabetes or heart condition treatments, these are just a few of the most common remedies in the country. A recent study shows that prescription drug usage among people 20 years and older rose from 51 to 59 percent between the years 2000 and 2012.
Staying on top of your prescription drug schedule can be a difficult task. But what if there was a way to eliminate pills altogether? I'm going to tell you about a great new innovation that is on the way that could do just that.
Engineers at UC Berkely have designed the first of its kind implant that could replace prescription drugs for certain medical issues. The implant is a wireless, batteryless sensor that is as tiny as a speck of dust. It allows muscles, nerves and organs to be monitored in real time.
The sensors, aka neural dust, are implanted through microsurgery and use ultrasound to power and read measurements. They turn ultrasound vibrations from outside the body into electricity. That powers a transistor that is placed in contact with muscle fiber or a nerve.
The device monitors brain signals. When a problem is discovered, the implant goes to work by sending counter-pulses that will correct the faulty signal. This will help fight diseases and keep the body running the way it should without the need for prescription drugs or injections.
Alphabet's life sciences unit is teaming up with GlaxoSmithKline to develop bioelectronics technology. Bioelectronics uses electrical signals in the body to fight disease. They are investing over $700 million into the project and hope to have it ready within the next seven years.
Not having to rely on prescription drugs would be a fantastic groundbreaking development. It is amazing how technology is changing the landscape of the medical field. Read our article on how scientists grew working human vocal cords in a lab to see another wonderful breakthrough.
Warning! There is a graphic medical photo on the next page if you would like to see the implant in use.