Becoming Superhuman through Health Technology

Becoming Superhuman through Health Technology

In about 30 years, invisible robotic devices could give people the opportunity to enhance their skills and senses in ways only seen today in science fiction movies. Futurists suggest that if nanotechnology continues to develop and expand at its current rate, it will be possible to transform into “Superhumans” by 2050. With this futuristic technology, a person might be given the ability to see in the dark, survive for hours without breathing or obtain super strength.

Initially, medical nanotechnology was meant to help patients and people with disabilities improve their quality of life. Noble achievements like helping someone regain vision or a sense of touch were considered revolutionary medical achievements. Now, scientists and bioengineers are applying current medical advancement to able-bodied people in order to provide them with extraordinary experiences. It has been predicted that in the future it will become possible to transcend human natural biology in a process referred to as “transhumanism” or Humanity+.

Enhancing our Senses with Nanotechnology

Dr. Ian Pearson, one of the leading futurists, predicts that in the future, sensor technology will be incorporated into human bodies. This could enhance our perception of the world that surrounds us and provide us with information invisible to the naked eye. For instance, a person might be able to zoom in on objects he or she spots in the distance, or be equipped with heightened sensory capabilities that provide data on everything he or she touches.

Numerous trials are in progress to increase the capabilities of biosensors that can be safely implanted in the human body.

Dr. Garth Webb, an optometrist in British Columbia, is working on bionic lenses that could be inserted into the human eye during an eight-minute procedure that has the potential to bestow the implanted user with perfect vision.

Named the Ocumetics Bionic Lens, this device could transform vision care by reducing the need for glasses or contact lenses. If successfully applied, a person equipped with bionic lenses could see three times better than without the implant. Moreover, degenerative optical issues such as cataracts would not be as devastating as they are today. At the moment, the Ocumetics Bionic Lens is undergoing clinical testing with the aim of clinical approval. It is important to note that some experts, however, warn that the excitement over bionic lenses might be premature and envision different complications that could stand in the way of correcting optical aberrations.

Artificial Red Blood Cells that Could Help Humans Survive without Oxygen

Artificial red blood cells, called respirocytes, are nanomedical devices that could theoretically be injected into a person’s bloodstream and would reduce the need to breathe. Developed by Robert A. Freitas Jr., senior research fellow at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing, these red blood cells can deliver 236 times more oxygen to the tissue compared to natural red blood cells. In addition, these cells can also manage acidity caused by carbon dioxide.

Each artificial cell has an onboard nanocomputer that controls and regulates numerous chemical and pressure characteristics. Powered by glucose, these spherical nanodevices have a simplistic design and can be remotely reprogrammed. Once fully developed – which is expected to take another 20 years – respirocytes will reduce the need for breathing and expand the person’s existential capabilities. For example, if a person is injected with them, this individual could survive four hours without breathing or run for 15 minutes at his or her maximum speed.

Could Technology Finally Bring Us Immortality?

Immortality might be considered the panacea of nanotechnology. It is certainly an exciting topic amongst health technology futurists. Aging is a genetically determined biological process, so halting or reversing is a monumental task. Nonetheless, some speculate that it could be achieved within the next 30 years. Ray Kurzweil, a popular futurist, firmly believes in the success of anti-aging efforts. To support the idea of immortality, nano-sized robotic devices could be specialized to monitor our biological systems. These devices will be able to detect any unusual deviation and alert us if there is a health problem developing that needs attention.

Another aspect of immortality is so-called “digital immortality.” Advancements in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) might allow humans to integrate their minds with an outside storage device. A possible futuristic scenario would involve controlling a robot from our bodies and communicating telepathically through a wireless signal, or when our health is failing downloading ourselves into another biological vessel before our bodies cease to function. Some of these ideas may seem far-fetched now, but in future will be second nature.

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