Medical science routinely offers solutions to problems that our bodies or environment can not naturally fix. It’s great when these are cool re-imaginings and re-purposing of existing products and procedures. Other times its fine-tuning that leads to good results. This week had a bunch of cool and slightly weird stories about solving some health related issues.
Wheelchair Car: There aren’t many options for driving for those in wheelchairs. Existing cars often need remodeling to accommodate the systems that allow those folks to drive. But one company has come up with a cool little car that is wheelchair-native. The back end opens up and you can just roll right in! It’s definitely not a drag racer, but you’ll be able to get around town on your own. Zoom! (Via Hold It)
Video Game Email: This smart guy retooled a Kinect to act as an interface for his mom after she had a stroke. It has a simple menu of basic emotions and his mom can choose the level of intensity for that emotion. The set up then can send this out as an email. Great example of working around a health issue with existing tech. It greatly speeds communication with his mother and allows her more expression than she previously had. (via Gizmag)
Alzheimer’s Eye Test: This isn’t really a re-imagining, but it does approach a solution to a problem in a very new way. Researchers are trying to develop an eye test to check for early signs of memory impairment. This could help in detecting Alzheimer’s in its early stages. The test asks people to track lights with their eyes, then look away. The computer tracks the motion of their eyes, looking for errors in the task that might signify memory issues. (via Gizmag)
Grandmother Mom: A 53 year old grandmother gave birth to her own grandchild though in vitro transplant from her daughter. The daughter was unable to have her own children due to complications from cancer. Embryo transplanting is an old science, first used in livestock in the 1890’s. But it’s only within the last 30 years or so that the procedure has been used in humans. In recent years, there have been several stories of older mothers giving birth to their own grandchildren. We will probably see more in coming years as both the general health of older people and the technology increases. (via io9)
Photo Credit: Marshall Astor on Flickr.