“A hapless store clerk must foil criminals to save the life of the man who, miniaturised in a secret experiment, was accidentally injected into him.” If you think this sounds like an ‘80s action-adventure comedy, then you’d be right. But, just over 30 years on, are we on the verge of making miniaturised lifesavers a reality?
Nanorobotics is the technology behind creating robots and machines to a scale of 1 to 100 nanometers – think of it as the size of a marble compared to the size of our planet. Machines of this size can work at a cellular level, which has significant consequences for the future of medical diagnosis, treatment and cure.
But, up until recently, nanorobotics has been largely theoretical and assigned to the dreams of scientists and our memories of ‘80s cinema. However, things are changing.
The first FDA-approved smart pill came onto the scene in 2001, known as PillCams. These ingestible cameras have now been used in more than two million procedures and have paved the way for other smart pills, including:
While nanobots won’t have quite the same mission as Lt. Tuck Pendleton in Innerspace, they will have some pretty important tasks all the same. Researchers around the world are developing nanobots to enter the body and work in different ways.
We’re already seeing:
Experts are also developing the use and benefits of this nanotechnology in other areas of medicine, including:
So, what does the future hold for this sci-fi-come-true area of health tech? Well, firstly, much more research is needed. Little is known about the long-term consequences of this technology, and technical development is required to make nanobots widely available and affordable.
There’s also lots of work to be done around regulations and whether nanobots are classified as drugs or devices.
And finally, as with all med-tech, security is an essential consideration going forward. With many of these devices transmitting information from the human body to surgeons, health records and even smartphones – protecting this data will be of the most importance.
But one thing’s for sure – miniature lifesavers are on their way.
If you are looking to recruit the top tech talent in the healthcare sector, schedule a call with me today.
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