The idea of implanted wearables is not an appreciated one among the tech-lovers. Well there has been Cochlear implants since the 1980s, contraceptive implants since the late 1990s along with various of implanted devices that have been improving quality of life from a long time now from hip replacements to pacemakers. And now wearable devices are turning smaller soon it may happen that subcutaneous devices and products can be monitored outside the body.
1) Wearable Contact Lens
It was in 2014 that Google X carried out testing into diabetes management where it came up with a smart contact lens designed to measure glucose levels in tears with the help of a wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensors set in between two layers of soft contact lens material. The purpose was to create a reading once per second with LEDs that illuminates to present the glucose levels which crossed above or below definite threshold. Multiple clinical research studies were conducted and partner Novartis anticipates marketing the product within five years.
2) Heart Devices
World's first wireless pacemaker (WiSE) was well received in both the EU and US. This Wireless Stimulation Endocardially (WiSE) comprises of an electrode implanted in the left ventricle. It receives a synchronized ultrasound signal from a small transmitter placed between two ribs with every heartbeat, whereas the sound waves are converted to electrical energy, offering cardiac pacing. This technology removes the requirement for a left ventricular lead and it has been designed in a manner that it allows the doctor put the stimulation point at an optimal, patient-specific location inside the left ventricle.
3) Brain Implants to Treat Neurological Disorders
In the past it has been reported that brain based disorders caused treatment like Vagus nerve stimulation in order to treat severe epilepsy, whereas psychiatric neuro-technology researchers have their focus on Transcranial direct current stimulation and Transcranial Magnet Stimulation so that conditions such as chronic pain, pharmaceutical resistant depression, fibromyalgia, OCD, Parkinson's and schizophrenia are easily treated.
Furthermore, deep electrical stimulation of the brain can even treat OCD, depression and various other disorders. Hence it allows health professionals target particular parts of the brain causing specific disorders.
4) Implants to Replace Security Devices
In case, you have lost your keys or always end up forgetting the photo copier code at work, then Swedish tech company Sime is for your rescue. In 2014, its employees tested a RFID chip implanted into their hands, preset with information allowing you unlock door and uses office printers with a swipe.
Needless to say that it's quite convenient and the size of this device is so small that you can easily remove it in case of malfunctions or infection.
5.) DIY Hacking
As you go on the internet, you will come across a large group of individuals involved in biohacking. It's a form of self-health monitoring intended to take the expertise away from the health professionals and into the hands of individuals while wearables play a big role in this. The tools offered here are useful in measuring sleep and heart rate whereas at the other end you'd find self-tested body tools and regulators such as implanted biomagnets helpful in picking up small items.
6) Smart Digital Tattoos
Well, the idea of an implant, no matter how small it may appear, still it's way more comfortable. You get Project Underskin, an alliance between Fast Company and New Deal Design helpful in creating a smart digital tattoo fixed in your hand so it can interact with everything you touch.
It's easy to unlock your front door, trade data with a handshake as well as tell in case you have low blood sugar. It's expected that Project Underskin would be all set within five years and a second tattoo is already being planned that's going to monitor vital statistics and place it on a wearer's palm.
As we speak of the wearables' future, then the efforts are being made to improve the lives of individuals be it through preventing, predicting or treating illness. There are chances of R&D being slow owing to numerous ethical and legal issues, however, progress is on the way.