One of the downsides of living with a chronic condition like CLL, is the need for regular monitoring of our health via blood tests and physical examinations. Not many people like needles, so being required to undergo regular blood tests and then have to wait for the results, certainly provides an opportunity for technical innovation to improve our quality of life.
Science Fiction surprisingly doesn't have a good track record in predicting future technology, but sometimes what is envisaged can inspire scientists and engineers to 'make it happen'. Arguably two such instances of common personal devices in a Science Fictional future which have successfully achieved this are the Star Trek Communicator, an inspiration for our smart phones:
and the Star Trek Tricorder an inspiration for hand held health scanners:
A handheld device DNA Medical Institute (DMI) calls rHealth, short for or Reusable Handheld Electrolyte and Lab Technology for Humans, can provide hundreds of diagnostic values from a single drop of blood and has just won the Nokia Sensing XChallenge:
In related news, researchers at the State University of New York, Stony Brook have developed a diagnostic breathalyzer that may eventually be available commercially for patients to check their liver function or glucose levels:
There's also a growing number of Android and iPhone apps that can monitor certain aspects of your health, with or without additional hardware attachments, not to forget the range of smart watches that are coming onto the market.
So, how much longer before we don't need to schedule regular blood tests, but just have to blow into our 5th generation smart phone every so often and get on with life, knowing that our haematologist will be scheduled to meet with us if there is ever the need?
Photo: Striated Pardalote - with thanks to Jay for the identification