Our friends over at PBS News Hour (the best news program out there (sorry Daily Show)), had a very off topic but interesting piece on the work towards bionic body part replacement that is going on in the medical world. This topic is dear to my heart because of my late Dad and other folks in my family dealing with disabilities and me constantly wondering, isn’t there some way to help them with these disabilities.
Are we heading towards the $6 Million Man? No, not yet, but with more understanding of how the brain actually works, and our ability to hook into the outputs from the brain, and finally our ability to understand the mechanisms of our body (let me tell you a knee is a complicated little system), and recreate that system synthetically.
Some of this is science fiction, but then again, without the ideas of science fiction, will we move forward? The other issue (which does have something to do with money) is who is going to fund this work? How will this all fit into the already crippling health costs out there? Another interesting question to answer.
One of the major problems with the health industry is that 80% of the expenditure is in the last 2-3 years of life. There will be a point where we debate if effectiveness of this.