Answer 11 of the dossier “40 KEY QUESTIONS TO UNDERSTAND THE FUTURE OF THE WORLD”, coordinated by Albert Bosch from a request of the communication group “GRUPO Z”, where an expert in each subject answers a question about the trend of a certain topic. In this specific case, this question is answered by JULIO MAYOL:
Without realizing it, technology has been entering our body and, to a large extent, has fed the concept of transhumanism, that is, the empowerment of human capabilities through devices or materials integrated into our body, such as the Star Trek Borg.
Gradually our tissues are being replaced by biomaterials that perform the same function, such as hip and knee prostheses, or heart valves. In addition, the nanotechnology used to design these materials and prostheses improves their performance and resistance.
Smart sensors begin to be part of portable devices that some have already introduced into their body, such as defibrillators (to prevent cardiac arrhythmias) and neurostimulators (which are used to treat movement disorders, or chronic pain, or anal and urinary incontinence). Finally, the development of intelligent prostheses will be realized, which, connected to our brains, will replace damaged or amputated limbs, or artificial eyes that will allow us to see in those cases of peripheral blindness (due to eye damage).
The last challenge throughout this century will be the integration of nanotechnology in our body, that is, implanting particles that have a size in the nanometer range in our body, with the aim of supplanting the function of damaged cells.
What is certain is that to a greater or lesser extent, in the future, the human body will be fused with different levels of technology.
Julio Mayol: Professor of Surgery at the Complutense University of Madrid. Medical Director of the San Carlos Clinical Hospital and the Innovation Unit of the San Carlos Health Research Institute (IdSSC). Member of the board of directors of the British Journal of Surgery and the editorial board of the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery and World Journal of Gastroenterology.