With all the buzz about the Internet of Things, it’s important to remember that this isn’t just the long-awaited arrival of the web-connected fridge. It might be an uncomfortable thought, but you – or at least a small part of you – could be part of the global network of thousands upon thousands of things.
Increasingly, one of the compromises involved in living to a ripe old age without regular visits to hospital will be accepting that you and your vital organs end up being part of the world wide web.
In a recent article for forbes.com, IBM cloud software architect Ahmed Farraq predicted that in the future, healthcare providers will monitor us in real-time via sensors that aren’t just worn but will be implanted in our bodies. That might sound like the stuff of dystopian science fiction, but the ground is being prepared now.
Dr Dennis Fitzpatrick is a reader in biomedical engineering at the University of West London, where he also leads the Biomedical Engineering Research Group. In ‘Implantable Electronic Medical Devices’, Dr Dennis Fitzpatrick provides a thorough review of the current application of implantable devices, illustrating the techniques being used together with overviews of the latest commercially available equipment.
The resulting reference guide groups devices with similar functionality into distinct chapters, looking at the latest design ideas and techniques in each area. These include retinal implants, glucose biosensors, cochlear implants, pacemakers, electrical stimulation therapy devices, and much more.
It’s a comprehensive review that will provide medical and biomedical engineers, as well as medical and clinical professionals involved with medical device design, with a catalogue of existing technology. For the interested layperson, it’s a fascinating glimpse into an area of engineering that will affect many if not all of us in the future.
‘Implantable Electronic Medical Devices’ by Dr Dennis Fitzpatrick CEng MIET is published by Academic Press, price £59.99, ISBN 9780124165564