Updating healthcare technology

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The researcher Oscar Casas reminded us that “not so long ago, houses were only equipped with a thermometer, and, with a bit of luck, a set of scales.Now it is not unusual for people to have portable equipment for measuring blood pressure or devices for testing blood sugar levels at home.Clearly, as areas of research such as biomaterials or tissue engineering are developed for use in regenerative medicine, the range of opportunities will increase dramatically.Josep Anton Planell, the director of the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), which was formed by the UB, the UPC and the Generalitat (Government of Catalonia) and has its headquarters in Barcelona Science Park, considers that “in the future, it will be possible to design intelligent biomaterials that, when placed where damaged tissue needs to be regenerated, will be able to stimulate the stem cells to do what we want them to do”.Major challenges and opportunities will arise in the health sector in the future.Although sophisticated medical technology is already available in health systems in developed countries, further advances are constantly being made.One of the aims of this project is to reduce the probability of drug administration errors, through a secure patient identification system that uses radiofrequency technology and also enables patients to be located in the health centre.

Work is currently being undertaken on a chair that enables the measurement of these and other physiological parameters.

Medical robot Medical robots are used with increasing frequency in the medical field.

Surgeons no longer operate on the basis of their skill and experience alone.

Our aim is for this growing range of health systems for individual, rather than hospital, use to be available to everyone”.

The Group has designed a system for simultaneously detecting heart and respiratory rates that functions with force sensors, which are used to measure weight, even in conventional electronic scales.

However, more knowledge is needed to perfect the process.

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