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27 September 2019

How technology is improving the quality of lives around the world

Vicky Fellows

Vicky Fellows

Marketing Manager

Vicky joined IC Resources in June 2015, to look after marketing and brand activity across the…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Technology has changed the way we work, the way we live, and even how and when we die. Whilst buzzwords like ‘Machine Learning’ and ‘Artificial Intelligence’ are popular at the moment, it’s easy to forget that there are other areas of technology that are changing the way we live.

 

Improving quality of life for those with degenerative illnesses

Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease at the age of 21. From there, he went on to discover the theory of relativity, to identify that black holes emit radiation, and taught as a professor at Cambridge University. Despite his inability to use his limbs, he was still very much a contributor to society and to the human race.

Hawking wasn’t the only person to live with this disease that interferes with the ability of your brain to control the muscles in your body. 400,000 people around the world are also affected. In such an illness, neurons controlling eye movement are more resistant than most other neurons, which mean that sufferers of the condition can often still control their eyes.  

With the use of clever eye-gaze technology[i], sufferers of the disease are able to continue to communicate, and even to work, long after their muscle control has gone. A tablet, situated in front of the user, can monitor eye movements by measuring the distance between the centre of the pupil and the reflection of an LED light on their cornea.

This clever piece of kit is giving those living with these degenerative diseases the opportunity to continue to work in a valued job, enabling them to retain an element of independent living and providing an important source of self-esteem.

Another way that technology is being used to make changes for good is in the use of prosthesis following an amputation.

Amputees have long been able to benefit from a prosthetic limb but, thanks to technology, it’s now possible for prosthetic limbs to be controlled[ii] by muscular-skeletal electrical impulses. A band that fits around the amputated limb senses these electrical impulses and uses Bluetooth to send the instructions to the prosthesis.

 

Other diseases are being diagnosed earlier and more accurately as a result of technology.

According to the American Cancer Society, mammograms regularly yield false positives[iii], leading to one in 2 healthy women being incorrectly told they have cancer.

The use of Artificial Intelligence to review mammograms has enabled reviews to be carried out 30 times faster than when carried out manually and with an impressive 99% accuracy. This reduces the need for unnecessary biopsies and relieves pressure on the healthcare system.

Wearables are also helping people to detect heart disease and enabling doctors to monitor potentially life-threatening situations more easily and more effectively.

 

Technology isn’t just helping to prolong life; it’s also helping to improve our safety and quality of life.

Danger money is often something referenced lightly in conversation but the whole notion of a person having to be paid more to carry out an essential task that, at times, could mean risking their life, is a striking concept. However, to keep the masses safe, it’s essential. Technology now enables drones to take on these roles, removing the need for humans to risk their lives.

These sorts of situations include recceing disaster zones. Following natural disasters such as forest fires, drones are able to go into a potentially dangerous situation and assess the damage, locate victims and identify any further threats. In the past, people would have had to carry out this task, often risking their own lives in the process.

This use of technology isn’t just cutting out the risk to the workers or teams who would have had to carry out the initial survey of the area, it also means that the source of a fire can be identified much faster, leading to a higher rate of remedial success.

In war zones, drones are helping to save lives by replacing soldiers who would traditionally have had to manually diffuse a bomb in close proximity. And in cities, drones are being used to check the safety of trainlines, electricity pylons and other high-risk areas that once would have been carried out by people, putting their own well-being at risk.

The exciting thing is that, with all of these advances in technology improving the quality of life for so many people, we haven’t even begun to explore the true potential that technology can offer.

We work with many technology businesses around the world who are looking for high-quality skilled candidates to help them explore the potential of what we can achieve with technology at our side.

If you’re looking for your next career move within the technology industry, get in touch with us and let us help you find that exciting next move.

 

 

 

Sources

[i] https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/oct/16/eyes-have-it-motor-neurone-disease-technology-talk-blink

[ii] https://www.theengineer.co.uk/future-prosthetic/ 

 

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