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Star Trek Healing Devices Are Coming To Your Hospital

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 6:41am
Allegra Sparta

Maybe we can transport patients with hover-stretchers and flying ambulances, too. Announcements like this are bound to raise a few eyebrows, but we live in a world where 3D-printed hearts and other highly advanced surgical procedures are slowly becoming commonplace. The information in NASA’s recent press release doesn’t seem all that outlandish when you look at where the medical field is heading. Science fiction creators need to step up their game to keep us surprised. At least time travel is still safe for now.

Houston-based company GRoK Technologies is teaming up with NASA to create some devices that are sure to be gamechangers in the field of noninvasive medical techniques. GroK’s founder and CEO Moshe Kushman explains that, “It's not just science fiction anymore. All indications are that 21st century life sciences will change dramatically during the next several decades, and GRoK is working to define the forefront of a new scientific wave.”

While NASA isn’t exactly a medical organization, it can surely benefit from new technologies in the field. NASA representatives site the issue of osteopenia, or the loss of muscle and bone density, in astronauts as motivation for the new research. GRok’s devices, when completed, could eliminate this problem.

The first product is called BioReplicates. It may sound like a company in a dystopian video game, but its impact will be monumental. NASA explains it creates "3-D human tissue models that can be used to test cosmetics, drugs, and other products for safety, efficacy, and toxicity.” Happy now, PETA? BioReplicates will allow us to perform tests without endangering any human or animal lives.

Scionic is the other product-in-development. It’s a noninvasive device (much like Star Trek’s dermal healer) that will be used to “target inflammation and musculoskeletal pain in both humans and animals without pharmaceuticals.”

I’m typing this with a heating pad resting on a pulled muscle, so Scionic couldn’t come fast enough. The teams at NASA and GRoK are hard at work using existing patents to bring these devices into reality, but they haven’t estimated an actual release date. I’m left with just one question: Should I be afraid or excited?

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