“The Future of Intelligent and Extelligent Health Environment” book brings you closer to the world where technology on our body, in our body and all around us enhances our health and wellbeing from conception to death. This environment is emerging now with intelligent caring machines, cyborgs, wireless embedded continuous computing, healthwear, sensors, healthons, nanomedicine, adaptive process control, mathematical modeling, and common sense systems.
Human body and the world in which it functions is a continuously changing complex adaptive system. We are able to collect more and more data about it (wearable body monitors will be soon in each household just like toothbrushes) but the real challenge is to infer local dynamics from that data. Intelligent Caring Biomechatronic Creatures and Healthmaticians (mathematicians serving human health) have a better chance of inferring the dynamics that needs to be understood than human physicians.
Humans can only process comfortably three dimensions while computers can see infinite number of dimensions. Will we enjoy doing medical science if computers become better at it than us? We will need to trust the distributed network of healthons, Intelligent Caring Creatures, and NURSES (New Unified Resource System Engineers) – designers who inbuilt medical intelligence in our external environment – creating Health Extelligence.
We need new vocabulary to push forward in a new way – healthons are tools combining prevention with diagnosis and treatment based on continuous monitoring and analyzing of our vital signs and biochemistry. The “Healthon Era” is just beginning. Authors of the chapters of this book all are on the cutting edge of thinking in their respective fields. They all sense the Healthon Era and push forward to create a better life for us all.
At Future of Health Technology Summit™ 2003 Space Elevator example was used to show how seemingly impossible conceptual designs could become real. Celestial hospitals and errorless healthcare are possible. We may need to use bionic arms and extended cognition to do that but if we spend as much time designing our preferred future as we do researching the past we can get there in no time.
Developments like robo-docs, robo-cats, and space elevators are not just exotic; they are a reaffirmation that with creative thinking we can go a long way to the discoveries that will allow us to fix our healthcare system and set it on a high road for the future.
The dream of an intelligent caring creature is closer to reality considering that Timothy Bickmore's relational agent can help you with your fitness training, Yulun Wang's robotic doctor can help you even from a remote location (remote presence); Astro Teller's BodyBug™ can collect your lifestyle data and tell you what to eat and how much to sleep. We are closer and closer to the world with healthons on your body, in your body and all around you; where not a doctor but your primary care healthmatician warns you about an approaching headache; and where NURSE programs your intelligent caring creatures so they can talk to your cells and stop disease in its tracks.
Renata G. Bushko, Editor, Future of Health Technology book series Founder, Future of Health Technology Institute, Hopkinton, MA, USA