THE 4th INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION - PART 3

THE 4th INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION - PART 3

MERGING TECHNOLOGIES AND HUMAN BEINGS

The advent and possibilities brought about by Nano Technology have impacted even to the biological level.

This technology together with the digital world, our increased understanding of our physical environment due to billions of connected objects and our human use of personal, interactive technology sets the stage for humans to merge and adapt our bodies to technology.

As an example, more and more systems and platforms are being put in place where technology is able to handle diagnostics.

Your heart rate can be managed from your wrist watch together with an alarm built in to regulate over exertion, sugar levels for diabetics can be controlled and read without invasive needles through sensors to a monitor, old age homes are able to gear their living quarters for the elderly to provide alerts should an emergency occur, while not under supervision, without invading the privacy of the occupant.

A good example of this is the increasing widespread ability to edit genes.

The explosion in interest by researchers and entrepreneurs is due not only to the development of the CRISPRCas9 tool (a new method of targeting genes and editing them, far more effective and efficient than prior methods), but also thanks to the existence of global platforms for information sharing and the ability for RNA inputs and gene sequencing services to be purchased online.

Such platforms make it far easier and more likely for what Andrew D. Maynard recently described as “fusing technologies”, to have a transformative effect.”

There are many more such applications for which there is limited space in this article.

As more and more people experiment with these opportunities so the scope for improvement and efficiency increases within the realm of the technological world and the application of these technologies bring with it attractive reductions in the cost of entities that are labour intensive and so then also introduced to the institutionalised level.

The downside for example, is a lesser need for the services of your GP for everyday ailments but at the same time a demand for an increased level of specialised service that will redefine the function and purpose of a GP.

This poses challenges to the medical profession in general, but the challenges are not limited to the medical profession only.

Right across the board professional services are already facing the quest for conversion and use of technological advances.

(To be continued in Part Four.)

Source and acknowledgement:

Nicholas Davis, Head of Society and Innovation, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum