Star Trek’s Medical Tricorder Is No Longer Fantasy

When you think about the classic 1960’s show “Star Trek,” you probably call to mind images of Klingons, Tribbles and star William Shatner wearing what can politely be called a “toupee” and ignoring all conventional forms of grammar and punctuation at the exact same time. What you may not realize is that even though “Star Trek” aired during the 1960s, a lot of the technology used by the Enterprise has shifted from the realm of fantasy into reality. Take the medical tricorder used by Dr. McCoy on the show, for example – if Stanford scientists have their way, hospitals around the world will be using this wonderful device sooner rather than later.

Star Trek – Science Fact?

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of Dr. McCoy’s medical tricorder, it’s a device that actually resembles a common cell phone in many ways. It’s a device he used in just about every episode to identify certain problems that a person was having and to check blood samples without requiring them to go through the types of invasive procedures that would have been common at the time.

Now, a team of scientists from Stanford believe that they’ve developed what would essentially be the modern day equivalent of the tricorder – a device that can be used to spot a cancerous tumor in a person from as far as a foot away.

As with most incredible inventions, this one came about by accident. DARPA was searching for a way to remotely identify bombs that were buried in the soil to increase troop safety. Using microwave technology, researchers were able to create a detector that accomplished exactly that. Now, those Stanford scientists are using the same basic theory to identify tumors based on the number of additional blood vessels they create in the affected area of a person’s body. The project’s leader says that it will only take between 10 and 15 years to get this technology into the hands of medical providers everywhere.


Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMqR8Lw-AKE

UCapIt

UCapIt is just one example of a company that is helping to take the science fiction technology on classic shows like “Star Trek” and make it a reality today. UCapIt offers controlled access pharmaceutical dispensing solutions to customers all over the world on a daily basis. Not only do these pharmaceutical dispensers and hospital vending machines offer access to the important supplies that employees need when they need them the most, but they also help the medical organizations themselves prevent theft, abuse, tackle inventory and supply control problems and more.

Medical vending machine options like these are just one of the many examples of how technology has allowed us to take what was once considered pure fantasy and bring it into the world of reality in the most efficient way possible. If we’re already so close to having a medical tricorder in every hospital in the world, can the transporter or the holodeck from the Enterprise really be that far behind?

Healthier Hospital Vending Machines Becoming a Reality

Faced with an overwhelming obesity epidemic across the nation, the United States government is working to increase public access to healthy food at schools. Starting with a major overhaul of the school lunch program which increased access to fruits, vegetables, and whole grains both in the lunchroom and in vending machines, the government is now encouraging healthy eating habits in public places including the hospital setting.

Why Target a Hospital Setting?

hospital vending machineHospitals are where we go to get well, but all too often the food available to patients and visitors doesn’t meet the basic standards for nutrition. In addition, hospitals serve as major employers and influencers in the local communities. They can influence community norms by adopting policies that promote good health in their employees and patrons. In August 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity convened an expert panel to study ways to improve food choices, physical activity, breastfeeding, and tobacco-free environments in hospitals. The panel worked to identify strategies to improve these areas within hospitals and health organizations for both employees, visitors, and patrons and also made recommendations on how to incorporate these strategies into outreach efforts.

Food, Beverage, and Healthy Snack Vending Machine Recommendations for Hospitals

hospital healthy vending machineOne important recommendation made by the panel was that the hospital’s food policy should cover all venues including cafeterias, vending machines, gift shops, and cafeterias. Offering healthy food in the cafeteria is a great start, but if it doesn’t extend throughout the building the policy declines rapidly in effectiveness. This recommendation addresses a key finding that many hospital’s vending machines were dominated by high sugar drinks and high energy dense foods. In other words, foods and drinks that had many calories and very little nutritional value.

Another key aspect of the report was that health organizations have a part to play in the greater community, not simply in the lives of their patients. By encouraging patrons and employees alike to engage in healthier behaviors and make better food choices, these organizations are able to impact societal norms and make a difference in the nationwide fight against obesity.

UCapIt is a division of Intelligent Dispensing systems. We have developed automated solutions to the problems associated with dispensing and inventorying pharmaceuticals. To learn more about how UCapIt can work with your organization, visit our website at www.ucapit.com.