Articles

Bionics - Revolutionizing Health Care Industry

Evolution of Bionics Technology

The term 'Bionics' was first coined by Major J. E. Steele, while referring to a research program at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, OH, USA. The term used by him meant to describe “a like-life system that copies some functions and characteristics of a natural system.”

A related concept, 'biometrics' was coined by Schmitt (1969) in the title of his paper described as, the study of the development, structure or function of biologically generated substances and materials (such as enzymes or silk and biological mechanisms and processes (such as protein synthesis or photosynthesis) in particular to synthesize similar products through artificial mechanisms, that imitate natural processes.  

Various methods and priorities have arisen from these original concepts, overlapping each other. The 1970s show "Bionic Woman" and Martin Caidin's 1972 novel "Cyborg" both played a catalytic role in giving industrial blend to biology and electronics which gave birth to the concept of 'Bionics.'

Bionics and Health Care Industry

Bionic Technology is a powerful technological platform to create intelligent devices that behave like human limbs. It was only in 2009, when the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Revolutionizing Prosthetics program has been developing advanced upper - limb prosthetics, primarily for veterans who lost arms and motor function during military service.
However, the use of simple artificial limbs has been in use since 600 BC. Wooden legs, metal arms, hand hooks - these primitive replacements gave the wearer back some semblance of movement or function.

But with time, scientists are working to create alternatives that are lighter, smaller, better controlled, which can last longer and can be used easily. The best part about the new generation of prosthetic limbs is their union with bionic technology, and how they can infuse the fields of study, as diverse as electronics, biotechnology, hydraulics, computing, medicine, nanotechnology and prosthetics.

Industrial Facts

1. The bionics market is expected to register a CAGR of 9.5%, over the forecast period of 2018-2023.

2. Factors that are responsible for the growth of the market include increased incidence of disabilities and organ failures, technological advancements, and high incidence of road accidents leading to amputations. Another primary factor is the scarcity of donor organs.

Elements of Bionics Technology

1. Artificial Intelligence

A completely established and a constantly evolving branch of computer science, Artificial Intelligence (AI) deals with intelligent behaviour in machines. Bionic Technology incorporates AI to expand the functionality of products that, are designed to mental and physical stress which an individual faces, following an amputation. This element also enhances the safety of the device along with the user. Thus, helps to stimulate voluntary control of the prosthetic limb.

2. Power Motion

The specialty of prosthetics has been known for many years largely because of its ability to replace the basic structural elements of the limbs after amputation, but now the ability to restore lost muscle function practically takes amputees to a higher level. From the subtle raising of the toe during the swing process to the powerful knee extension needed for ascending foot over foot stairs. Power movement provides unknown levels of flexibility.

The most obvious advantage of devices incorporating power motion is reducing strain on the residual limb and protecting the body from the repercussions of muscular compensation.

3. Sense-Think-Act

The trio of functions of the device, which essentially includes

i) Sophisticated sensors sample different aspects of real-time motion, often faster even than the human sensory system.
ii) Artificial intelligence continuously thinks through data from the sensors, analyzing and calculating the best move to make.
iii) Precision components act immediately to deliver the best possible function as instructed by the stream of signals sent from the artificial intelligence.

The above functions summarize the process performed by the complete unit.

Global Industry of Bionics

Some of the leading brands of Bionics technology are as follows

Name of the Country Name of the Brand
Algeria INDEXA.
Egypt Sigma Import and Export.
Bangladesh Abid Hearing Instrument.
Indonesia Nobel Audiology Center.
Singapore The Hearing Solutions Group.
Costa Rica J.R. SANCHEZ S.A. Audiologia.
Azerbaijan Arash Medical Company.
Greece Galiotos Earcare.
Portugal Lusitania Solucoes, Lda.
Serbia MM Medical Solutions.