Humanity has always wanted to outdo himself – to go beyond his potential. History’s fantasy stories bear testimony to this yearning of man. We want superpowers, as simple as that. Well, the Pentagon has put forth a pretty ambitious program: allowing ordinary people to heal themselves via a tiny device. Sounds a bit like Wolverine, right?
A military-sponsored project, known as Electrical Prescriptions, or ElectRx, entailing a minuscule device that can allegedly stimulate the body to heal itself in certain regions has been developed. The device, likened to a pacemaker, would be implanted in the body, monitoring organs via electrical impulses. If any of these organs is infected or wounded, the device will trigger the healing process. This will shift the dependence from drugs and the conventional way of dealing with diseases to modern, sophisticated methods. Sounds too good to be true, right?
“The technology Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) plans to develop through the ElectRx program could fundamentally change the manner in which doctors diagnose, monitor and treat injury and illness,” Doug Weber, program manager for DARPA’s biological technologies office, said in a statement.
How does it work?
When embedded inside the body, it will evaluate the condition of the person, thereby triggering the nerves to preserve the health of the body organs. The idea behind the mechanism was inspired by a natural process known as neuromodulation where the peripheral nervous system monitors the conditions of internal organs, being on the look-out for infections and diseases. However, in case of certain diseases, the natural system might not work in favour of the person. However, with the electrical device, the process can be kept under control.
The device can cause the healing process to unwind for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, systemic inflammatory response syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.
The project is considered to be promising and might pave the way to developing a similar treatment for brain and mental-health diseases like epilepsy.