Redesigning people: how medtech could expand beyond the injured
February 28, 2012 | Source: The Atlantic
The exoskeleton manufactured by Ekso Bionics in Berkeley, California, is one harbinger of what’s coming in the next decade or two to treat the injured and the ill with radical new technologies.
In a few more years, you might be wearing your own eLEGS to carry heavy loads around the house, or as a soldier on patrol in some distant corner of the world (assuming we aren’t using only drones). Flash forward a few more years, and you may have the option of permanently implanting in your legs the “eLEGS LXII,” an endo-skeletal implant that stays with you like a futuristic hip or knee implant does today.
Other portents include first-generation machines and treatments that range from deep brain implants that can stop epileptic seizures to stem cells that scientists are using experimentally to repair damaged retinas.
Which leads us to the crucial question for the approaching age of human enhancement: How far would you go to modify yourself using the latest medtech?
Would you replace perfectly good legs with artificial ones if they made you faster and stronger?
Would you take a daily pill that not only stimulated your brain to help you do your best on a test, but also bumped up your memory?
Would you sign up for a genetic alteration that would make you taller and stronger?