Well, the Jetsons really did it. They predicted the future. Yes I’m talking about the cartoon featuring George Jetson, his wife Jane, their daughter Judy and their son Elroy.
I remember watching the Jetsons when I was a little babe and thinking how crazy and cool it was that they could talk to people- namely George’s angry boss- over video on the wall or on a computer right next to them.
Well, that’s happened. No big deal, we can video chat people all the time now- our bosses, our family, our friends. It’s amazing.
But did the Jetsons predict being able to walk around with little computers that you hold in your hands? Not exactly that. We have made a step forward, past the “Jetsons predictions” future, to the unpredicted future (well, unpredicted by the reliable source of the Jetsons at least). And the ways in which we can apply this technology are pretty freakin amazing.
Especially in the field I’m in. Ipads are becoming a tool for everyday use in the medical field. And biomedical visualization (if you forgot, that’s what I’m learning here) in addition to graphic design and interface design, are necessary components of the development of apps in the medical field.
The animations I’m creating for my research project explaining diabetes will be incorporated into a larger diabetes management program that can be viewed as a video on YouTube, or used as an interactive program on a computer or an Ipad. As soon as I get these little animations done (soon I hope!) they will be put together with the narration, videos and testimonials to make a comprehensive program about diabetes that targets people without much science background and with low health literacy.
A team of health care workers will bring Ipads to the homes of diabetic patients to teach them about their disease and the importance of medication. It’s effective because it brings the information to people in a very hands-on, visual way. But still personal, because the health care worker can stop the video, talk to the patient and answer questions they have. Using technology like this, in a very personable and individual way, could revolutionize (and IS revolutionizing) patient education- the way people receive information about their disease, medicine regiment, surgery, etc.
Other applications of the Ipad in biomedical visualization:
- Medical Student Education: Blair Lyons (UIC Biomedical Visualization Class of 2011) created an Ipad App about the electron chain transport to teach students learning biochemistry.
It’s interactive with quizes and games so you can test your knowledge. Here’s the link to her website: http://www.stromastudios.com/index.html
- Anatomical Education (for students or patients.) This is a review of a new application that basically is an anatomy text book in an Ipad app.
- Surgeries. Doctors in the ER can look at images of the patient’s anatomy (x-ray, mri, ct data) in real time, zooming in to see the details of certain areas of the brain or whatever they are working on.
Of course, there are some quirks about using an Ipad in a hospital setting- like losing it, breaking it, making sure it is sterile or in a plastic, sterile protective cover. It has the potential to be a distracting device for the health care worker in a patient care setting. But overall, visualization techniques using technology like the Ipad are going to change the doctor-patient relationship and the surgical setting, most likely for the better!