The world of science fiction promised us everything from cancer-detecting capsules to flesh-healing lasers. But as our resources finally met our imagination, the one thing we never counted on was the enduring fact that the human body is, like, really gross.
The result? Jetsons-style gee-whiz technology that was seemingly invented by David Cronenberg. Remember, the following devices may someday save your soon-to-be disgusted existence ...
#4. Robot Asses for Prostate Exam Training
Butt-checking is an important medical procedure that every man over 40 needs to have done annually to detect a very serious medical condition, but that doesn't really make it any less funny. In fact, thanks to technology, it's actually going the other way, humor-wise:
"Bend over, Mr. Babar."
Everyone wave to the anus of "Patrick," the new interactive prostate exam patient into which medical students get to go knuckle-deep on a regular basis. Besides being a rubber ass, Patrick comes with a virtual front end that actually responds verbally, not just for real-time feedback for the technical aspects of the exam, but also to let the would-be doc know of any detected discomfort. (Because apparently until this thing came around it was all just trial and error.)
#3. Smart Glasses That Turn Your Skin Invisible
Of all the things you'd assume medical smart glasses could do, the last would be to turn patients into those things from They Live. And yet ...
The horror show you now see is all thanks to Evena Medical's "Eyes-On Glasses" -- a nifty device meant to identify veins for those unfortunate patients who take more than one jab to tap under normal circumstances. While infinitely useful, the result is a world where everyone looks like they just drank that bullshit at the beginning of Prometheus. The fact that it will be primarily used for children doesn't make it any less disturbing as a concept (nor is the haunting thought that not everyone buying a device meant for easier vein access would necessarily be a doctor).
#2. A New Birthing Tool That Looks Like It Was Invented by a Car Mechanic (Because It Was)
Obstructed labor is one of the leading factors in deadly birth complications and risky cesarean sections. It's no wonder that the World Health Organization has jumped on a brand new way to make all of that a thing of the past. What is surprising is how much vacu-sealing is involved.
Diego Giudice/The New York Times
"It gets a little tricky if the baby's wearing a hoodie."
If you're wondering why the dog poop baggie is trying to smother and eat that fully clothed baby, it's because it's actually saving its life -- all thanks to the ingenuity of a 59-year-old Argentine car mechanic who was trying to get a cork out of a bottle of wine. That's seriously how this happened. The Odon Device uses the same trick as the cork, which is to slip a plastic device inside, inflate it, and then pull. After all, just like wine corks, babies tend to get stuck in there when you've had way too much to drink.
#1. "SynDavers" Are the Worst Thing You'll Ever See
Heads up: We're about to show you something that, while 100 percent artificial, will probably leave you a blank shell of guttural despair far outreaching the entirety of your lunch break.
"Hey, we're not having chicken tonight, are we?"
It's called a SynDaver. And it's here to take the precious jobs of all of your dead relatives in both the field of medical training and the horror-induced panic attacks that come with seeing a rotting corpse. The only difference is that regular corpses don't tend to be permanently frozen in the anguished throes of death's despair like something Indiana Jones finds in an old booby trap.
Should have closed your eyes, buddy.
And if there's still an ounce of sanity left in you this very moment, the Air Force has dumped more than $1 million in developing a robotic version meant to simulate the movements of a flailing, wounded soldier in battle. Considering what we've seen so far, we're guessing that prerecorded cries against an uncaring god will be included in this worst-nightmare simulator.