Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

December 6, 2021

The Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch.

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2014: the year of wearable tech

On our wrists

Wristwatch computing isn’t new, but this may be the year the smartwatch either fizzles out like a netbook or becomes the latest must-have technology. Not surprisingly, all eyes are on the rumoured Apple iWatch. Will it be made of bendable glass that wraps around a person’s wrist? Will it stand alone or be a costly compliment to the iPhone? Competitors, meanwhile, are forging ahead with their own versions. Samsung’s Galaxy Gear works as an add-on to their latest phones. You can phone, text, take photos and download about 70 apps, including Snapchat, the 10-second video-sharing app which has parents already wondering how long it’ll take their teens to demand a smartwatch. $330,

Over our eyes

Google goes for the jugular or, in the case of the Google Glass, the retina. The launch of the Glass has been strategically slow: first Google showed it off to the fashion world via Glass-wearing models on the catwalk. Then, a group of everyday US citizens were selected to test-drive a pair. Soon videos surfaced of everyone from DJs to moms going about their business, occasionally fixating wide-eyed and saying “Okay Glass,” the words that activate the device, request a search or call a friend. We’re supposedly a few months away from the Glass’s public launch and it’s probably no surprise that what two years ago sounded silly may well become the new normal.

As fingers

We’ll learn more about the abilities of 3D printing this year. News headlines scream everything about the odder uses of the technology, from hamburger meat containing printed protein to a printed metal gun firing 50 rounds. Yet some of your Canadian colleagues are busy researching the medical potential to one day recreate joints using a patient’s tissue or to print skin cells. The applications don’t end there. Today, anyone who’s lost fingers or parents of kids born with Amniotic Band Syndrome can go to Thingiverse, a website maintained by the 3D home printing company MakerBot and freely download the plans for the robohand. With a 3D printer, it’ll cost you about $150 in parts.

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.


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