New High-Tech Medicine Cabinet - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/14/06

New High-Tech Medicine Cabinet

Medicine cabinets have been around for a long time. But not like this one. A new high-tech medicine cabinet is almost high-tech human. Among other things, it recognizes who you are when you step in front of it.

"After it recognizes me, it shows a list of health concerns i need to pay attention to," said Dr. Dadong Wan, PhD - a researcher at Accenture Labs in Chicago.

It looks like any old bathroom cabinet, but this one has a brain. Researcher Dadong Wan has merged high-tech innovation with the age-old medicine cabinet.

"The future of health care is all about bringing care to people. After it recognizes me, it shows a list of health concerns I need to pay attention to. It is all about the system doing the job for you and really requires very minimal amount of effort on your part." says Dr. Dadong Wan.

This cabinet of the future knows who you are as soon as you step in front of its camera. Got allergies? Your cabinet alerts you to pollen counts in your area. Radio-frequency identification tabs on prescription bottles also prevent you from taking the wrong drug at the wrong time. The cabinet even monitors weight, body fat, heart rate, cholesterol, blood pressure and tracks trends.

What goes inside your medicine cabinet is also changing. Doctor Jeffrey Hillman says we'll soon be using probiotic mouthwash. The mouthwash contains three strains of good bacteria. A daily rinse fights bad bacteria in your mouth.

"Probiotics is the daily or frequent administration of certain live bacteria that confer a healthful effect, the combination of these three strains addresses the two biggest problems in oral health, which is gum disease and tooth decay," said Dr. Jeffrey Hillman, Ph.D.- Chief Scientific Officer of Oragenics in Alachua, Florida.

A twist on another cabinet staple will change the way cuts heal, it's a high-tech bandage.

"It's basically like taking a high concentration of a natural component and inserting it right into the wound site, so it would quote, be an instant clot, or clot on the spot," said Dr. Gary Bowlin, PhD -Biomedical Engineer at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.

That natural component is a blood-clotting protein called fibrinogen (fi-brin-oh-gen), and it actually dissolves into your skin. Another example of technology pushing beyond what we thought was possible.

"It can be rolled up like cotton gauze and treated like cotton gauze. Now, it's just more effective in stopping bleeding," says Dr. Bowlin.

The medicine cabinet could be in homes in less than a year. But both the mouthwash and the dissolvable bandage are still in clinical trials.

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