The personal PC, the mass-market mobile phone, X-ray machines – these everyday forms of technology were once industry breakthroughs that made a positive impact on the world and changed the way we relate to each other. In the digital age, the world is moving at lightning speed. Cutting-edge tech is at the forefront of groundbreaking revolutions in a number of fields. In this post we explore three examples of tech that is changing the world.
The MR Linac Machine: A Breakthrough for Cancer Treatment
A project that began six years ago has culminated in the clinical trial of the MR Linac Machine – a radiotherapy delivery system that is set to change the way cancer tumours are treated. Barry Dolling (65), the first patient to try this machine, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April. The machine, called a “dream come true” for radiologists generates magnetic resonance images (MRI) while simultaneously delivering X-ray radiation beams. Because many cancer tumours shift during radiotherapy, there can be significant damage caused to healthy tissue during treatment. However, with the MR Linac Machine, tumours can be monitored and honed in on in real-time, with treatment being administered to a more accurate degree than ever before. This clinical trial is taking place at The Royal Marsden Hospital and Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London, which is one of seven centres in the world to have installed the machine, enabled by a £10 million grant from the Medical Research Council.
Gaming as an Educational Tool
Gaming was once seen as the antithesis of learning. But what was once regarded as a distraction, is now becoming one of the world’s most powerful learning tools. Children are using tablets and mobile devices as learning platforms, particularly in the foundation phase, which are a child’s most developmental years. Maths and language games are being used to teach children indispensable skills in an engaging and entertaining way that is very different from the way familiar slog of homework that we may be familiar with. On this topic, Ian Kay says: “The use of personal devices is growing in the classroom and the days of ‘chalk and talk’ are becoming a thing of the past.” An example of this kind of technology in action is Nearpod, which allows teachers to import lessons from any file type and begin adding interactive elements like web-links or video snippets. Educators can then synchronise and send their prepared lessons to all student devices, conduct the lesson simultaneously and monitor students’ progress as they learn.
New Developments in the Recycling Industry
The need to recycle is becoming more and more pressing, given the prevalence of a number of environmental crises. Where once people thought of environmental issues as being the responsibility of governments and global institutions, a shift is being made towards understanding that every human being needs to play a part in taking better care of the world. A number of startups in Silicon Valley and elsewhere all around the world are taking up this cause and finding new ways to boost recycling. For example, Clarke is a recycling robot that makes use of artificial intelligence to recognise and sort food and beverage containers in preparation for recycling. Clarke has been deployed in a municipal waste facility in Denver, Colorado where it serves its purpose as a trash-sorter with nothing short of AI perfection. This cutting-edge tech is diverting plastics from landfills in a way that is 50% faster than it would be if the process were to be managed by humans.
Be a Part of the Tech Revolution
Technology was once a concept that was beyond the reach of the masses and reserved for an elite few. Thankfully times have changed. Now, the power lies in the hands of ordinary people – the kind of people who may not have had the opportunity to emerge as societal leaders in the past. Today, technology is a tool for empowerment and development on a global scale. And there are countless examples of how this is being done. Think about drones delivering medicine to rural areas, or self-driving cars that will decrease accident-related fatalities, or scientifically advanced ways of promoting sustainable agriculture. The future is indeed a bright one.
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