The emotionally impaired might get a bit excited by this incredible development in diagnostic equipment. Sunglasses, called O2Amp, which are designed to pick up subtle biological clues about a patient’s current feelings, are being trialed by doctors at two hospitals in the assistance of medical assessment.
The glasses work by detecting, and amplifying into colour, the oxygenation and concentration of the hemoglobin in your blood. This gives medical practitioners three improvements in diagnoses and treatment: locations of trauma can be more quickly detected as the hemoglobin will appear to be a different colour around areas of trauma; veins can easily be found as they will “glow” while wearing the glasses – meaning drawing blood/injections will become more efficient and a whole lot less traumatic for those with a fear of needles; and finally they can use it for general assessment of the condition of the patient – such as that a green-blue hue of hemoglobin means high concentration but low oxygenation, indicating a likelihood of flu or cold.
It is pretty revolutionary technology that could quite dramatically increase efficiency and decrease the costs for hospitals as money and time is saved on scans and tests. Not to mention the applications outside the hospital: detecting these biological responses invisible to our inferior eyesight could allow us to develop some sort of emotion detector technology. It could be put to use in interrogations, psychological evaluations, winning poker games and even just to help you understand why your boyfriend/girlfriend is acting like a mad person.
I’m also rather impressed with the design: they look rather stylish for something designed primarily for medical purposes. Then again, doctors are getting pretty cool these days (at least mine is).
All this depends on just how well it works though, right? Won’t be much use if the accuracy is only 50% or something. But who knows, perhaps the future will see your GP whipping out a pair of tinted glasses, looking you up and down and saying, “Yeah, you’re faking your flu. Go to work.”