Human Augmentation in medicine

Humankind has strived to ‘enhance’ our bodies since the beginning of time to travel further, faster, and higher than our natural capacities permit. From the utilization of bows and arrows, eyeglasses to reestablish our vision to pacemakers to keep our hearts pulsating, we continually discover approaches to utilize the technology available to us to improve ourselves and, at times, save our lives.

Human Augmentation (HA) technologies offer a wide range of possibilities for our present and the future. Technologies, like genetic engineering and brain-computer connections, will emerge in the future with greater promise. The ethical, moral, and legal ramifications of HA are difficult to predict, but early and consistent engagement with these concerns is crucial to success.

The umbrella term “human enhancement or Augmentation” refers to a wide range of technologies, including pharmaceutical products: like neuro implants that provide replacement sight or other artificial senses, drugs that boost brain power, human germline engineering and existing reproductive technologies, nutritional supplements, new brain stimulation technologies to alleviate suffering and control mood, cosmetic surgery, growth hormones for children of short stature, anti-ageing medication, and highly sophisticated prosthetic applications that may provide specialised sensory input or mechanical output.

“Human enhancement, not automation, is the future. Algorithms can’t tell you how to make money in your company; asking those kinds of questions is a uniquely human trait. Algorithms rely on people to do the heavy lifting first.” – Mark Vincent Hurd, a former Oracle director.

Human enhancement can also be said to be activities that are designed or used to restore or improve human performance, hence surpassing the human body’s current limitations. Advances in Biotechnology, engineering, neuroscience, and computers have the potential to create revolutionary enhancement technologies that could have substantial societal and individual repercussions. The creation and application of these advancements create a slew of scientific, engineering, social, political, ethical, economic, and regulatory concerns.


1.    Replicating Human Capabilities

Replication is the first degree of human enhancement. Any augmentation that replicates anything that a normal person can already do is referred to as this. Take prosthetics, for example, it duplicates a human function and makes it available to someone who didn’t have it before. More examples are eSight is a wearable technology that works similarly to spectacles and gives legally blind people the ability to see and Bioprinting is the process of employing 3D printing techniques to create biological tissues (organs, bones, skin).

2.    Increasing Human Capability

This advances replication by allowing us to perform things that are currently achievable for humans, but better like run faster, jump higher, and endure longer. We’ve already seen the positive influence that computing can have on human capacities. During a 1990 interview, Steve Jobs famously claimed that a computer is “like a bicycle for the mind,” allowing humans to think, create, and communicate in ways never before imaginable. A human enhancement that compensates for our intellectual and physical limitations has the potential to transform our culture. Exoskeletons, for example, are wearable mechanical devices worn on the outside of the body. In most cases, they offer the wearer more physical strength.

3.    Exceeding Human Capability

Humans with this level of enhancement can perform tasks that are beyond their natural ability. While this type of augmentation is very thrilling, it is also the most futuristic. The majority of existing applications are for very few markets, such as the military or certain industries. Invisibility Cloak: The thought of becoming invisible has piqued people’s interest, and while the technology isn’t quite there yet, we’re getting there. Various researchers have previously devised methods for making some surfaces and items invisible, in any case, it hasn’t been extremely effective.

Other Examples of human Augmentation includes Real-Time Language Translation, Augmented Vision, Smart Contact Lenses, 3D-Printed Body Parts, Smarter Drugs and Brain-Computer Interfaces.

Importance of Human Augmentation
  1.  Human enhancement improves the ability of people to store and recall information, whether through mnemonic training and procedures or brain implants.
  2.  Improves overall physical and mental health.
  3.  Ensure human well-being.
  4. Supports / Improves human capabilities.

Unfortunately, not everyone welcomes the use of human enhancement with open arms and welcoming grins. There has been a great deal of debate around the idea of human enhancement and if it is for the greater good from all corners of the globe. Human augmentation’s ethics is under fire from detractors who believe that it can’t be done safely in most situations and won’t yield the exact outcomes predicted before it’s used. They further claim that the consequences might be extremely harmful, putting the entire population in severe peril if something goes wrong.

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