Though my doctor hasn't gotten the note, needles are increasingly becoming a thing of the past. We’ve replaced them with silk, with programmable hyposprays and now with lasers. Yet my good ol' doc insists on having this lovely nurse take a two-inch metal member of the arm-pain syndicate and stick it into my biceps.
The new technology is a laser-based system that shoots drugs through the skin in pulses of 250 millionths of a second each, making it completely painless if even noticeable. Not to mention the fact that it doesn’t cause any actual tissue damage (meaning it’s not just masked pain; there simply isn’t any reason to hurt).
While getting a flu shot isn't comfortable, this has further reaching implications for those folks who have to self-administer medicine on a regular basis, as it is with something like diabetes. And, sure, it doesn’t hurt all that much. But over 20 million Americans have a needle phobia, which is some pretty serious stuff.
As I mentioned earlier, this joins the various other types of needless injection methods out there, such as the PharamaJet STRATIS, which uses springs, or the MIT-researched magnet system, which, as you may have guessed, uses magnetic force to propel drugs into you.
How much longer until our reality catches up with our technology? Who knows. But here’s to hoping it’s sooner rather than later.