(Photo Courtesy: www.forbes.com)
Imagine a very tiny capsule injected just below the skin of your arm. The capsule has a sensor capable of continuously measuring blood glucose levels and sends the information to your phone. Well, let's spice it up one level above the notch. Say, when the blood glucose level crosses its threshold, visualize the tiny little capsule releasing a dose of insulin in your blood stream. What this does is offer total freedom from regular needle pricks to measure blood sugar levels, and frees patients from the anxiety of taking the right insulin doses at the right time.
Science Fiction Or Reality?
Nope, this isn't something straight out of a Steven Spielberg's upcoming science fiction movie. This is Theranostics. A combination of diagnosis with therapy geared to revolutionize and disrupt the world of healthcare diagnostics.
"The idea of Theranostics is old," says Dr Biplab Bose, an Associate Professor in the Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati. "However, the term was coined and gained popularity in recent times, thanks to the development of targeted drug-delivery, microfluidics, and nanotechnology. Both in India and abroad, extensive work is going on to use targeted nano-delivery systems for Theranostics. A prime focus on this is to create drug loaded nanoparticles that are suitable for both in-vivo imaging and as well as for targeted drug-delivery."
Theranostics is the development and use of molecules for both diagnostics and therapeutic purposes, thereby providing Precision Medicine to patients - first in a clinical setting - for further understanding their diseases at molecular level, and then prescribing specific medicines.