Ashley Thomas

Ashley Thomas

Title
Second Place Winner, High School - 2009 Imagine That! Engineering Innovation
Location
Washington
Ashley Thomas
The Revolutionary Light Wave Body Imaging Device

solariumNew technologies often arise from existing technologies, with enhancements in safety, function, and/or attractiveness. When creating a new product, engineers must consider many aspects of the design. They must adjust their mindset according to the type of product they are designing, always keeping the needs of the consumer in mind. Some products should be attractive, while others should just “get the job done”. Some products are complicated while for others, simplicity is preferred. Engineers must consider all of these different criteria and implement them to make the final product. By first identifying the end state of the product, they can design the functional parts of the device, and then take into consideration the aesthetics.

The Light Wave Body Imaging Device. The most revolutionary machine in the medical sciences since the X-ray. A vast improvement over the MRI, the Light Wave Body Imaging Device (LWBID) can scan the entire body in minutes and produce a 3-D holographic image, showing bones, soft tissue, nerves, blood vessels, and organs. A specific frequency of light streams out from the sides and top, able to “penetrate” the body down to the cellular level. The light wave images are collected at the bottom of the machine, where they are transferred to a computer than generates and projects a holographic image of the body. It can then be manipulated by the doctor, and specific parts of the body magnified to pinpoint the source of symptoms. A revolutionary device, the LWBID is used in hospitals around the world to quickly and accurately identify physical maladies. The LWBID is composed of many parts, each of which is equally important. Getting the patient into the LWBID is an easy task. The transparent panel above the collector slides out, the patient lays on it, and the panel slides back over the collector. The lights surrounding the patient inside the LWBID are essential to the device, as it generates the frequency of light necessary to take an image of the interior of the body. The “collector” at the bottom of the machine is also vital; without it, the LWBID would not function. The collector gathers all the image data and feeds a computer which compiles the data and produces a 3-D holographic image of the patient. The doctor can manipulate the 3D holographic image of the body with simple hand gestures, rotating and zooming in and out to specific organs, bones, and even cells. All of the individual parts of the LWBID fit and work flawlessly together to make diagnoses easier for the doctor.

Engineers have a difficult task when they create new products. They must keep the consumer at the forefront of their minds throughout the entire process. The engineer is in charge of design – is it comfortable? how will it work? does attractiveness matter? These questions are all important when designing a product. In the case of the LWBID, attractiveness is of less importance than functionality. Safety is a big concern when designing a device meant to be used on a person. The machine should be non-intrusive, in order to avoid harm. The light should not damage the eyes. The interior of the LWBID should be comfortable, as to accommodate the patient while he/she is lying there. The entire procedure should be fairly quick, in order to provide a pleasurable experience. The ambient temperature inside the machine should not be too hot or cold, in order to avoid discomfort for the patient. In this case, patients care more about results then the attractiveness of the machine, so the engineer can focus more on functionality rather than aesthetics.

There is much to consider before a product is made. In the case of the LWBID, all the working parts must be designed to function flawlessly together. Since there are so many critical parts, if one does not work as it should, the machine will produce unreliable results. However, this is not just an issue of results; it is an issue of saving a person’s life. If the results are not accurate, diagnoses will be incorrect, treatments will be ineffective, and lives may be lost. The engineer must ensure the machine works properly, and that none of the parts will harm the patient; after all, this machine is supposed to be saving lives, not causing harm. Engineers also need to consider simplicity and attractiveness. The operation of the LWIBD should be fairly simple, and most tasks automated. Attractiveness is of lesser importance, because the LWBID’s aesthetics have no effect on the actual purpose. The LWBID is a revolutionary piece of new technology that is sought after by hospitals around the world for its functionality, and its design makes it that much more irresistible.