Biosensors: An Environmental, Medical and Industrial Approach

Social Impacts 

 Social impacts of biosensors are numerous.  Biosensors will allow humanity to monitor aspects of nature, quality and control of other parts of manufacturing, and the human body itself.  Global reports indicate that the world population for humans will approach 7 billion by next year, 2011 (  As science improves, particularly in the medical field, humans will continue to keep living longer lives.  This means that populations will continue to increase.  As populations increase, demand for monitoring of numerous aspects of society including crime prevention and detection, traffic control, etc will become vital for a safe and productive society.  Biosensors, used for organic purposes, will thrive in this world as well.  Biosensors will be needed to monitor animals for purposes of instinction prevention, make sure that bacteria and viruses stay in control in manufacturing plants and will help prevent and/or detect major diseases in humans.  Biosensors will perhaps move through major arteries near the heart and brain to detect clots that may be lying in wait, to someday cause a stroke.  Sensors will detect cancer in very early stages and may even kill cancer cells just like white blood cells.  The implications for biosensors are enormous because every aspect of humans in the organic sense will be monitored and tracked.  Heart rate, body temperature, and other bodily processes will be tracked 24/7.  Social impacts may be positive or negative as this occurs.  In positive terms, emergency room overflows will be reduced dramatically as sensors will indicate that potential life threatening conditions may occur within a couple days instead of, say, a heart attack, occurring just then a person may know beforehand and see their doctor or a surgeon at a scheduled appointment rather than go to an emergency room.  Negative impacts are that perhaps hacking may occur and individuals may learn certain “weak” areas in your body and take advantage of these areas, for example the fact that you have a tendency for a heart attack and may use the information to harm you.  Other implications include whether it is fair for certain people to have sensors to tell them when they will perhaps die while other do not have this advantage or how will the population be controlled to prevent overpopulation in the years to come as less people will die from natural causes such as heart attacks.  These social issues must be addressed in the future in order for biosensors to be successfully integrated in social networks.


Political and Economic Impacts

Political and economic impacts of biosensors will also surely emerge as biosensors begin to integrate into society.  Politicians will have to make a budget for biosensor research and development and this is but a start to the issues.  Politicians will have to determine appropriate loan interest rates if biosensors cost too much money.  A whole new field for medical insurance will have to be covered in order for average people to be able to afford monitoring and huge data centers will have to be established to process the huge amounts of information that may be sent via wifi from the patient.  Security personnel will have to prevent hacking.  According to, biosensors and nanotechnology may be used in destructive and military ways.  For instance basic personal privacy may be compromised as governments may spy on their people on the molecular level to tell some of the most fundamental characteristics of a certain person. New laws will have to be made to protect against government spying and perhaps the Bill of Rights may have to be revised to insure that the government not only does not enter your home without permission but does not take genetic data from biosensors located within a person.  Aside from political impacts, economic impacts are inevitably present.  One of the forefront issues is who will be able to afford biosensors.  Biosensors will likely cost a lot of money initially, as any new technology does, but this economic issue leads to a social and moral issue because someone who can afford the sensors will likely live a much longer life than a less economically stable person. Developed countries such as the United States and countries in Europe such as France and Germany will likely be able to afford immediate usage of biosensors because their economies are, for the most part, stable. Businesses will be able to obtain loans necessary to manufacture the expensive biosensors and consumers such as medical patients will likely receive coverage through medical insurance.  In developing countries, however, biosensors will not likely emerge for decades after the technology becomes available.  For instance,China is a developing nation and much of its resources in terms of money are focused on manufactering and building the country in industrial and architectural means.  Therefore developing nations will not use biosensors right when the technology becomes available, because loans will not be approved  due to the necessity to build a stable economy first.  Developing nations do not have the resources to take risky loans in brand new technology.  Therefore biosensors will not be an economic issue in developing countries in the near future.  Another economic issue is which animals or parts of the environment should be monitored because there is not an unlimited amount of money to develop and integrate the sensors, so this issue also poses a political issue as laws must be passed to allocate public funds to certain species for research or protection.         


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