Mars 2033: Pain Receptor Inhibitor Device [PRID]

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2033 marks the year in which humans will have finally begun to settle on Mars. By this time, an estimated 10,000 people would have borne the long journey to inhabit the foreign red planet. However, the Mars environment is undoubtedly very different from that of Earth. The terrain is unfamiliar, and the weather harsh, future missions on Martian soil could prove to be dangerous or even fatal if we were to be ill-prepared. So, how can we prepare for this? How can we stay safe? How can we ensure, not only our survival but that of our whole species on Mars?

The sensation of pain is an essential tool for survival; it lets us know when we are injured by directing our attention to the area of concern, to the threat. However, the sensation itself can be tormenting, hard to manage and even lead to mental health issues in extreme cases. Especially when on missions in a foreign environment, where medical care isn’t always readily available.

The Pain Receptor Inhibitor Device, or the PRID, is an emergency medical device aimed at combating and completely alleviating the sensation of pain as soon as the body senses a threat. This opioid-free solution allows individuals to avoid the time-lag and the fatigue that is symptomatic of traditional painkilling approaches. The PRID is as essential to human survival as the sensation of pain itself. It creates an alternative pathway for the body to register and immediately address threats. Information from the nerve impulses emitted by pain receptors is intercepted and interpreted by the external soft technology component, this information then travels up to the main device between the shoulder blades which emits an electrical current. This current is subsequently delivered to the invasive component attached to the spine at the base of the neck from which it is sent to the relevant body part in order to overpower the sensation of pain.

Inspired by current neuromodulation and electrotherapy devices, this external-invasive device is a prerequisite for any high-risk operations on Mars. The device is made to blend seamlessly with both the human body and our lifestyles. It is breathable, flexible, waterproof and essentially weightless. The PRID is a technological extension of ourselves.

It is the first step in reconstructing the field of medicine and reimagining the human condition on Mars.

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