When it comes to the sick and injured, a dearth of data is there for the taking. The modern hospital is stocked with a growing array of gizmos and gadgets that help medical professionals diagnose and monitor what ails the patient. But what happens when you take the latest medical tech out of the ward and into the lives of those with no immediate need to visit a hospital?
Enter 24 Hours Inside Your Body, a show that does just that. From the makers of 24 Hours in Emergency, this special event sees the implementation of the first “full-body rig” – a network of monitors that track the body’s inner-workings in forensic detail.
The idea is that, by the show’s end, we’ll have a better idea of how a busy body works, as well as how modern living affects one’s overall health.
Meet Dave, the middle-aged owner of a courier business. Not too long ago, Dave lost three stone (approx. 19kg) in excess fat, but is still overweight and finding it impossible to slim down any further. Dave leads a busy life, sleeps poorly and doesn’t feel overly healthy. He’s keen to know once and for all whether he should be worried.
Meet Charlotte, the thritysomething owner of a hairdressing salon. Unlike Dave, Charlotte considers herself fairly healthy (with an asterisk) and is hoping the results of the 24-hour period will validate her lifestyle choices. She shouldn’t count her chickens, as that asterisk comes in the form of regularly using over-the-counter painkillers (apparently one in seven Brits do the same). What started out as neck pain grew into regular, niggling headaches. Could something more concerning be going on inside Charlotte’s body?
(From left) Dr Lia Ali, Professor Tom Solomon and Dr Jason Gill
Gathering loads of data is one thing and a full-body rig is another, but both are rather meaningless without experts around to interpret the results. Thankfully, the 24 Hours Inside Your Body team is made up of such big-brained professionals.
Firstly, we have Professor Tom Solomon. As the resident neurologist, Solomon will monitor Dave and Charlotte’s brain activity.
He’s joined by physiologist Dr Jason Gill, who will monitor the body. Gill is excited by the prospect of taking things out of the hospital and gaining an understanding of “what people are doing in the wild”.
Psychiatrist Dr Lia Ali will give context to the brain and body data by analysing how it affects emotional well-being. She’ll also look closely at visual cues such as body language and eye movement.
Charlotte is fitted with one of many biometric devices
The full-body rig is comprised of an impressive collection of monitoring devices. The head is cloaked in electrodes in order to measure brainwaves. The body is fitted with the latest in biometric technology in order to study criteria such as heart rate, activity, glucose levels and posture. High-tech glasses track eye movement and, hence, emotional processing.
When combined, these devices give the team a complete picture of what’s going on inside the body and capture, in the show’s words, “how the human body is extraordinary while it’s doing ordinary things”.