The Office of Naval Research just threw a $US1.6m grant at some UCSD researchers, to be used to build a "field hospital on a chip". The system will monitor a few biomarkers for deviations from safe levels, at which point it will automatically medicate its wearer. While the military hopes that such a device could provide first aid to wounded soldiers, the technology could also find plenty of practical uses in medicine, especially for doling out insulin to diabetics or anesthetic to chronic pain sufferers.
Anyway, forget about the olds — the military applications are what's exciting about this. Take a current soldier's body armour, night vision goggles and communications equipment, throw in an automatic medical treatment unit and voila! You've basically got Gordon Freeman's HEV suit. There is no indication that the suit will make the satisfying "uhhuummuhhuummuhhuumm" sound like Mr. Freeman's, but there's no indication that it won't, either. [Medgadget]