CNN's 'Mission: Ahead' meets the pioneers pushing the boundaries of technology to save lives

2022-04-27 10:11 2470

A week of special coverage airs April 25-29, with a 30-minute program airing May 1

HONG KONG, April 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- CNN's 'Mission: Ahead' is a brand-new cross-platform series which explores the world's biggest challenges - from climate change to disease - and profiles the fearless and impassioned leaders who are tackling them with innovative projects that our future depends on.

CNN’s ‘Mission: Ahead’ meets the pioneers pushing the boundaries of technology to save lives
CNN’s ‘Mission: Ahead’ meets the pioneers pushing the boundaries of technology to save lives

In the first of two 30-minute shows, CNN Innovation and Space correspondent Rachel Crane meets the doctors and inventors on the cutting edge of healthcare. In their quest to save lives, these pioneers are pushing the boundaries of technology.

As more bacteria become resistant to existing antibiotics, scientists are turning to virtual reality to help design new medicines. Crane meets Steve McCloskey, co-founder and CEO of Nanome, a start-up which uses virtual reality to put researchers inside the molecules they study. Hundreds of organizations have adopted the company's tools, Nanome says, including LifeArc, a UK-based medical research charity.

A growing number of scientists worldwide are on a mission to better understand a relatively new field in tech: soft robotics - or robots that are more flexible and adaptable. That includes robots inspired by animals, the human body and even children's toys. Li Zhang at the Chinese University of Hong Kong has developed a magnetic slime-like robot and is testing how it could work inside the human body to locate foreign objects that have been erroneously swallowed.

Sleep disorders are on the rise worldwide. Thanks to technology, we're becoming more aware of the problem - and how to fix it. Crane meets Ziv Peremen, co-founder and CEO of X-trodes, an Israel-based start-up which has developed a wearable band-aid like sleep tracker. The device contains dozens of tiny sensors that pick up electrical activity while the wearer is asleep and send the data to a smart device - allowing both users and medical researchers to better understand sleep. Meanwhile, California-based start-up StimScience says its headband can help users fall asleep more quickly and deeply by passing painless microvolts of electricity into their brain.

Breast milk is widely considered the best way to feed babies, but not all parents have that option. To combat this, biologist Leila Strickland co-founded the biotech start-up BIOMILQ with the goal of producing human milk outside the body. The company cultures human milk-making cells using an incubating machine - a first step towards a potential solution for parents who can't breastfeed or access donated milk. Strickland believes the company's work can also help further our understanding of breast milk, which could lead to new scientific breakthroughs.

These days, many procedures can be done using minimally-invasive techniques, rather than open surgery. But as these procedures become more complex, so too are new solutions to help surgeons better visualize what they are operating on. CNN hears from RealView Imaging, an Israeli company which provides doctors with a system that turns medical images into holograms. It can help them perform surgeries more quickly and accurately, the company says. Crane speaks with David Rhew, Global Chief Medical Officer & VP of Healthcare at Microsoft about the company's Hololens 2 headset. The device is being used by medical researchers in Singapore to develop new surgical solutions.

Mission: Ahead trailer: 
Mission: Ahead images: 
Mission: Ahead microsite: 

Airtimes for 30-minute special:
Sunday, 1st May at 9:00am and 6:00pm HKT
Monday, 2nd May at 1:00am HKT

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CNN's portfolio of news and information services is available in seven different languages across all major TV, digital and mobile platforms, reaching more than 475 million households around the globe. CNN International is the number one international TV news channel according to all major media surveys across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the Asia Pacific region, and Latin America and has a US presence that includes CNNgo. CNN Digital is a leading network for online news, mobile news and social media. CNN is at the forefront of digital innovation and continues to invest heavily in expanding its digital global footprint, with a suite of award-winning digital properties and a range of strategic content partnerships, commercialised through a strong data-driven understanding of audience behaviours. CNN has won multiple prestigious awards around the world for its journalism. Around 1,000 hours of long-form series, documentaries and specials are produced every year by CNNI's non-news programming division. CNN has 36 editorial offices and more than 1,100 affiliates worldwide through CNN Newsource. CNN International is a Warner Bros. Discovery company.

Source: CNN International