Why Light for Medicine?
According to the Wellman Center for Photomedicine in Boston, composed of Harvard Medical School (HMS) faculty, light defines our universe: on the largest of scales, it is the ultimate speed limit of the universe; on a very small scale, it gave rise to the birth of quantum theory; on a human scale, sunlight is the primary source of energy for all life on Earth.
- Light is deeply embedded in the human psyche, in every culture and every religion. To be "enlightened" is to truly see and understand.
- What is light? Photons can be seen as communication between molecules. When you gaze on a star, it stimulates biochemistry in your retina by photons that have spent millions of years traversing the void of space. Our knowledge of stars is built on photons from outer space.
- In a similar way, photons from "inner space" can tell us what is going on with molecules inside ourselves (i.e., diagnosis), and light can directly change what goes on in there (i.e., therapy). In this age of molecular biology and medicine, light is an exceedingly powerful tool - and is just beginning to be tapped. There are many true mysteries and many opportunities to actually help people using light.
- It is critical that medicine must soon be simultaneously better, faster, more available, and more affordable. Optical technologies have recently become versatile, robust and inexpensive, and are being developed at a rapidly increasing rate.
Light drives human biochemistry:
- light regulates your mood
- light creates vitamin D
- light kills bacteria and parasites
- light has benefits for wound healing, pain, stroke, and blood flow
Among other benefits