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Transcending Human Frailties with Technological Enhancements and Replacements: Transhumanist Perspective in Nursing and Healthcare

The pandemic has certainly been a catalyst for scientific research and investigation. This is partly out of necessity, for example, in the situation of vaccines and medicines which are required to prevent or treat the COVID-19 virus. However, the pandemic has also inspired research into innovative ideas and concepts, especially those which are influenced by the changes which it has brought to society.  

The article ‘Transcending human frailties with technological enhancements and replacements: Transhumanist perspective in nursing and healthcare’ explores the effects of aging, as well as how technological advances can be an inextricable part of getting through the human process of becoming older or weaker while adapting and continuing to exist. Professor Emeritus Dr. Rozzano Locsin, one of the Faculty of Nursing’s visiting professors, is also Professor Emeritus at Florida Atlantic University and in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Tokushima University. He partnered with Assistant Professor Dr. Phanida Juntasopeepun to author this article along with Joseph Andrew Pepito and Rose E. Constantino to publish this article in Nursing Inquiry. He spoke with us about this fascinating topic. 

The pandemic was a powerful event that affected older people disproportionately as this group is medically at a higher risk, and socially, they required more protection due to the isolation necessitated. Prof. Emeritus Dr. Rozanno was interested in the effects of social isolation and how technology could be instrumental in helping people to transcend the negative effects resulting from the pandemic. The ability to be connected and maintain some socialization with others and how this allows people to go beyond themselves, was a central motivation for this research. 

The concept of transhumanism refers to the way humans make “human transformations, physiologically, cognitively, and physically.” Prof. Emeritus Dr. Rozanno explains that this idea is essential for us to appreciate being human, in that it allows us to begin to pose answers to a fundamental question: “What is being human in a futuristic world in which technologies have become a dominant feature?” Transhumanism addressed frailty, which can be understood as a person’s physico-physiological condition resulting from aging, as well as disability. Frailty, which affects millions of people, compels them to adapt in the face of the challenges that result from it. 

The key result from this research is related to how technology increasingly provides the ability for people experiencing frailty to lead healthier lives, which is at the essence of nursing. A key role of nursing is to provide care and to promote wellness, and this research investigates how technology can support and enhance nurses in this role. 

The research possibilities opened by this investigation are boundless, as at its core, the approach focuses on not only caring for older persons but involving them in their care. There is a myriad of possibilities that nurses and nursing practitioners can explore, such as the theory of Technological Competency as Caring in Nursing, which includes a range of nursing processes that nurses, and healthcare practitioners may utilize to provide nursing care for older people. Our collective experience of adjusting and adapting during multiple lockdowns while managing the other effects of the pandemic is full of opportunities for exploring how technology must become what Prof. Emeritus Dr. Rozanno refers to as a “go-to entity” in alleviating frailty and moving older people toward healthier, meaningful lives.  


Read more: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nin.12391

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