There has long been a connection between sleep and recovering health, be it from a hard day's work to dealing with a critical illness or catastrophic injury. Take two aspirin and call me in the morning. It is no real surprise that in science fiction there are technomagical beds that are able to remove injuries in remarkably short amounts of time. Some depictions are rather feasible, such as diagnostic units that resemble CT scanners, with more lights, greeblies, and screens. Others are somewhat more fantastic, such as the unit in the Fifth Element that restores Leelo to life from a few chips of bone after her entire ship is destroyed in a catastrophic crash. This use of technomagic blends well with video game logic, where a night in a tent, or at the Inn can cure all lost health and dispel status ailments.
This technology is present in the Cosmic era, but it's use and availability are limited. Most parts of the world are limited to the resources available to their public sector 'white' hospitals, while the high end technology like Med-Pods is restricted to the much more expensive, and exclusive 'black' hospitals. Technomagic is the property of the wealthy and elite.
The Automatic Diagnostic System, more commonly known as the Auto-Doc, is a widely available medical scanning unit. Every hospital in any first world nation has one or more of these units, typically in the ER and triage units. The Auto-Doc is a diagnostic only system, and typically is capable of rendering medical diagnoses with a high degree of accuracy along with the best plan of action to treat the patient. The patient rests on a base plate and is scanned by a series of sensors, along with a quick draw sampling system that takes and analyzes a small blood sample. Following through with the assessment of the Auto-Doc requires either human doctors, medical professionals, or medical droids.
ER - Most emergency room facilities have at least one Auto-Doc for quick diagnosis of incoming patients. Large or high capacity facilities can expect to have more than one unit. Once diagnosed, patients are referred to the appropriate medical treatment.
Triage and Disaster Relief - mounted in the cargo area of a large vehicle, or in an air mobile pod, the relief model is used to respond to natural disasters, often being calibrated for specific pathogens or injuries en route. These mobile units, operated by megacorps and state and federal governments are deployed to earthquake zones, disease outbreaks, and humanitarian crises. To handle the often large number of victims in these cases, the units are deployed with a number of medical droids and possible an air mobile L/AISC medical unit.
Doc-Wagon - A private medical provider, Doc-Wagon and other companies like it, provide on site, fast, and discrete medical treatment for covert and security personnel. The typical Doc-Wagon in a mobile Auto-Doc mounted in a small to medium sized vehicle with an attending medical droid, typically a high end model.
Pioneer Class - Auto-Docs are common sights on long range ships, with the Auto-Doc being one of the primary pieces of equipment in the medical bay. The same units are common on non-terrestrial colonies, space stations and habitats, using many common components for ease of operation and maintenance.
M*A*S*H* - The military version of the Auto-Doc is designed to be as minimalist as possible, and doesn't spent time looking for conventional maladies and is specifically tuned for combat trauma.
The Hibernation Couch, or Stasis Pod, or Grav Couch, is a pod designed to put a human being in a state of hibernation, and keep them alive for long periods of time with a minimum of resources. The Hibernation unit is specifically not cryogenic in nature, and the user is in a chemically induced sleep, and their biometric activity is slowed through the use of temperature and drugs. The metabolic rate is dropped to a fraction of it's normal level, and things like pulse and neural activity are reduced as much as 90%. The couch is routinely monitoring the vitals of the person it's holding, and administers hibernation drugs as needed as well as regulating air flow through the unit and dietary supplements. Hibernation couches have been proven to keep people alive for several years at a time. The design of the couch is very similar to the auto-doc, and if the unit encounters a medical anomaly, it alerts the on staff medical unit and starts any preliminary medical treatments it's capable of.
Space Nap - the hibernation couch was designed for use in space, especially in the earlier days of interplanetary travel. With the trip from Earth to Mars taking months, it wasn't feasible to build flying farm ships, nor to carry enough food and supplies to keep the entire crew awake for the voyage. The use of couches made possible the first colonization attempts of Mars, as well as the later exploration of the Solar System. A space nap is a term for taking an excessively long sleep.
Clone Unit - Hibernation couches can be used in some places to put clones 'away' for longer periods of time, reducing their upkeep and removing them from where ever they are. This practice is opposed by clones and clones rights sympathizers as inhumane.http://strolen.com/submitting/write_submission/8200
The Tanks - A cruel and strange use of the Hibernation couch is the creation of the Axlotl Tank. The Ax Tank is a hibernation tank wrapped about the limbless torso of a woman, her body genetically altered to function as a breeding unit. The mind is tethered into a CogNet delusion, and instead of slowing the metabolism, the couch is programmed to accelerate it, allowing fetuses to be brought to term much quicker than a normal pregnancy. The creation and use of axlotl tanks is considered one of the few remaining crimes against humanity.
An offshoot of the MSB, the hibernation couch allows for long duration, low supply space flight, and other applications of suspended animation. couch maintains life support. (used in cloning, and in creating auto-wombs, humans turned into breeder tanks)
The Medical Service Bay
The next step in the evolution of automated medical treatment was the Medical Service Bay. Prohibitively expensive, these machines combine diagnostic capabilities, life support function, and adds automatic surgical capabilities. The medical service bay is a complete doctor in a box, and looks the part. The bay requires outside access to an L/AISC or better to operate safely, and while automated does require attendants to make sure everything is calibrated, cleaned, and the consumables in the unit are at functional levels. There are horror stories about bays running out of sedatives or analgesics but performing operations on patients anyway. These are almost always stories and have little truth, being rooted in nothing more than the human fear of the machine.
The Elite - The ultra-wealthy often keep their own medical service bays, being paranoid and not trusting doctors with their health and well-being.
Heal Thyself - Most larger (and typically insanely expensive) spaceships will have a version of the bay, to augment or support the ship's medical staff. Military ships, cargo ships, and small craft do not have these machines, as they either have medical units, or cannot afford one. Deep space, exploration, and scientific ships almost always have a unit to maintain the health of the crew.
MegaCorp Medicine - Not always content to rely on the benefits of the Black Hospitals, many megacorps have their own internal medical wing, staffed with doctors, and service bays. There is the option of the expensive private doctor, the long line and wait for a public doctor, or the option of seeing the company doctor. For some this is a good thing (good connections mean quick treatment) or a bad thing (bad rep can be a medical dismissal)
The Surgeon in a box, combines an auto-doc with a self contained surgical robot. Can perform manual surgery, diagnostics, and administer treatments. Prometheus.
The Amniotic Tank is a glass and steel tank filled with a amniotic like fluid. A patient is submerged in the fluid, and breathe either through an airline, or are in a special oxygenated mixture for fluid breathing. The nature of the fluid, and the nutrients pumped into it rapidly accelerates the cellular regeneration process. This is highly beneficial for certain types of trauma such as burns, severe abrasions, lacerations, and other flesh wounds. It is much less useful for things like broken bones.
Cloning - variants of amniotic tanks are used in the gestation of clones, and this is the most common perception of the tank, a freestanding cylinder with a bluish green fluid and a naked person floating in it. The tank's beneficial nature assists in the rapid forced growth of the clone body, bypassing the two decades required for physical adulthood.
Post Surgery - After invasive or traumatic surgery, it is not uncommon for patients to spend time in a tank to accelerate their recovery time. This is often done in tandem with integration into a CogNet dreaming therapy making sure the patient is in a restive and recovering mentality.
Rejuvination - Colloquially known as a Lazarus Chamber, this variation on the tank has a detoxification and cellular restorative function. The unit is an anagathic, and extends the lifespan by restoring the vitality of the body. Visiting a rejuvination chamber is the Cosmic equivalent of going to a tanning bed, and with routine visits, a human can retain a youthful vitality and appearance for decades longer than previously. There is a certain age plateau, with age being difficult to determine between the late twenties and the early sixties, and a second plateau between the late sixties and the nineties. To look old, a human is typically greater than 100 years old.
The Phoenix Engine
Only possessed by the Glassenheim Foundation, the Phoenix Engine is a piece of arcanotech that crosses the border from technology into the realm of magic. Through the use of nanites, energy fields, and quite simply, technomagic to rebuild people. Broken bones can be repaired and rebuilt in minutes, cancer can be written out in fifteen minutes. A corpse can be repaired and brought back to life, even from injuries as severe as decaptation or massive trauma. The illuminati like Hidden Masters of the Foundation use the handful of engines they possess to ensure their own continued existence, recovering from mortal injury, prolonging their lives, and providing favors to their minions and lieutenants.
The Imbrian Connection
The Phoenix Engine was reverse engineered from an Imbrian artifact found on the Moon. The Black Sarcophagus was recovered from the dark side of the moon, where it was found locked in a ruined lunar bunker. The Foundation dismantled the device, reverse engineered it, and reassembled the machine. The Black Sarcophagus is an Imbrian Dynasty Engine, used by the ancient Imbrians to ensure the progression of their noble and royal members. The sarcophagus is currently not functional, as some components are broken, and it no longer has access to a power source.
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Another Wikily sub of the Cosmic Era that is saved from being dry cos of the itallics and I was almost tempted to give it a 4 for some of the later sections, esp. the part of the Phoenix Engines effectively creating all the villains the can appear time and time again no matter how many times you 'think' them killed.