Gyroscopes and a glove hold new promises for Parkinson’s patients

Parkinson’s, a disease that affects one in 500 people, has typically been managed through medication, and more recently deep brain stimulation (implantable medical device)–both having not so nice drawbacks.   The use of wearable gyroscopes is a new approach being taken by a group of students from Imperial College London.   Like the spinning tops…

There is power in using your voice

The California Institute of Technology’s Dr. Choo  has developed a generator that runs off the vocal cords to improve the efficacy of implanted medical devices.   This is not insignificant to the millions of people who have Cochlear Implants, Pacemakers, Implanted Cardiac Defibrillators and other devices that every 5-1o years need to undergo an operation to…

Using games to improve stroke recovery

Each year, about 795,000 people in the United States have strokes.  Recovery depends heavily on your ability to access physical therapy.    The Hand Mentor from Kinetic Muscles (KMI) in Arizona, uses gaming principles to encourage people to do the therapy that can help them recover the use of a hand or foot.    Recovery is based…

Small implantable batteries solve big healthcare problems

EaglePicher Medical Power is a world leader in implantable medical cells.  Built out of titanium or stainless steel, these small cells power incredible devices such as Cochlear Implants, Pacemakers, Implantable Defibrillators, and Pressure sensors. EaglePicher Medical is a small division of a large corporation.   They had  excellent technology but were wrestling with the best target…

An accessible tablet where fewer features is the main feature!

Claris is a technology company in Vancouver that gets the power of simplicity. They have developed a Tablet computer designed to do a really good job at helping seniors communicate.  It is easy to do a video call, easy to view photos or do email.    While they are aiming at seniors it is also something to look…

A new cardiac defibrillator takes flight, literally.

Finally a drone that is designed to bring life to people.   The  “Ambulance Drone” has a commercial automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) attached to it and actually will fly to the person who needs help.   When it lands, its propellers fold back to get out of the way and electrode pads slide out of the nose with…

Taking health care off the mainframe

Eric Dishman makes a great argument on why our health care system is like computing circa 1959, tethered to big, unwieldy central systems: hospitals, doctors, nursing homes.  The video is great for anyone looking at new products that may be able to cut the cord.

Computer aided medicine—Dr. Watson

TWO years ago IBM attracted a lot of attention when its “Watson” program beat two human champions at Jeopardy!   Which everyone knows is way harder then chess. IBM now plans to adapt the system for oncologists, with trials due to begin in two clinics.   Their ultimate goal is for Watson to compare patient notes with…

Lessons from the one handed world

Accessibility is a big issue, between aging boomers, war veterans, and the general population nearly 63 million Americans, according to the US Census, have a reported physical or mental condition that limits their movements or activities.  Thats 1 in 5 Americans!      The Industrial Design community is now tackling what it means for housing,…

A TED speaker shares his secret for innovation in the medical industry

If you are a person who believes that the heart of innovation lies in bringing people from different backgrounds together then you will love this video.  However, if you believe medicine and all things health are best left to Physicians and medical bureaucrats watching this may result in changes to your blood pressure.  

Wired Lego Petri Dish Gives Real-Time Updates

A sample is placed on top of a small image-sensor chip, which uses an Android phone’s LED screen as a light source. The whole device is placed in an incubator, and the image-sensor chip connects to a laptop outside through a wire. As the image sensor snaps pictures of the cells growing in real-time, the…

Introducing the iBlood Lab

A cheap lens is all that is needed to enable an iPhone4 to discern the shapes of cells in a blood sample that can make it easier to diagnose conditions such as sickle-cell anemia in places without medical infrastructure. The system allows field workers to photograph blood samples from patients, and then send the micrographs…

Vision is the art of seeing the invisible.-

When Jonathan Swift wrote that quote I bet he didnt have visual prosthetics in mind. Second Sight, based in California, recently received their CE Mark (European FDA equivalent) for Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System (“Argus II”) . This device becomes the first approved treatment for sightless people. The system works by converting video images captured…

Maybe listening to heavy metal is a good way to learn?

A recent breakthrough study from UT Dallas found that brain nerve stimulation can actually accelerate learning in laboratory tests.  Another major finding of the study, published in the April 14 issue of Neuron, involves the positive changes detected after stimulation and learning were complete.  Researchers monitoring brain activity in rats found that brain responses eventually…

Designing the better prostate exam

The medical technology sector has not always been know for great user friendly designs.  There are certainly elements of it,  like the big needle a dentist uses, that need some rethinking.  In my books prostrate exams fall into that category.    A designer at GE Healthcare thought so as well and designed the MRI Chair. Prostate cancer…

iPhone set to replace stethoscope

Hospitals are about to get really confusing.  It used to be you could tell the doctors from the other staff by the stethoscope slung casually around their neck.  Now your doctor may be any person in a white lab coat with ear phones on! An invention by Peter Bentley, a researcher from University College London turns an Apple…

An Implantable Antenna: silk biosensor could someday alert doctors to signs of disease.

Researchers have crafted a small antenna from liquid silk and micropatterned gold. The antenna is designed to spot specific proteins and chemicals in the body, and alert doctors wirelessly to signs of disease. Scientists say the implant could someday help patients with diabetes track their glucose levels without having to test themselves daily

Brain Plasticity–the act of rewiring your brain

Contrary to what has previously been believed, recent research advances have demonstrated that the adult brain has a certain capacity for plastic reorganization and self-repair after an event like a stroke or other injury.  The mechanisms are complex and operating at different levels, from molecular to synaptic to anatomical reorganization. However, with the right training,…

Wireless and Medical Devices

There is no need to explain the effect wireless devices have had on our lives.  However I would bet that not many people have an understanding of how the technology is completely changing the medical industry. For instance, there are implantable pacemakers that have built in GSM (www.middleeasthealthmag.com/jan2005/ article1.htm). Prior to this your doctor would…

An industry worth supporting: Medical devices combine high-tech, biotech

There are very few opportunities in the business world to make a profit while at the same time truly bettering the lives of others. Certainly telecommunications gives the world the ability to communicate and the Internet puts information in the hands of most ordinary citizens. However, no industry touches people like the medical device industry…