Tag Archives: Blog Post

Philips Cardiology Solution

tyde-pavlinik-IntelliSpace-CardiovascularPhilips recently launched a new revolutionary application for cardiovascular medical professionals. The web-enabled image and information management system is known as IntelliSpace Cardiovascular. The application is a single and fully integrated workspace that provides a thorough and full view of patient’s health on an individual and unique basis. This new tool gives cardiologists an all in one system to help diagnose problems and provide carefully executed solutions for better care.

The new tool provides doctors with a much more streamlined and efficient way of caring for patients while increasing positive outlooks. Doctors in possession of IntelliSpace Cardiovascular can view the patient’s entire history from their diagnosis to therapy and everything in between. No longer will unnecessary tests or reporting be done as all the information is in one centralized location.

IntelliSpace Cardiovascular will be used to help improve the workflow of patients involved in cardiovascular treatments from anywhere. There is another very important technology found within the new application. There is a built in echocardiography reporting feature that gives cardiologists the ability to properly identify and eliminate any problems or inaccuracies within the reports.

There are many built in features that come standard with IntelliSpace Cardiovascular. Some of the features include access to a vast array of data which includes discrete information regarding a patient’s condition. There are also analytics tools used to compile and organize data into manageable and searchable materials. The data will be able to be read by doctors, nurses, administrative staff, and background researchers. This new technological advancement will keep everything buttoned up and allow the professionals more time to care for patients.

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Nebraska Medicine Heals Hearts


Nebraska Medicine’s New Program

A recent program at Nebraska Medicine is making amazing strides by helping to heal damaged hearts and keeping patients alive even in the darkest hours. The hospital helped a patient recently go from complete heart failure to making a full recovery.

So what is Nebraska Medicine’s trick? The hospital is using a technology called ECMO. The machine is set for patients that are on the brink of death or may have even died a few times while be cared for and there may be no other options. Patients remain hooked up to the machine for days or even weeks while they make miraculous recoveries stunning doctors and hospital personnel.

Michael Crowe is one such example that had a heart anomaly that would have required a heart transplant. However after being attached to the machine for 17 days, Michael received an ultrasound on the same day he was to receive his new heart and shockingly enough, the beats were normal and his heart was healing. Michael’s success is helping other patients with similar conditions and are in need of desperate help.

Patients from all over and even out of the state are starting to flock to the hospital and meet with the experience professionals and Michael to learn more about the miraculous procedure that saved Michael from and almost certain death.

Nebraska medicine has also made the information that the ECMO technology to initiate and transfer patients is available at Bryan Memorial in Lincoln, Nebraska as well as Good Samaritan in Kearney, also in Nebraska.

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Is Too Much Rest Bad For Concussions?


A new study has emerged that refutes the common idea that bed rest for concussion victims is recommended. The study tells a different tale that long resting for concussion patients is not recommended and can in fact be harmful to the individual.

Concussion have become more and more frequent in recent years. With high-impact athletics and the physicality that youth players and pros alike concussions are expected and are on the rise. In fact, in the past decade, emergency department visits for sports-related traumatic brain injury have increased by more than 60%. Concussions in general make up a whopping 10%+ of high school sports related injuries.

The widespread acceptance of strict bed rest after concussion has led medical professionals and sports trainers alike to recommend the “treatment.” The purpose of this recommendation is to give the brain a chance to rest from cognitive and physical activity until some of the small symptoms have diminished. A concussion patient does not want to re-injure their brain during the rehab time as it could have long lasting and more substantial effects. This “fact” is however being discredited by countless professionals.

Dr. William P. Meehan III and Dr. Richard Bachur, of The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention in Waltham, MA, explain that the “relative lack of evidence is due, in part, to the difficult nature of quantifying and tracking levels of physical and, particularly, cognitive activity.”

The discrepancies are also tied to the amount of rest recommended by clinicians. Many professionals recommend different times. Given that everyone is different and some concussions are different than others, there needs to be more of a defined time. The consensus takes the side of 24-48 hours of rest while many clinicians preach about a method called “cocoon therapy.” This method is best described as concussion patients resting is a dark room for multiple days.

“We should be cautious when imposing excessive restrictions of activity following concussion and mindful that the discharge instructions we provide patients may influence their perception of illness,” said Dr. Danny G. Thomas.

Dr. William Meehan III and Dr. Richard Bachur agree that, “a recommendation of reasonable rest for the first few days after a concussion followed by a gradual resumption of cognitive activities seems prudent.”

Medical professionals are beginning to see that concussion patients should rest a reasonable amount and then follow up with a doctor for basic testing and a check up.

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Tyde Pavlinik-TV’s in hospitals get a much-needed upgrade

If you’ve ever stayed in the hospital for an extended period of time, you know that being confined to a bed in a hospital room can be maddening.  A recent Columbus Dispatch articlehighlights some of the emerging technology that will soon be installed in hospitals around the country.  Hospital room TV’s will soon be replaced with high-Tyde Pavliniktech, interactive monitors which will allow patients to choose their own programming, select on-demand content, as well as play video games.

The technology itself is nothing new.  It operates much like the interface of a digital cable provider and has been around for about a decade.  One of the major reasons hospitals have been lagging in incorporating these types of technology into their care is because they have only recently been given the incentive to focus on patient satisfaction.  As the Dispatch article notes, Medicare polls patients to gauge their rate of satisfaction much like any other business sending a follow up email asking if you are satisfied with a product you have just purchased.  Medicare then uses this data to determine funding for individual hospitals.  That’s why only now are hospitals spending more money and energy on patient satisfaction.  In other words, the investment in better entertainment technology could lead to a higher rate of patient satisfaction, causing the hospital to get better funding in the long run.

Experts not only predict an uptick in patient satisfaction, but also in education and self care.  The entertainment systems will also be loaded will accessible medical information such as test results, x-rays, and other data which will serve to put care into the patient’s hands.  They also provide information on taking care of your condition once discharged from the hospital.

While this may be a slow process, it’s definitely a step in the right direction in patient care.  With many children’s hospitals already employing this technology, it’s high time patient happiness be brought to the forefront of the discussion on improving hospitals.

Thanks for stopping by.  Check in soon for more medical technology news.

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Bone-Conduction Hearing System

Scott Jung ordered the new Max Virtual Cynaps Enhance hearing system in the mail. Scott was born with a condition called an microtia, which means his outer left ear was underdeveloped. The cynapse Enhances hearing system was especially appealing to Scott because it uses a bone-conducting device to enhance hearing.

Cynaps Enhance Insides

Cynaps Enhance Insides

The device can come as a stereo headband or as a baseball cap with the components built in. Each device has the same parts: a small pack with a battery, and on-off switch, a volume knob, USB charging port, two transducers, a sound processor, and two small microphones. Scott wasn’t entirely impressed with the quality of the product, but he kept in mind that this device was marketed by Indiegogo and was part of an experimental, hacker-friendly device. Therefore aesthetics aren’t very important just yet for this new product.

The hat and headband need to be very tight to the skull to be at maximum conduciveness, so people with long hair around their ears would have a very hard time getting the device to work very effectively.

Once the cap was adjusted to maximum comfort, the product proved to be amazingly powerful. Scott was able to hear papers shuffling, light tapping noises from across the room. Even his “bad” ear was able to discern sounds. However, it did sound like listening to something through a wall, also there was a lot of background noise.

The headband system was a deconstructed version of the baseball cap. The battery pack was in a separate pouch that was able to be clipped to your belt. Unlike the baseball cap, the transducers in the headband are “Super Transducers.” This added power allows the headband to put out 102 dB instead of the 80 dB the baseball cap puts out.

Although the two systems are great for increasing the volume of your surroundings, there is still a lot of work to be done in the field of clarity. However, Max Virtual seems to be on the right path to improve sound quality for the hearing impaired. It could prove to be a worthy competitor in the hearing restoration market.


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Ultrasound Sharpens Sensory Perception

According to this article, low intensity transcranial ultrasound can heighten sensory perception in humans. Scientists at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute showed that subjects receiving ultrasound showed significant improvements to their ability to perform on two neurological tests. These tests being, the two point discrimination test and the frequent discrimination test.

The Human Brain

The Human Brain

The team of scientists focused ultrasound on an area of the cerebral cortex that processes sensory information received from the hand. Small electrodes were placed on the wrists of volunteers and used an electroencephalography(EEG) machine to record their brain waves. The ultrasound decreased the EEG signal and weakened the brain waves that are responsible for encoding tactile stimulation. Strangely enough the results showed a heightening of the volunteer’s performance on the tests. William “Jamie” Tyler said, “even though the brain waves associated with the tactile stimulation had weakened, people actually got better at detecting differences in sensations.”

The scientists then moved the ultrasound beam 1 centimeter to one side, then the other from the original site. The effect then disappeared. This finding “represents a new way of non-invasively modulating human brain activity with a better spatial resolution than anything currently available.” Ultrasound has finer spatial resolution than either of the other two noninvasive brain stimulation technologies; magnetic stimulation and direct current stimulation which delivers weak electrical currents directly to the brain.

Tyler said, “In neuroscience, it’s easy to disrupt things, we can distract you make you feel numb..” he goes on to say, “It’s easy to make things worse, but it’s way harder to make them better.” However these findings make them optimistic that they are on the correct path.


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Multivitamins: Good or Bad?

Are you one of the many Americans who takes some sort of multivitamin daily? More than half of the United states adult population take some sort of multivitamin. Although it seems like a healthy practice, in this article they discuss the lack of benefits from taking multivitamins.

Multivitamins are a $12 Billion dollar industry

Multivitamins are a $12 Billion dollar industry.

One study gave nearly 6,000 men older than 65 a multivitamin or a placebo for 12 years. The men were then administered cognitive functioning tests, the tests showed no difference between the two groups of men. However, these men had relatively good diets going into and throughout the duration of the study. This can not be said about the general population of the United States.

Another study took 1,700 patients who previously had heart attacks. They were given three multivitamins or placebos two times a day for five years. Unfortunately more than 50 percent of patients stopped taking their medication. So it was tough to get an accurate conclusion about the positive or negative effects of taking a multivitamin.

Meta-analysis of 27 studies that had more than 450,000 participants showed that multivitamins did not have any beneficial effects on stopping cardiovascular disease or cancer.

Two thirds of the United States population is overweight. This coincides with poor diet and not receiving the nutrients your body needs to be healthy. So for some Americans a multivitamin is a, “backstop against our poor diet,” said Gladys Block, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at University of California Berkeley.

The vitamin and supplement industry makes almost 12 billion dollars annually. Multivitamins are by far its most popular product.

Although multivitamins do fill in the gaps of a poor diet, they do not necessarily work better than a good, balanced diet. There is still much debate about the effectiveness of using such vitamins with little conclusive evidence of whether or not they help or hurt humans.


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Medical Startups Looking for Support as Funding Dries Up

Medical Computer

Funding for startups in the medical field lags behind software and other tech sectors.

A recent Wall Street Journal article discusses how many medical startups are now seeking funding from non-traditional locations.  Since the financial crisis began in 2007, the medical industry has seen the worst drop off in venture capital funding among the top industries that tend to draw funding.  There was of course a major dropoff across the board, including funding for technology and software, but the recovery of the biotech startup scene simply hasn’t happened.

For a bit of comparison, since 2007 software startup funding has increased 75% while medical technology funding has decreased about 28%.  So how are medical startups getting their technologies off the ground in the spartan funding landscape?  Many of them are trading their potential for cash right now.

Companies that normally would have been funded by angel investors are now selling low to established biotech companies.  By pre-selling the rights to their emerging technologies, they are garnering the necessary funding but are sacrificing potential dollars down the road.  The ideal situation for a medical startup, like any company looking to sell, is to set yourself up in the middle of a bidding war.  Two or more established biomed companies competing to acquire your technology will almost always drive up the price, but many in the field today simply don’t have that luxury.  For now, with medical venture capital in short supply, taking what is offered by established companies can be the only option for medical startups looking to sell their nascent technology.

While venture capital investors are always looking for a solid investment, hopefully an element of responsibility will start to creep into the decision making of funding medical start ups.  Funding apps and software may be a safer bet at the moment but putting money behind medical companies looking to make it could help change the face of healthcare.

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3D Printed Organs Could Streamline Drug Testing Process

Petri Dish

3D Printed organ testing could replace incomplete tests like cell testing.

Even though medical technology continues to develop at an astonishing rate, one area that has lagged behind is the ability to efficiently and accurately test drugs on human beings.  Currently, animal testing often precedes human testing.  This can be inaccurate and also carries moral questions.  The other method is cell testing, which allows a drug to be tested on cells in petri dishes and is oftentimes too simple to give a complete picture of the effect of the drug.

This Mashable article gives a rundown on a $24 million grant recently awarded to research the development of miniature 3D printed organs.  These “models” act as chunks of an actual human organ and allow researchers to see what the affects of a drug are on a particular organ, or on a system of organs.  While this technology seems to be relevant for drug companies trying to speed development, the grant was actually awarded by the U.S. Defense Department.  The idea behind the grant is to find ways to test the potential effects of chemical agents that could be used on soldiers.

The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine is spearheading the research and director, Tony Atala says this could be the first step in streamlining drug and chemical agent research.  Unlike other 3D printed items, the organs are made of organic material and require a type of tiny scaffolding to support the lines of cells as they are layered on one another and begin to take shape.

Even more incredible is that researchers believe they will be able to create a system of miniature organs the size of a chip.  This would allow them to not only see how drugs affect one organ, but how they affect a group of organs working in concert.

Thanks for stopping by.  Check back for more news and updates on medical technology.

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Technology Poised to Finally Revolutionize Medical Industry

Scans like the ones seen above could potentially be much quicker and easier with emerging technology.

Scans like the ones seen above could potentially be much quicker and easier with emerging technology.

As Eric Topol notes in his recent US News article, one of the few areas that technology hasn’t affected that drastically is the medical field.  By nature, many doctors are risk averse and change can take time.  Now that many Americans have a pocket device which allows them to monitor almost all aspects of their life, the medical profession will soon have no choice but to adapt.

Patients will soon want access to their medical records at the touch of a button, much like they can check their favorite social media networks or bank statements.  While the initial changes will probably empower patients in simple ways, Topol envisions smartphone technology completely revolutionizing the medical industry from top to bottom.  More than just streamlining medical records and insurance information, Topol believes that smartphones will actually be able to take the place of certain medical instruments.

Imagine being able to monitor your own vital signs from your iPhone or Android.  This may not be far off.  The technology already exists to be able to monitor this information remotely and could be in consumers hands sooner rather than later.  Even more fascinating is the prospect that a smartphone could actually map a person’s genome.  This could finally usher in an age of truly individualized medicine, which has been slow to take shape in a world where almost everything is customized and on-demand.

Topol envisions a scenario in which people could screen themselves for cancer and other diseases.  He also believes the digitization of human beings could lead to the ability to print new organs, which would obviously change how we think about health and human life as a whole.

These are complex issues that deserve careful ethical analysis.  It is unclear how close some of these developments truly are, but what is clear is that we are in a very exciting age for medical technology and the democratization of medicine.

Check back regularly or more updates on the medical world and other musings.

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