February 23, 2007 Mayo Clinic and Digital Cyclone (a subsidiary of Garmin) have collaborated to develop a software application that delivers an array of health information and tools directly to cellular phones. The Mayo Clinic InTouch wireless health program will be available next week offering wireless phone subscribers a rich health resource directly on their phone with immediate access to step-by-step first aid tips, a symptom checker that provides self-care guidelines or advises emergency care for more than 45 common symptoms in adults and children, health news videos, health alerts and drug watches.
February 22, 2007 Intel Corporation today announced its mobile clinical assistant (MCA)
is ready for primetime. Motion Computing’s C5 is the first product based on Intel’s MCA platform and has earned support from clinicians and nurses participating in pilot studies around the world. As Intel’s first platform built specifically for healthcare, the MCA is an important step in the company’s efforts to better connect clinicians to comprehensive patient information on a real-time basis. The lightweight, spill-resistant, drop-tolerant and easily disinfected MCA allows nurses to access up-to-the-minute patient records and to document a patient’s condition instantly, enhancing clinical workflow while reducing the staff’s administrative workload. The Motion C5 features wireless connectivity to access up-to-date secure patient information and physician’s orders; radio frequency identification (RFID) technology for easy, rapid user logon; a digital camera to enhance patient charting and progress notes, to keep track of wounds as they heal; and bluetooth technology to help capture patient vital signs.
February 20, 2007 VeinViewer is a vein-contrast enhancement device that uses an infra-red camera to highlight blood (the underlying vasculature) and projects the image in real time onto the skin. With this device, physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals can find veins easily and avoid multiple needle sticks to patients. Venipuncture, the collection of blood specimen from a vein, is commonly seen by nurses as one of the most painful and frequently performed invasive procedures. According to an article in the Journal of Phlebotomy, an estimated one billion venipunctures are performed annually. In one study in the Journal of Nursing, the number of needle sticks for successful catheter placement ranged from one to at least 14. Ninety percent of inpatients require peripheral IV access and approximately 25% of patients need central venous access which consists of a small flexible tube being implanted under the skin so medications can be delivered directly into larger veins.
February 19, 2007 Patients who have gone blind are a step closer to perhaps one day regaining some of their sight with the news that the United States FDA
has approved a study to evaluate an artificial retina. Researchers at the USC Doheny Eye Institute
are developing the technology that hopefully will help patients with retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration regain some vision using an implanted artificial retina. The announcement by Mark Humayun, professor of ophthalmology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC
and associate director of research at the Doheny Retina Institute, came at a press conference at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
in San Francisco.
February 18, 2007 In recognition of National Condom Week, a Washington retailer of sex products will sail a monster condom balloon the height of a two-story building, tethered on a 120-foot line over its Tukwila store. The condom will fly through the weekend to remind citizens of the importance of condoms and safe sex. The sturdy 20-foot pink condom has a diameter of 6-feet and is filled with 450 cubic feet of helium, a volume that requires the contents of four large welder’s tanks to fill. In a classic case of getting the events out of sequence, National Condom Week is celebrated the week AFTER Valentine’s Day each year. It was started in 1978 by students at the University of California-Berkeley and over three decades has become an important global event in the promotion of condom use as an effective method of decreasing the risk of AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, not to mention reducing the risk of pregnancy.
February 14, 2007 The diet soda market has been traditionally one where the calories are reduced in comparison to the syrupy full-calorie sodas. In October last we wrote
about the coming of a Coca Cola-owned softdrink which puts a new spin on diet soda – the soda actually raises the metabolism and burns calories. Now research company Datamonitor
has named the category of calorie burning beverages, as the number one food and beverage trend for 2007. As it turns out, Coca Cola’s Enviga did not make it to market first. That honour goes to Celsius
, making it the first calorie burning soda and hence a category buster. Celsius has been clinically proven to burn calories, boost energy, and increase metabolism, on average 12% for up to 3 hours. Both Enviga
and Celsius are based on Green Tea.
February 12, 2007 It appears that the ever more omnipotent computer is set to add another remarkable by unravelling the secrets of mindreading. Every day we plan numerous actions, such as to return a book to a friend or to make an appointment. How and where the brain stores these intentions has been revealed by John-Dylan Haynes from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, in cooperation with researchers from London and Tokyo. For the first time they were able to "read" participants’ intentions out of their brain activity. This was made possible by a new combination of functional magnetic resonance imaging and sophisticated computer algorithms. By imaging patterns of activity in the brain's prefrontal cortex as subjects concentrated on their choice of two future actions, researchers have been able to distinguish cortical activity patterns that correspond to the subjects' different plans.
February 8, 2007 The world’s caffeine addicts got some good news this week when it was announced that the genes involved in coffee quality have been identified. Since 2001, CIRAD and the Agricultural Institute of Paraná in Brazil (IAPAR) have been working on joint research into understanding the biological processes - flowering, fruit ripening, etc - that determine coffee’s distinctive characteristics. Some compounds (sugars, fats, caffeine, etc) are known to play a role in coffee quality. Their accumulation in the plant, and particularly in the beans, is a determining factor. Sucrose is considered to play a crucial role in coffee organoleptic quality, since its breakdown during roasting releases several aroma and flavour precursors.how coffee beans ripen. Using molecular biology and biochemistry techniques, they have characterized the key enzymes in the sucrose metabolism during coffee bean development. The quality of coffee makes a big difference at market, which is good news for all concerned as coffee is still the second most traded commodity in the world behind only petroleum.
February 2, 2007 Man has been producing and administering drugs since the neolithic period. Initially these drugs were administered orally mixed with a liquid with the advent of pills making inhalation and the intramuscular or intravenous injection following. These days, the majority of the world’s drugs are administered via pills – pills offer an accurate dosage, but they are so convenient that it’s often possible to forget when you’ve taken them. Chronically ill patients get muddled when constantly having to swallow different numbers of tablets at different times, while those with dementia simply cannot cope. Now EU researchers are developing a better, more accurate and more convenient way – a dental prosthesis capable of releasing accurate dosages into the mucous membranes in the mouth. As it can administer accurate micro amounts over continuous periods, the prosthesis overcomes the peak concentrations that occur with taking pills and even offers the ability to monitor and maintain consistent blood levels of any drug. What makes the Intellidrug prosthesis unique is that, unlike existing drug prostheses and implants, it is small enough to fit into two artificial molars. Inside the patient’s mouth, it is readily accessible and can easily be maintained and refilled.
January 30, 2007 When it comes to the inequality in people's health across the globe, says Professor Danny Dorling
of the University of Sheffield, "you can say it, you can prove it, you can tabulate it, but it is only when you show it that it hits home." This is the philosophy behind Worldmapper
, a collection of cartograms that rescale the size of territories in proportion to the value being mapped. The project aims to create new world maps in explanatory posters, and provide raw data and technical notes on many of the most prominent available world major datasets. "What I think matters most," says Professor Dorling, "are the new ways of thinking that we foster as we redraw the images of the human anatomy of our planet in these ways. What do we need to be able to see—so that we can act."