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Health and Wellbeing

'BrainGate'  Brain-Machine-Interface takes shape

December 7, 2004 An implantable, brain-computer interface the size of an aspirin has been clinically tested on humans by American company Cyberkinetics. The 'BrainGate' device can provide paralysed or motor-impaired patients a mode of communication through the translation of thought into direct computer control. The technology driving this Brain-Machine-Interface breakthrough has a myriad of potential applications, including the development of human augmentation for military and commercial purposes.  Read More

Power napping becomes a legitimate business

November 29, 2004 The accelerated pace of working life is increasingly shaping social dynamics and forcing global culture to multi-task functions that were once constrained to the home. First there were tanning salons, then oxygen bars, and now, entrepreneurs in New York City have made a business of power napping, offering workers 20-minute naps in customised, futuristic-looking pods from a suite in the Empire State Building in a trend that could quickly spread worldwide.  Read More

Harm-reduction gadget helps smokers quit

November 27, 2004 Smoking is a filthy habit as even users will concede, but despite a myriad of quit smoking products like nicotine patches and chewing gum, smoking is still one of the hardest habits to shake. Another weapon is now available to would-be quitters in the form of the "Cigarette Counter" - a small, US $5 electronic counter designed help smokers keep their habit under control and reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke. The Cigarette Counter clips to the top side of the cigarette pack. It has four buttons - Reset/ Add/ Subtract/ On-Off - and has a display that shows the numbers.  Read More

Fitness cards break the monotony of exercise

November 20, 2004 FitDeck, a new cardgame developed by a former Navy SEAL, enables the creation of your own random fitness workout by simply shuffling the deck and performing up to 50 exercises pictured and described on the card faces. The novel approach to fitness introduces the element of fun and breaks up the monotony of standard exercise regimens.  Read More

Bionomic Seating an ergonomic sitting solution

November 15, 2004 The most important piece of office equipment is arguably the chair, as it has the most direct influence on the user and contributes to health, efficiency and productivity over extended periods of time. Yet many people continue to suffer from bad seating that causes back and spinal problems and occupational health and safety issues for business. Now Australian based Bionomic Seating Solutions has unveiled a new design in ergonomic seating that works to save your entire body from the stress of sitting. The result is an optimal body posture, which means less fatigue and higher productivity for you and your team.  Read More

Freeze-Framer helps you train your own physiology

November 13, 2004 The Freeze-Framer software and hardware package from Heartmath is an interactive program that measures stress levels and their effect on your physiology to help better manage your emotional and physical performance and facilitate heart-brain synchronisation. Using Freeze-Framer's fingertip or ear pulse sensor that plugs into the USB Port on your computer, you can watch in real time how thoughts and emotions affect your heart and autonomic nervous system. With the Freeze-Framer you can objectively monitor your heart rhythms and confirm when you have achieved an autonomic nervous system balance, just like a one-on-one personal coach that helps you reach your own goals.  Read More

Chunc an innovative design in wheelchair technology

November 5, 2004 An innovative design has been fused with modern technologies and contemporary aesthetics in the Chunc Junior, a manual attendant controlled paediatric wheelchair for children and young adults with moderate to profound disability. Mobility products makers Chunc designed the Chunc Junior in conjunction with a clients and healthcare professionals to take into account the users needs as well as the impact of the wheelchair on those it comes into contact with. The wheelchair has been designed for both indoor and outdoor use, but not specifically for rough terrain, so care should be taken when operating in extreme environments.  Read More

Drug-dispensing contact lenses

November 2, 2004 Scientists from the Singapore Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology have invented a method of manufacturing polymeric lens materials that can be loaded with eye medication for ophthalmic drug delivery applications. Currently, when a person suffers from eye ailments they will be prescribed eye drops. However, 95% of the medication administered in this manner flows to where it is not needed. The drops usually mix with tears and drain into the nasal cavity, where they can flow through the blood stream to other organs and cause serious side effects. In addition, dosage through eye drops is inconsistent and difficult to regulate, as most of the drugs are released in an initial burst of concentration. To counter these problems researchers have been studying the use of contact lenses to deliver eye medication. One proposed method was to pre-soak the lenses in the drug solution, while another involved incorporating the drug solution in a hollow cavity made by bonding two separate pieces of lens material. However, neither of these methods proved very effective at delivering medication for extended periods of time.  Read More

Using robotics to learn how to walk again

October 27, 2004 The Lokomat is a bio-treadmill with robotic arms to move a stroke and paralysis victim's legs, allowing them to feel the 'pattern' of walking - which rebuilds muscles faster and speeds recovery. Designer and manufacturer Hocoma specialises in developing innovative equipment for applications in medicinal engineering and now their new 'Lokomat' bio-treadmill is helping people with disabilities to walk again.  Read More

Philips TV-based study to help manage health from home

October 13, 2004 Philips has launched a pilot study to test a secure, personalised healthcare communication platform that connects chronic disease patients at home to their care providers through their television. Philips will be testing this platform - called Motiva - over coming months with the Cardiovascular Associates of the Delaware Valley (CADV), a US-based physicians' group providing complete cardiovascular care to patients.  Read More

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