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Health & Wellbeing

— Health & Wellbeing

First Global Tsunami Alarm System

March 17, 2007 Holidaying on the water just hasn’t been the same since the Boxing Day Tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004. Tsunamis are not new – they have been occurring regularly since time began. The probability of a tsunami is greatest in areas where the earth’s tectonic plates meet. Most fear created by the dreaded tidal wave however comes from the unknown – Tsunamis can travel at speeds up to 1000 km/h so if the early warning signs are missed, by the time you can see it, it’s too late. Now a new tsunami warning system brings hope that holidaymakers can relax on their beach holidays and residents of coastal areas need no longer live fearfully. You must be connected to a GSM mobile phone network, and signing up is as simple as entering your phone number on a web site, immediately enabling the alarm system on your phone. Nothing has to be installed or downloaded - a one-year subscription costs only EUR 30 and there is also a monthly subscription for holidaymakers at EUR 10. The system uses “Flash SMS” messaging which “pushes” the message onto the front screen of the phone even if it is being used. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

New 3D Imaging technology promises early detection of Alzheimer’s and Dementia

March 15, 2007 The older people become, the greater risk they have of sharing the tragic fate of those who remain alive yet are increasingly unaware of the world around them. In industrialised countries, one to six percent of the population over the age of 65 and an even more alarming ten to twenty percent over the age of 80 suffer a progressive loss of their cognitive abilities. Alzheimers disease is the most common cause, affecting 50 to 60 percent of all cases, followed by circulatory disorders in small blood vessels, capillaries and venules (calcifications), which make up about 20 percent. These disorders cause ever larger parts of the brain to become necrotic due to an insufficient supply of blood. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

Bilingual learning benefits second and third generation children

March 13, 2007 Bilingual learning can provide substantial benefits for second and third generation children whose families speak a language other than English, according to ESRC-funded research by Goldsmiths, University of London. Even when children have grown up with English as their stronger language, using both languages aids cognitive development and strengthens their identities as learners. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

BioLED Lab on a Chip

March 13, 2007 Acrongenomics and Molecular Vision have developed an extremely promising technology that will enable disposable, Point Of Care diagnostics for a large range of biomarkers. BioLED Lab on a Chip technology uses Molecular Vision’s patented, organic semiconductor technology in a high sensitivity, small size, medical diagnostic device. The device has been demonstrated to measure biomarkers with high sensitivity and at low cost, and the companies forsee such BioLED technology applications being used at home, in doctor’s offices and hospitals. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

Hospital Equipment Unaffected By Cell Phone Use, Study Finds

March 12, 2007 Although cellular telephone use has been prohibited in hospitals because of concerns of interference with medical devices, a new study by Mayo Clinic researchers shows that calls made on cellular phones have no negative impact on hospital medical devices, dispelling the long-held notion that they are unsafe to use in health care facilities. Three hundred tests were performed over a five-month period in 2006 using two cellular phones, which used different technologies from different carriers and 192 medical devices. Not a single problem was found. The study's authors say the findings should prompt hospitals to alter or abandon their bans on cell phone use. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

New security alert tracking system monitors the vital signs of all employees and reports wirelessly

March 9, 2007 A new and unique employee security and safety tracking system will be shown for the first time at the ISC West EXPO, in Las Vegas, March 28-30, 2007. The system revolves around a bio-sensor chip with proprietary algorithms that collects information from the reflectance of light on the human body, in a non-invasive manner, to monitor key vital signs, including heart rate and oxygen saturation levels. The Third Eye SATS unit is a wrist-mounted device for employees, which collects and sends information wirelessly to the employer’s central monitoring system. If the heart rate exhibits unnatural fluctuations, the information is captured on the wrist unit and transmitted to the central monitoring system. The receiving system can be configured with a video surveillance system to trigger cameras to zoom in on the employee. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

Andara OFS Therapy for Acute Spinal Cord Injury repair

March 9, 2007 We’ve written before about Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems’ BrainGate, a brain-implant device designed to control a computer, assistive devices and eventually, limb movement. The company’s focus is neural stimulation, sensing and processing technology to improve the lives of those with severe paralysis resulting from spinal cord injuries, neurological disorders and other conditions of the nervous system. Cyberkinetics' product development pipeline includes: Andara OFS (Oscillating Field Stimulator) Therapy for acute spinal cord injury, an investigative device designed to stimulate nerve repair and restore sensation and motor function; the; and a pilot program in the detection and prediction of seizures due to Epilepsy. Cyberkinetics has now filed to market its Andara OFS Therapy for Acute Spinal Cord Injury under Humanitarian Device Exemption. Cyberkinetics recently submitted a Humanitarian Device Exemption (HDE) to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to obtain market clearance for the implantable Andara OFS System, a nerve growth stimulator. If approved, Andara would be the first commercially available neurotechnology device designed to partially restore sensation and motor function in acute spinal cord injuries by stimulating nerve repair. The company sees it as its first step toward building a Nerve Repair Franchise. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

Evidence based happiness advice: a special issue of the Journal of Happiness Studies

March 6, 2007 For most of modern civilization, efforts to understand the human psyche have concentrated on understanding the downsides of anger, depression, anxiety and mental illness. In more recent times, there has been a great deal of scientific exploration of what makes people happy. In our increasingly complex society, happiness is not the simple product of favourable circumstance. Well-being is dependent on making the right individual choices. Handling freedom is not always easy and that has created a demand for happiness advice. Philosophers, psychologists and spiritual thinkers offer happiness counsel, but their widely differing views have never been empirically scrutinized. A special issue on Happiness Advice of the Journal of Happiness Studies published online this week, fills this gap, by comparing the advice given with what is known about the conditions of happiness observed in empirical research. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

New drugs promise two days without sleep and improved alertness and cognitive powers

March 5, 2007 Two years ago, we wrote about the “time-shifting” drug, Modafinil that enables you to stay awake for 40+ hours with close to full mental capacity and with few side effects. The drug is a eugeroic and offers improved memory, mood enhancement, improved alertness and cognitive powers, and has a much smoother feel than amphetamines because they work differently. Popular Science is now reporting that we’re just about to see new forms of super eugeroic called armodafinil (Modafinil’s creator Cephalon is awaiting FDA approval for the drug), and a drug code-named CX717 from Cortex. Both drugs promise even longer periods of wakefulness, and in experiments with Ampakine CX717, sleep-deprived rhesus monkeys on the drug often outperformed their own well-rested but undrugged best efforts on mental-performance tests. While these drugs will be marketed to assist people with sleep disorders like narcolepsy, it’s their potential as recreational and workplace performance-enhancing drugs that make them worth watching. The times they are a changing … Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

An intelligent metered dose inhaler (MDI)

March 5, 2007 Here’s an interesting new inhaler that provides metered dose inhaler (MDI) users with breath-activated delivery and dose-counting capabilities. From Accentia Biopharmaceuticals, the MD Turbo offers significant advantages for the users of many of the 40 million MDIs prescribed each year in the United States alone. Studies show that many patients using traditional press-and-breathe pMDIs (pressurized metered dose inhalers) to control asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), regardless of age or MDI experience, cannot successfully coordinate the press-and-breathe action necessary for drug delivery to the lungs. More than 70% of MDI users do not know the number of doses remaining in their inhalers at a given time. Read More
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