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Health & Wellbeing

A-Gear exoskeletons keep users' arms useful

Affecting approximately 1 in 5,000 boys, Duchenne muscular dystrophy causes the victim's muscles to shrink throughout their lifetime, often to the point that the arms and legs can't be used at all. That's why the european Stichting Flextension (Flextension Foundation) started up the A-Gear project four years ago. The multi-partner effort is designing two arm-worn exoskeletons, intended to help Duchenne patients retain the use of their arms.Read More

NutriRay3D uses laser light and your phone to count calories

There are already plenty of apps that let people estimate how many calories are in the foods they're eating. However, most of these programs require users to either guess at their portion sizes, or actually weigh the food. That's where the University of Washington's NutriRay3D comes in. It's a smartphone device/app combo, that uses lasers to ascertain how many calories are sitting on the plate.Read More

UBSafe tells you when to seek the shade

A new UV-monitoring device may help take some of the guesswork out of knowing how much time to spend in the sun. Developed by Australia's Healthtronics Sunsafe, the UBSafe come in three different models, and is attached to a hat or other headwear. From that location, it can tell you when your particular skin type has had just the right amount of UVB rays.Read More

Painless electrical zaps may replace dental anesthesia needles

As much as some people fear getting dental fillings or root canals, what many of them are really afraid of is the needle that delivers the anesthetic into the mouth tissue. Even though the skin in the "jabbing area" is usually pretreated with a topical anesthetic, it can still hurt. Before long, however, a shot of electricity could make that topical treatment deep-acting enough that the needle isn't even needed.Read More

Smarter activity tracker knows when you're just pretending to work out

Tricking your fitness tracker into logging a workout when you are in fact just laying on the couch seems like a fairly futile exercise, but there's more to the equation than just fooling yourself. Insurers and health care providers are increasingly relying on tracking data to offer incentives, reduced premiums and keep tabs on clients behavior. This is cause for concern for one team of US researchers, which has developed an activity tracking smartphone app that can better distinguish between real and imitated physical movement. Read More

Portable robotic glove enters clinical trials for hand rehabilitation

A new robotic glove for hand rehabilitation swaps conventional rigid electromechanical components for soft fabric with embedded actuators (motors). The glove, dubbed EsoGlove by its National University of Singapore creators, is meant to conform to natural hand movements and is lightweight, portable, and intuitive enough that patients should be able to easily carry out their rehabilitation exercises in their own homes.Read More

Vivy brings the deep heat, in the fight against pain

If you don't know what diathermy is, you're not the only one. It's actually been around since 1907, and involves using high-frequency electromagnetic currents to generate heat in body tissue, accelerating the healing of injuries in the process. While it's previously been limited to clinical settings, ReGear Life Sciences' wearable Vivy device is designed to let people deliver their own treatments, wherever they happen to be.Read More

3D-printed insoles are custom fitted via smartphone app

Standing in one spot or actively walking for hours each day can eventually lead to some serious foot fatigue. Although off-the-shelf shoe inserts exist to provide support and/or cushioning, a bionics company has devised a method of creating affordable, 3D printed custom insoles from 2D snapshots taken on a smartphone.Read More

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