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Blood Pressure

CASPro is said to offer more accurate measurement of blood pressure, by determining what t...

Traditionally, blood pressure is measured using the familiar inflatable cuff and stethoscope on the upper arm. While this method has sufficed for over a century, some people maintain that it is inaccurate – blood pressure in the arm is reportedly higher than at the heart, and not by a consistent, easily compensated-for amount. Because high blood pressure can cause the most damage at the heart and in the nearby brain, it would make sense to monitor it at the heart, too. That's just what a new device designed at the University of Leicester does ... in a roundabout way.  Read More

The MDMouse marries a standard optical mouse with a sphygmomanometer so that computer user...

Monitoring blood pressure at home is recommended by the American Heart Association for the estimated 74.5 million American adults suffering from hypertension. CalHealth has created a blood pressure monitor that's housed in a computer mouse. After a user pushes a finger into the cuff monitor, the device sends readings to software on a PC for analysis, or to send on to doctors via email.  Read More

MIT's health monitoring mirror (Credit: Melanie Gonick)

Sitting in front of your computer could soon be the fastest way to receive a medical check up, replacing visits to the local doctor. Massachusetts Institute of Technology student Ming-Zher Poh has created a pulse-monitoring system that works on a low-cost, low-resolution webcam. A version of the system built into a mirror has been developed which displays pulse rate at the bottom in real-time, and work is underway to add respiration and blood-oxygen level monitoring using the same technique.  Read More

Blue Watchdog turns your mobile phone into an all-purpose anti-theft device

One of the greatest threats to our personal welfare in the digital age is the theft of our key life-enhancing devices – while a stolen bag, camera, or wallet can be replaced at significant heartache and expense, a laptop might contain the keys to your banks accounts, employer's intranet, or your identity. Now there’s an ingenious anti-theft device which sets a user-defined protection radius of between one and 30 meters around the mobile phone in your pocket using Bluetooth functionality. The credit-card-sized, EUR60 Secu4 Blue Watchdog is so useful it just might generate killer app adoption levels for protecting your valuables, luggage, and perhaps even your children when you’re on the go. Check out our video of the new product.  Read More

A model of the implantable bioartificial kidney shows the two-stage system

End-stage renal disease, or chronic kidney failure, affects more than 500,000 people per year in the U.S. alone, and currently is only fully treated with a kidney transplant. That number has been rising between five to seven percent per year and with just 17,000 donated kidneys available for transplant last year the waiting list currently exceeds 85,000, according to the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network. Those who can’t secure a kidney for transplant are left reliant on kidney dialysis. An expensive and time consuming process that typically requires three sessions per week, for three to five hours per session, in which blood is pumped through an external circuit for filtration. In a development that could one day eliminate the need for dialysis, researchers have unveiled a prototype model of the first implantable artificial kidney.  Read More

Implants containing both Glucose Oxidase and catalase, before and after implantation in a ...

The miniaturization of electrical sensors coupled with the development of flexible silicon technology paves the way for a wide variety of medical sensors that can be implanted into the human body. One of the major obstacles facing the development of such devices, not to mention artificial organs, is how they are powered. Currently devices need to be constantly recharged via an external power source or, as is the case with battery-powered pacemakers, replaced altogether. Now a team of French researchers has implanted a new type of biofuel cell into rats that overcomes these problems by generating electricity from a potentially limitless source - sugar in the rat’s bodies.  Read More

The IT system automatically regulates anesthetic (Photo: Albino Méndez et al.)

Anesthetists cannot take their responsibilities lightly. Too little anesthetic and a patient may feel the whole procedure, too much and a patient might shuffle off this mortal coil. Researchers in the Canary Islands have taken the guesswork out of this thorny dilemma and developed a computer-controlled system that measures a patient's hypnotic state and applies the appropriate dose of anesthetic.  Read More

Using nanotechnology, scientists are working on safer methods of morphine delivery to inju...

The threat of injury and even death hangs over the head of most active men and women in the armed forces. However, the treatment for some injuries can be life-threatening as well. Soldiers unfortunate enough to be injured in the line of duty are usually given morphine for pain relief in the field. However, morphine also depresses normal breathing and blood pressure, sometimes to near-fatal levels. So medics need a short-acting drug that aids normal respiration and heart beat, but in doses that still allow effective morphine pain relief. It’s a bit like a dangerous ‘balancing act’, made worse because it’s often performed under extreme circumstances. Using nanotechnology, University of Michigan (U-M) scientists have developed a combination drug that promises a safer, more precise way for medics and fellow soldiers in battle situations to give a fallen soldier morphine, together with a drug that limits morphine’s dangerous side effects.  Read More

The Accent pacemaker sends a wireless signal to a home transmitter, which then forwards th...

The world’s very first fully implanted pacemaker, in 1958, lasted three hours before the batteries failed. It was replaced by one that lasted two days. Ultimately, Arne Larsson – surgical guinea pig – went on to receive 26 different pacemakers over the next 43 years. Now, a New York woman has become the first person in the world to receive a pacemaker that allows completely wireless monitoring, transmitting clinical data to her doctor each day via the Internet. And, if anything ever goes wrong, the doctor is alerted instantly.  Read More

Paul Gardner-Stephen and his Shoe Phone

The vision of Agent 86 mumbling into his shoe is one of the most endearing images from the slapstick 60s spy series Get Smart, but an Australian scientist who has built a working version of the shoe phone using 21st century technology sees serious applications for this kind of device in the medical field.  Read More

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