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Diagnostic devices

Health & Wellbeing

Using smartphones and the cloud to diagnose ear infections

Ear infections are extremely common, with five out of every six children experiencing one before they're three years old. But in developing countries, the lack of trained personnel means that they're often misdiagnosed, or missed completely. A new tool developed by researchers at the Umea University in Sweden, in collaboration with scientists at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, is designed to leverage the power of smartphones and the cloud, making accurate diagnoses easier and more widely available.Read More

Medical

Electronic system takes the guesswork out of respiratory diagnoses

Listening to a patients' breathing is certainly a key part of diagnosing their respiratory problems. However, doctors' individual observer bias certainly comes into play, plus it can be difficult to make a diagnosis when there's a lot of background noise. That's why scientists at Hiroshima University have created an electronic system that objectively matches lung sounds to specific maladies.Read More

Medical

Smartphone stethoscope reportedly "just as good" as traditional models

Although peripheral devices now allow smartphones to serve as everything from weather stations to eye-examiners, it's typically thought that genuine purpose-built tools still perform best. In the case of stethoscopes, however, that may not be the case. Researchers with Florida-based Orlando Health recently determined that HeartBuds – a new stethoscope device/app – performed as well as traditional stethoscopes, and better than a commonly-used disposable model.Read More

Medical

"Lab-in-a-briefcase" designed to bring early cancer detection to developing countries

Detecting cancer early is difficult enough at the best of times, but the problem is compounded in developing countries where patients don't always have access to advanced diagnostics equipment. A team of UK-based scientists has developed a new tool that could greatly assist those taking the fight to cancer in these regions. Billed as a lab-in-a-briefcase, the low-cost, portable diagnostics tool works similarly to a pregnancy test and can detect cancer biomarkers in as little as 15 minutes.Read More

Medical

"Lab in a needle" could streamline medical diagnoses

What if it were possible to squeeze the diagnostic ability of a lab into a single needle? Scientists have come up with a self-contained lab in a needle-like device which is claimed capable of delivering results to common lab tests instantly. The device could potentially allow doctors to diagnose and treat conditions faster and make it easier to conduct diagnostic tests anywhere.


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Medical

Robotic needle can be steered through tissue

A robot-assisted system developed at the University of Twente promises to make medical procedures that use needles more precise. The system allows flexible needles to be steered in real time to their target, which negates issues with tissue and organs deforming from the contact pressure or from any unforeseen obstacles that lie between the needle and its target.Read More

Medical

Firefly enzyme inspires Swiss team to create portable disease test kit

Portable test kits represent an advance in disease diagnosis, as their ready availability increases chances of earlier detection and treatment. This type of technology is constantly evolving, and sometimes inspiration can come from surprising sources. Such is the case with research carried out by a Swiss team, which has borrowed from the mechanics behind the firefly's glow to develop a sensitive molecule detector.Read More

Medical

Optical device takes after a dog's nose to sniff out disease

When things in our body go awry, through disease or infection, for example, the types of molecules in our breath can change. These variations have presented researchers around the world with a very real opportunity to detect various conditions, including lung cancer, with unprecedented ease. The latest scientists to start sniffing around this emerging form of medical diagnosis is a team from the University of Adelaide, who are developing a laser instrument inspired by dog's nose that can screen breath samples for signs of unrest.Read More

Medical

Turning the smartphone into a mobile pregnancy test

Today's smartphones come chock-full of technological capability, intended to help us with everything from taking holiday snaps, finding our way around a new town or staying connected with people around the world. As it turns out, the hardware inside is starting to show huge promise in the world of medical diagnostics, with smartphones repurposed as blood-scanning microscopes, HIV testers and sleep apnea detectors. The latest advance in this area comes in the form of a fiber optic sensor for smartphones that monitors bodily fluids, a tool that could be used for biomolecular tests such as pregnancy or diabetes monitoring. Read More

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