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Heart

The Nanostim pacemaker, with a Euro coin for scale

Ordinarily, a pacemaker is surgically implanted below the collarbone, where it sits in a sizable pocket under the skin. Electrical leads run from it to the heart, allowing it to monitor the rhythm of the heartbeat, and deliver electrical pulses to adjust that rhythm as needed. Now, however, Minnesota-based St. Jude Medical has announced upcoming availability of "the world’s first and only commercially available leadless pacemaker." Known as the Nanostim, it's reportedly less than 10 percent the size of a regular pacemaker, and is inserted directly into the heart via a minimally-invasive procedure.  Read More

Rice University researchers use the heartbeat as a random signal generator to make medical...

Remotely hacking a pacemaker or insulin pump should be impossible, but sadly it isn't. It puts the millions of people who use wireless medical implants at potential risk. Researchers at Rice University believe they have a solution: a touch-based device that will use a person's own heartbeat as a password to permit or deny access to their implant.  Read More

One of the Tel Aviv coiled heart tissue fibers

When a heart attack occurs, the resulting dead heart tissue is replaced with scar tissue that's incapable of expanding and contracting. This means that the victim is left with a permanently weakened heart. Numerous studies are now looking at ways in which the dead tissue can instead be replaced with functioning cardiac tissue. While most of the lab-grown tissue created so far has used straight fibers as a base, scientists at Tel Aviv University recently had another idea – if the tissue is supposed to expand and contract, then why not make it using springy fibers?  Read More

The Nymi bracelet uses the wearers EKG for identification

If someone says that they want to steal your heart, be careful. They may be trying to get into your computer files. The Toronto-based biometrics company Bionym wants to replace old-fashioned passwords with Nymi; a bracelet that uses the wearer’s heartbeat in place of passwords. According to the developers, the system delivers a secure and convenient means of identification that also provides the potential to control devices using gestures.  Read More

New research demonstrates that it could be easy to trick the mind and trigger an out-of-bo...

New research demonstrates that triggering an out-of-body experience (OBE) could be as simple as getting a person to watch a video of themselves with their heartbeat projected onto it. According to the study, it's easy to trick the mind into thinking it belongs to an external body and manipulate a person's self-consciousness by externalizing the body's internal rhythms. The findings could lead to new treatments for people with perceptual disorders such as anorexia and could also help dieters too.  Read More

There may be new hope for heart attack victims, in the form of patches that incorporate go...

When someone has a heart attack, the damaged heart tissue doesn’t grow back. Instead, it’s replaced by non-beating scar tissue. As a result, the heart is permanently weakened. Now, however, researchers at Tel Aviv University are getting promising results using patches that contain cardiac cells and gold nanofibers.  Read More

Stanford University researchers have developed a new, wearable sensor that could revolutio...

Researchers have developed a new type of wearable sensor that could greatly improve the accuracy and practicality of heart monitoring. Developed by Zhenan Bao, a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford University, the paper-thin, stamp-sized sensor is made with flexible organic materials and can be worn under an adhesive bandage on the wrist to monitor the pulse.  Read More

HeartSense is a device that allows you to hear your unborn baby's heartbeat on your mobile...

Want to hear your baby’s heartbeat before it’s even born? If so, you might want to check out iBaby’s HeartSense fetal Doppler device.  Read More

The AliveCor Heart Monitor attaches to the back of an iPhone 4 or 4S

AliveCor’s smartphone Heart Monitor has received FDA approval and will go on sale to healthcare professionals in the United States in January 2013. The AliveCor Heart Monitor allows the recording, display, storing, transferring, and evaluation of single-channel electrocardiogram (ECG) rhythms using an iPhone 4 or 4S.  Read More

Regular implantable defibrillators (like this one) may save patients' lives, but also infl...

While regular pacemakers attempt to rectify arrhythmias (irregular heart beat rhythms) using constantly-delivered electric pulses, implantable cardioverter defibrillators do something a bit different. As long as everything stays normal, they don’t do any shocking – when they detect a dangerously fast heart beat, however, they respond by delivering a massive jolt of electricity to the heart. While this may save the patient’s life, it’s also very traumatic and painful. Now, a team of scientists from Washington University in St. Louis may have come up with a solution to that problem.  Read More

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