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A new system developed by the Toumaz Group may hold the key to improving the level of life-saving attention received by patients, providing two-minute updates on their vital signs 24 hours a day with the use of a comfortable, wireless sensor pad. The equipment, known as SensiumVitals, is claimed to be so portable and convenient that it could even be used in the future to provide hospital-level observation to individuals in the comfort of their own homes. Read More
For long-term hospital patients or people who are otherwise bedridden, bedsores can be a major problem. Technically known as decubitus ulcers, they form when one area of the skin is subjected to too much prolonged pressure. In order to keep them from occurring, hospital staff regularly turn patients over in their beds. The MAP System is designed to aid those caregivers, by providing them with real-time imagery of the pressure points on the patient’s body. Read More
More and more we're hearing about clothing made from smart fabrics being used in the field of medicine, to monitor patients wearing such garments. One of the latest examples is the "intelligent T-shirt," designed by scientists at Spain's Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M). It can remotely monitor a person's temperature, heart rate, activity level, position and location. Read More
The way things currently stand in the field of medicine, doctors often have to try out a number of treatments on any one patient, before (hopefully) finding one that works. This wastes both time and medications, and potentially endangers the patients, as they could have negative reactions to some drugs. In the future, however, all that experimenting may not be necessary. The pan-European IT Future of Medicine (ITFoM) project, a consortium of over 25 member organizations, is currently developing a system in which every person would have a computer model of themselves, that incorporated their own genome. Doctors could then run simulations with that model, to see how various courses of treatment would work on the actual person. Read More
Stories about Kryptonite are sure to pique interest, and this one has both a "super" and a scientific angle. Canadian researchers are using a super glue called Kryptonite to create a stronger closure of the breastbone for heart patients after open chest surgery. This means faster recovery time, fewer complications and less post-operative pain. Read More
For some reason, and nobody knows exactly why, the healing process for open wounds can be sped up by applying suction to them under a tightly-sealed bandage. The negative pressure this creates has been benefiting patients for decades but because mechanical pumps are expensive and they need a constant electricity supply the technology is not readily available, often where it is needed most – in the developing world. A newly developed basic negative pressure pump that doesn’t require electricity, is cheap to manufacture, lightweight to transport and can be left in place for days could change that. Read More
Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) cost upwards of US$2 trillion globally every year and affect one in four people in their lifetime. At present, diagnosing these conditions relies on an often unreliable process of questions and interviews, which means it can take many years for sufferers to be correctly diagnosed. A new diagnostic technique that measures the patterns of electrical activity in the brain’s vestibular (or balance) system could dramatically fast-track the detection of mental and neurological illnesses. Read More
It might look like a cross between a snowman and a badly-designed toy polar bear, but the nursing fraternity should appreciate RIBA, a robot that can lift patients in and out of beds and wheelchairs on command, while at the same time saving nurses’ backs and improving patient care and safety. Read More
Routine physical examinations of a more intimate nature may become a little less awkward and a little more precise according to a team of engineering students from the University of Florida. The team's design of a ‘mixed reality’ human patient could be the answer in managing this delicate aspect of bedside manner. The mixed reality human is named Amanda Jones and she exists, in both virtual and physical form, as a life-sized cyberspace image on a flat screen, and as a mannequin with a prosthetic breast. Her purpose is noble: to help train medical students to conduct intimate breast exam procedures. Read More