Search: x-ray

Portable MPM Will Change How Doctors Diagnose Breast Cancer

Michael Giacomelli, PhD, Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his laboratory team have developed a portable system for multiphoton imaging (portable MPM) of large tissue samples within an operating surgical suite. “The system enables true 10x/20x/40x imaging at video rates using VH&E rendering to produce virtual histology images in real-time.” The technology is currently being tested in breast cancer surgeries, since many lumpectomies result in second surgeries to remove more tissue after histology from the first surgery is complete. With imaging taking place during surgery, these subsequent reoperations may be reduced significantly. Currently, doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering are considering the tool and/or technique for skin cancer and prostate cancer as well. Read more about this imaging experiment by clicking here. Complete removal of cancerous tissue during surgery for breast cancer is essential.  Unfortunately, about 1 in 3 women undergoing lumpectomy for breast cancer will require more than one surgery due to inadequate surgical resection.   Multiphoton microscopy (MPM) can be used to perform video-rate imaging of tissue during surgery to evaluate pathology, ensuring complete removal of cancerous tissue.  I have developed MPM systems enabling very wide area imaging of tissue specimens with real-time rendering using H&E-like appearance (“virtual H&E”). For more on X-Rays, make sure to check out our article on how medical students utilize them: No one expects a radiology expert at the level of...

Stem Cells Can Now Regrow Teeth

Can stem cells really regrow teeth? It sounds like something straight out of a science fiction movie. For most dental patients with missing teeth, there are only a few options: getting dental implants or false teeth. And for dental patients with cavities the remedy usually is a filling or cap. But, what if you could get new teeth – real teeth growing right in your mouth. David Mooney and his team of researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute are working on making this science fact and not fiction. What’s his idea? To use lasers with stem cells and regrow teeth. He and his research team have developed a technique using a low-power laser. The laser’s job is to get stem cells to reform dentin. This could have huge implications for cosmetic dentistry, for wound healing, and even for bone restoration. Arthur Glosman DDS, famous cosmetic dentist in Beverly Hills specializing in dental implants, says: This could be the next big thing, even beyond teeth implants. Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine But, what are stem cells, anyway? Stem cells are a class of undifferentiated cells that can differentiate into specialized cell types by using proteins called growth factors. Adult stem cells can divide, or self-renew on an indefinite basis. Adding different growth factors can force these cells to develop into a particular type of tissue. However, to accomplish this is not...

The Literal Price of Health Care

With all the dialogue on Obamacare, Trumpcare, the ACA, and the AHCA, Dr. Fizzy briefly reflects on the cost of health care.  Recently my daughter sprained her ankle. Because she’s a bit of a drama queen, I took her to urgent care after she refused to put weight on it for a day. The x-ray didn’t show a fracture and they gave her a crutch and an Aircast, which she used for exactly one day before she was better. A couple of months later, I got a bill for $150 for the crutch and Aircast that we barely used. Because of large deductibles and other reasons, we end up paying a lot of our outpatient healthcare expenses out of pocket. But the problem with that is that you have no idea what you’re going to pay until the bill actually arrives. If they had told me it was going to be $150 for that stuff, I never would’ve taken it. Think about how crazy it is. You would never go to a furniture store, buy a sofa, and just wait a few months until the bill comes to see how much you ended up paying for it. But that’s what I’m constantly doing with my healthcare bills. I can give multiple other examples. Recently, my own doctor ordered a lab test which I didn’t think was entirely necessary, but...

How Much Medical Education is Actually Necessary?

A common theme to many of my posts here on The Almost Doctor’s Channel is the idea that we are at a point of great change in the medical field. I’ve covered such topics as how our healthcare system falls behind that of other countries, how the match can be improved, and how we can improve science literacy. Another area of my interest (and one that is readily apparent to those of us who are currently in medical school) is the design of medical training – notably its excessive length.     Currently, after four years of undergraduate education, one must complete four years as a medical student followed by three to six years as a resident before being able to independently practice medicine. If no gap years are taken, this puts a person at 29 to 32 years of age when they are first able to contribute to the physician workforce – or even older if their specialty requires further fellowship training. If they decide to go into medicine later or circumstances prolong their education, this pushes them back even more. Because of this, some are hoping to shorten medical education.   As we look to shaping the future of medical education, though, it is important to note that this excessive length is a modern phenomenon, one that arises out of a desire to bring regulation and excellence...

The Cast that will Make You Want to Break a Bone

Breaking a bone sucks. Not only can you never use that line, “Nope, never broken anything, not me, no sir” anymore but also…it hurts.   Picture the scene: you are dribbling down the basketball court. Defender on your left, defender on your right. “Nope, can’t catch me. Not with my lightening speed and agility,” you think. Then bam, you trip. Over your own two feet. No one is going to believe that there was an unpredictable branch sticking out of the shiny, waxed basketball court, by the way. Fall to the floor, wrist first. Ouch.   If you’re like me the story goes more like this: I’m getting in the shower, all pumped to use my brand new shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. It’s the little things in life that get me by. Ok, in the shower now…shampoo in hand. Shampoo in hair. Whew, things are getting serious – I’m rocking this shower. Then bam, I slip and fall…out of the shower. Fall to the floor, wrist first. Ouch.   So now not only are you stuck with this excruciatingly painful injury (and excruciatingly embarrassing story, at that) but you are also going to rock a circa-7th-grade green (neon pink if you’re a cool kid like me) cast for the next 6 weeks. No worries though, you have the choice of either plaster or fiberglass! Mmmm…I just love how...

HIPAA Compliant Text Messaging for your Smartphone: Would you use it?

In a world where every 1 in 5 people owns a smartphone, it comes as no surprise that healthcare, a commodity that matters to all, is interested in staking their claim in new technology. That being said, there are many concerns that healthcare organizations have surrounding the heavy implementation of technology in their practices, hospitals and especially between physicians and patients. One major concern is security: patient information is extremely sensitive and with the rate of identity theft in healthcare increasing: last year the Identity Theft Resource Center reported that up to 43% of identity theft for 2013 was medical or healthcare theft, outranking other common institutions like banking and education. The market is rife with products that claim to be secure enough for a healthcare organization, but this can be difficult to verify. The companies responsible for creating some of the top notch EMR’s on the market have also piloting projects around “mobile health” but physicians and hospital administration remain wary. One company, though, purports a well-marketed solution: qliqSoft, founded by Krishna Kurapati, is creating mobile applications specifically designed for use in healthcare settings, by physicians and between physicians. Secured text messaging in the form of qliqConnect, is available on mobile phones, tablets and desktops on both Windows and Mac OS and has a HIPAA and HITECH compliant sticker.   The product is designed to create faster communication...

Innovations That Took The Medical Community By Storm – #2

  Innovation is the foundation of human progress. In every field of study, creativity and nuance allow for growth and expansion. Especially in medicine, without the introduction of new devices, resources, and methods, we can hardly combat the rising complexities.   Looking back, the world has witnessed various unique creations, some of which have truly demonstrated greatness in invention and capability. Thus, over the course of several upcoming articles, I will be taking you all on an interactive tour through a select few of them, looking at some truly breathtaking innovations that have changed the very track of the medical field.   2. X-ray   Imagine a world without radiology. A world where physicians are unable to know what pathological condition lies under the skin or how to treat the patient.   The discovery of the X-ray by German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen, has allowed us to escape from this sense of unknowingness and emerge into the modern era with profound insight into the inner workings of the human body.       Video: Source Featured Image: Source...

Basic Emergency Interventions Every Medical Student Should Know – #4

  If you were to ask any medical student today why they wanted to become a doctor, a majority would undoubtedly say to “help people” and “save lives.” However, as we all know, medicine is a vast field. There is so much to learn before you can be considered even competent enough to be trusted alone in a room with an unstable patient.   Nevertheless, the journey from a medical student to an astute clinician is all about taking initiatives and actively engaging. From my experiences of interacting with other medical students, I feel that we all could start off by becoming more familiar with emergent management. In other words, would we really know what to do if a patient were to drop dead right in front of us at this moment? If you are confidently nodding “yes,” I am happy for you (truly). But if you are a little on the fence like me, I invite you to revisit some of the things you have already learned and conceptualize their utility when you encounter a critical patient.   Over the course of 10 articles, I will be going over some of the emergent interventions, procedures, and practices that can be used to help you better practice acute management and shine in your medical rotations.   So, without further ado, let’s get started.   4. Basic Radiology No one...

The Most Recent Epidemics Around The World – #10

Human beings are social creatures. Along with our tendency to form groups and communities comes the inherent risk of disease transmission. The closer we live and the more derelict we tend to be in our duties towards maintaining sanitary living conditions, the more openly we can invite some of the worst pathogens we never want to see.   Thus, let’s take a stroll down the past 15 years and recall some of the most crucial diseases that delivered a substantial blow to human society, reminding us of the cunningness of virology and taking us back to our humble beginnings.   Over the next several weeks, I will be dedicating one article each to the top 10 most recent disease outbreaks around the world, starting with our first one at #10.   10. SARS SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) is caused by the transmission of coronavirus, which spreads through the respiratory secretions of infected persons. The condition is marked by classic symptoms of fever, headache, dry cough, myalgias (muscle pains), pneumonia, and even death in some cases. Sample X-ray of a patient with SARS, showing significant congestion in the lungs that could perpetuate difficulties in ventilation and oxygenation.   Active between 2002 to 2003, SARS was first encountered in China purportedly through the handling of cat-like mammals called civets that carried the infection and spread it to humans through air...

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