tech

Low-Tech Has Major Impact on Laparoscopic Surgery

What is laparoscopic surgery? Laparoscopic surgery, also referred o as minimally invasive surgery (MIS), describes the performance of surgical procedures with the assistance of a video camera and several thin instruments.   Image: Source   Thanks to researchers and small business entrepreneurs, surgeons now have access to a new type of low-tech instrument to perform these complex, minimally invasive procedures. This technology provides more dexterity, precision, and intuitive control than traditional instruments. It’s also simpler to use, requires less training, AND is less expensive.   Watch the video below to see it in action!   Video: Source James Geiger, MD, professor of surgery at University of Michigan, and his colleague, professor of engineering, Shorya Awtar, have developed a low-tech, and relatively inexpensive surgical tool that increases the precision of a surgeon’s hand, arm, and wrist movements during minimally invasive surgery (MIS). The FlexDex platform is designed to improve the accuracy of multiple endoscopic and laparoscopic tools. The innovations in parallel kinematics, virtual center of rotation, and flexure mechanisms comes from research teams at the Precision Systems Design Lab at the University of Michigan.   Featured From: The Doctor’s Channel   Featured Image:...

Blood Drawing Device for Squeamish Patients

As med students I’m sure we are used to, or getting used to, the fact that we will be seeing blood almost on a daily basis in our careers. However, patients aren’t always a huge fan of blood…or needles. A company has developed a new device that draws blood without a needle and without the sight of blood.     This would make a trip to the doctor’s office much less frightening for those who are typically more apprehensive about going to their routine checkup.   Video: Source   Seventh Sense Biosystems has developed a unique tool to perform routine blood draws in a quick, painless, and hidden manner. The TAP blood collection device adheres to a patient’s arm using an attached gel pad, and with the touch of a single button can draw a 100ul whole blood sample. The blood is drawn from the capillary beds near the surface of the skin using 30 microneedles, causing minimal discomfort and without the patient ever seeing the needles or blood. A window on the front of the device shows when the blood drawing is complete, and the unit then stores the sample until it is ready to be analyzed.   Featured From: The Doctor’s Channel   Featured Image:...

Treatment Devices for Migraines

This month the FDA updated their consumer information on migraines to include 2 devices approved for the treatment of migraines:   – the Cefaly transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device, and – the Cerena Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator.   Those who suffer from migraines know the intense throbbing or pulsing pain that can last up to 72 hours, and is often accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and/or vomiting. The National Institutes of Health estimates that 37 million Americans suffer from migraines, and women are three times more likely than men to have migraines.     These devices are great news for migraine suffers because the currently approved migraine medications can often have serious side effects that vary from patient to patient. “Although these migraine drugs are quite effective, they are not for everyone. Some can make you tired, drowsy or dizzy. Some can affect your thinking. And some migraine drugs can cause birth defects, so pregnant women can’t use them,” says Eric Bastings, M.D., an FDA neurologist.   Although TENS treatment for pain has been around for a while, Cefaly was the first TENS device to be approved for use as a preventative measure, before the onset of a migraine. It can be used daily and studies have shown that it reduces the number of days that patients have experienced migraines.   Video: Source   According to...

Scalp Cooling Therapy to Minimize Hair Loss From Chemo

Video: Source   Scalp cooling using a cap device worn during chemotherapy for early-stage breast cancer can reduce chemotherapy-induced alopecia by at least 50%, according to 2 separate studies published in JAMA Oncology. Scalp cooling induces vasoconstriction, which reduces both blood flow to the scalp and the amount of chemotherapy delivered to hair follicles, thus reducing hair loss. Scalp cooling is usually carried out for 30 minutes before, during, and for 90-120 minutes after each chemotherapy infusion. Scalp-cooling devices have been used in Europe for decades, but concerns about metastases have slowed their acceptance in the United States.   The Scalp Cooling Alopecia Prevention (SCALP) trial used the Orbis Paxman Hair Loss Prevention System, which is awaiting approval in the United States. Julie Nangia, MD, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, and colleagues conducted the randomized trial, which enrolled 182 women with breast cancer receiving adjuvant anthracycline- or taxane-based chemotherapy. At the end of 4 cycles of chemotherapy, the planned interim analysis showed that 50.5% of patients who received scalp cooling retained their hair, compared with 0% of patients in the control group.   The second study used the DigniCap device, which was approved in the U.S. in 2015. Hope S. Rugo, MD, University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues conducted the prospective cohort study in which 106 women with breast cancer used the cap device and 16 women...

Want To Take A Virtual Tour Of The Human Body?

Imagine having the ability to take a virtual tour of the human body. One company is making it happen. Though the software is only available to healthcare companies for now, this technology could eventually be used in medical schools, completely changing the way students learn.   Video: Source   BioLucid, a digital health company, has introduced You®, a virtual reality (VR) software platform that takes physicians, students, and patients on an interactive tour of the human body. The immersive 3D experience lets users travel through organs and systems, explore within organs, and individualize physiologic functions, disease severity, and treatment. The platform can be used with a PC, VR headset, or mobile device.   Over the past 20 years, VR simulations have been applied to surgical training as well as post-stroke rehabilitation, treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, and cognitive training of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. As VR simulations have become more sophisticated, realistic, and medically precise, their applications have flourished. Today students take online anatomy courses that use 3D VR anatomic simulations. Patients can embark on interactive virtual tours of their disease or receive immersive 3D education about complex treatment options. It’s not difficult to imagine a future in which physicians and patients enter virtual realities and arrive at the destination of individualized, patient-centric healthcare.   Featured From: The Doctor’s Channel   Featured Image:...

How Augmented Reality is Changing Medical School

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that combines the real world with computer generated enhancements, such as sound, video, and graphics to literally augment the world around you. I’m sure we’re all aware of the most recent phenomenon that attracted kids and adults alike to wander around streets and parks for elusive Pokemon. PokemonGo is the perfect example of augmented reality in action and used for a mainstream purpose.   This same technology that puts a cartoon Pikachu in the real grass in front of you is now being put to use in medical schools. This could completely change the way med students learn about anatomy and physiology. Students would be able to interact with a 3D representation of the human body, making it easier for students to transition to actual patients.   Image: Source   Cool, right? Check out the video below to see the technology in action!   Video: Source   3D4Medical‘s newest product, Complete Anatomy Lab (CAL), has the potential to completely transform the way medical students study anatomy and physiology. The software, with a little help from hardware, can place 3D representations of the human body in any space. The 3D models are composed of over 6,500 interactive body structures, complete with descriptions, related lectures, and other useful study tools the user can summon at any time.   The technology may help reduce the number of...

Is IBM’s Watson The Future Of Medical Decision Making?

Ever since soundly winning Jeopardy! in 2011, IBM’s Watson has been quite busy.   Besides soundly beating out members of Congress in an untelevised Jeopardy! match, Watson also became possibly the smartest second-year medical student of all time. But like any bright medical student, Watson didn’t just stop there.   IBM recently announced the development of two paradigm-shifting projects, WatsonPath, a diagnosis and education program, and Watson EMR Assistant, a tool for analyzing information stored in medical records. Building upon Watson’s question-answering abilities, WatsonPath draws from clinical guidelines, evidence-based studies, and reference materials to either support or refute a set of hypotheses. WatsonPath is essentially the algorithm machine every medical student wishes they had in their head during board exams. And with a “learning regimen” that includes breaking down board-style questions, why wouldn’t WatsonPath score the highest USMLE score ever?   How can WatsonPath be used as an educational tool? The video above explains how the project not only offers answer suggestions, but also displays a schematic flow diagram showing the reasoning behind answers and confidence levels. WatsonPath breaks down clinical scenarios the same way any medical student would, looking at signs and symptoms, interpreting lab values, and searching for key associations. The project is currently being assimilated into the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) curriculum at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine.   Beyond the classroom walls, the possibilities...

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