tech

I’m A Doctor, Not A Robot: How Medical Robots Are Changing The Medical Field

Robots are everywhere, which is why it’s not surprising to hear the good they’re doing for the medical world. Medical robots and AI are helping medical students and professionals conduct procedures and tend to patients with greater and more precise care. Advancements in robotics are being made to pave the way for a future of new medical possibilities. AI and robotics are already helping patients on a financial level by reducing the cost of medical procedures and making surgery safer with fewer consequences. Aside from precision and cost, how are robots changing the medical field and medical schools for the better? As it turns out, there are a number of benefits the medical world will soon be taking advantage of. How Are Medical Robots Changing The Medical Field? From robotic medical assistants to giving massage therapists a literal helping hand, robotics are changing the way we receive healthcare. To learn more, consider the following facts about modern technology’s growing beneficial role in the medical field. Robots are helping to reduce stress in patients. Humans are fiercely social animals. In fact, we can ease the pain of our loved ones simply by holding hands. It turns out there’s science behind wanting your mom when you get hurt. To reduce stress in patients, the leading Japanese industrial automation pioneer AIST has developed PARO, a robotic baby harp seal that encourages relaxation...

How Teleconferencing Is Being Used Treat Mental Health Patients

Due to a shortage of psychiatrists in the healthcare service, doctors are trying new and innovative ways of providing their patients with the support they need. This can be a challenge since certain factors such as the location of the patient and the doctor make it impossible for patients to get the medical care and psychological counseling they need. To solve this problem, Michele Casoli-Reardon, MD, of Arcadian Telepsychiatry, has come up with a new way of getting assessments and treating patients. This new technology being used makes it easy for patients to consult with their doctors regardless of their physical location. The new teleconferencing technology also makes it easy to set appointments for sessions at times that previously would have been unlikely. The patient also does not need to travel to the hospital or healthcare center for each session. Telepsychiatry is also covered by most health insurance, which improves access to mental health services. The only downside at the moment when it comes to telepsychiatry is that in many states in the US, both the doctor and the patient have to be present in the same state for it to be legal. The good news is, some of those laws are being amended for the benefit of those in need of psychiatric care so that they can get the therapy they need. The field of psychiatry is constantly changing,...

Your Apple Watch Could Detect Stroke

Stroke comes in at number five at the top ten killers in the US, affecting more than 800,000 people a year in the US alone. The problem is that there are no symptoms of a stroke, until it actually occurs. A large percentage of those are caused by atrial fibrillation. Traditionally, Atrial fibrillation or a-fib could be diagnosed in a laboratory setting with the use of an ECG. But, that’s just too complicated and takes a long time. Plus, all the sensors and wires attached to the body make it an uncomfortable process. But, what if there was a way to skip all the wires and sensors and get a real time reading of your heart right on your smart watch? Researchers think that day could be here sooner than you think. Smartwatches already have heart rate sensors, albeit they are crude and basic. The technology works by shining a green light from the LED into the skin, then measuring how much of it is reflected back through your red blood. The results vary based on the volume of blood, which can give you a pulse reading. Up until now, the main challenge for these smartwatch sensors is that they cannot detect every beat, and intermittently determine the heart rate. By employing a machine learning algorithm, researchers were able to use a neural net to teach the algorithm to...

The Latest Breakthrough in CTE Research for Your Football Players

Dr. Bennet Omalu, the inspirational character behind the movie Concussion starring Will Smith, and the lead author of the study claiming to have correctly diagnosed chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in a living patient over 4 years before his death, identified the now deceased patient who was the subject of this announcement as Fred McNeill, former linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings. Although this is only one case, and researchers admit more evidence is needed before making further conclusions, this marks the first time a diagnosis of CTE was indicated during a patient’s life and then confirmed by an autopsy after the patient’s death. This is a great breakthrough in CTE research in alleviating and preventing CTE for football players, but we will need more data to adequately diagnose it. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, is a progressive degenerative brain disease associated with repetitive head trauma. Currently, CTE can only be confirmed post-mortem. In a new study from JAMA earlier this year, researchers examined the brains of 202 deceased former football players — more than half of them from the NFL — and talked to their family members to identify pathological and clinical features of CTE. CTE has affected football players of all ages, including a player student athlete that committed suicide because he had known about the condition: While it is unknown whether Madison had the same disease, the link between these two well-liked, successful, and smart young...

Do You Want A Smarter Prosthetic Leg?

Researchers at North Carolina State University’s Neuromuscular Rehabilitation Engineering Lab are testing and reprogramming robotic prosthesis software to better adapt to everyday situations. Human joints and muscles behave differently when carrying different loads and while oriented in different positions, so today’s “smart” prosthetics should be able to do the same. Click here to read more about this research from NC State. New North Carolina State University research into wearable robotics shows how amputees wearing these devices adapted when presented with a real-world challenge: carrying a weighted backpack. The results could assist device manufacturers and clinicians expand the utility of these important devices, and could help researchers develop smarter controllers that adapt to real-world demands. Andrea Brandt, a Ph.D. student in the NC State and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, wanted to chart a new course of study on powered devices used to help lower-limb amputees walk. While multiple studies on the efficacy of these devices on level ground have been published, there is a paucity of work that tests these devices in more challenging real-world situations, like bearing additional weight when people carry a load – groceries or a backpack, for example. Earlier this year, the Department of Veterans Affairs developed the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency LUKE arm system, for two veterans looking for prosthetic limbs.: US military veterans Fred Downs and Nardi McCauley lost their arms during service to...

Learn How Scientists are Decoding the Most Complex Object in the Universe: The Brain

Researchers from University College London (UCL) are working on a project with the lofty goal of analyzing the entirety of a brain’s neuronal activity in real time. Most estimates place the number of neurons in the average brain somewhere between 70 and 100 billion. Trying to record all of the relevant activity in one brain as it occurs will be difficult enough, but beyond that, the UCL team is planning to employ considerable processing power towards deciphering the meaning of each firing synapse. NeuroPixels, as the prototype probes are being called, are the width of a human hair and can monitor hundreds of neurons at once over multiple regions of the brain while simultaneously digitizing the signal on-board and sending the information to a database. Developed in collaboration with a consortium of leading non-profit organizations in neuroscience, these super-sensitive electrode sensors are already being studied in mice models, and are expected to be available for purchase by research labs in mid-2018. The researchers are already in the process of developing the next generations of these sensors. Click here to read more about this technology on the UCL News Outlet. Rafael Yuste, MD, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience at Columbia University, discusses the research goals of the brain activity map project. He explains the purpose of this ground breaking research is to develop tools that will allow scientists of the future to measure the activity of every neuron in the brain. The Brain Activity...

Using Geological Mapping to Sketch the Human Body

Jeroen Tromp, PhD, Associate Director of the Princeton Institute for Computational Science and Engineering, and Professor of Geosciences and Applied and Computational Mathematics at Princeton University, has been leading a team of scientists in research that translates modern geological mapping technology to the imaging of the human body. The same computational algorithms Prof. Tromp’s team pioneered in the measurement of seismic waves are being applied to ultrasonic waves used in medical imaging. The algorithms compare wave models with actual wave measurement data and extrapolates a much-improved 3D model compared with current standards. This technique offers much more information than a standard ultrasound image, but without the additional cost and burden of MRI scans. Click here to read more about this research on Princeton Invention. This new technology transforms traditional ultrasound images into three-dimensional images that could improve the diagnosis of tumors, osteoporosis and other disorders. It combines recent advances in computational power with techniques originally developed for the study of earthquakes and subterranean structures. Now they are applying the same techniques to ultrasonic waves, which share many of the same characteristics. Today’s ultrasound imaging devices work by sending sound waves through the body and constructing an image from the waves that bounce off internal...

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