tech

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...

Disease Diagnosis Via Breathalyzers?

By Janet Taylor A new instrument has recently been developed to diagnose disease in a non-invasive, cost effective manner. Based on the idea of the breathalyzers used to identify and quantify alcohol consumption, this device would allow for specific programmable disease detection in still healthy individuals. Volatile organic compounds are chemicals that are expressed by the body when pathologic processes occur.   By linking the exhalation of these chemicals to specific diseases, physicians will be able to diagnose disease in the early stages based on both presence and quantities exhaled and possibly identify individuals who are at high risk for development of specific diseases.   Figure 1. Schematic representation of the concept and design of the study. It involved collection of breath samples from 1404 subjects in 14 departments in nine clinical centers in five different countries (Israel, France, USA, Latvia, and China). The population included 591 healthy controls and 813 patients diagnosed with one of 17 different diseases: lung cancer, colorectal cancer, head and neck cancer, ovarian cancer, bladder cancer, prostate cancer, kidney cancer, gastric cancer, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, idiopathic Parkinson’s, atypical Parkinsonism, multiple sclerosis, pulmonary arterial hypertension, pre-eclampsia, and chronic kidney disease. One breath sample obtained from each subject was analyzed with the artificially intelligent nanoarray for disease diagnosis and classification, and a second was analyzed with GC-MS for exploring its chemical composition....

How This Hospital Used A $10 Microchip to Produce 3D Ultrasound Models

Joshua Broder, MD, associate professor of surgery at Duke Health, is helping to lead a team of physicians and engineers in an effort to improve the information captured by 2D ultrasound machines. The team has developed software that couples with a simple 3D-printed case attachment and a $10 sensor chip to convert 2D image slices into a contextual 3D ultrasound model. This technology would allow existing 2D machine owners to maintain the portability and ease of use of their imaging units while greatly increasing the usefulness of the image outputs. Dr. Broder hopes the technology will advance enough to one day allow patients to use a similar device on themselves with enough accuracy to eliminate the need for a trip to an office or hospital. Click here to read more about this research on Health Imaging: “With 2D technology you see a visual slice of an organ, but without any context, you can make mistakes,” said Joshua Broder, MD, an associate professor of surgery at Duke Health and one of the creators of the technology. “These are problems that can be solved with the added orientation and holistic context of 3D technology. Gaining that ability at an incredibly low cost by taking existing machines and upgrading them seemed like the best solution to us.” “With trauma patients in the emergency department, we face a dilemma,” Broder said. “Do we take them...

Lab Mice Might Become A Thing Of The Past

Scientists at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have developed a small laboratory-in-a-box capable of housing and feeding a colony of C. elegans nematodes (roundworms) and testing the effects of cosmetics, drugs, and other substances to determine their toxicity to living organisms in an automated, easy-to-manage process. EPFL helped create Nagi Bioscience, the company commercializing the technology, which has already placed functioning prototypes in notable labs around Europe. Click here to learn more about this laboratory innovation from EPFL News. Syndicated from The Doctor’s Channel. More on Mice on AlmostDocs.com: Helping Mice Mate: 3D Printing Ovarian Envelopes: Northwestern University researchers have tested various 3d printing techniques to discover the angles at which ovarian follicles will optimally interact with their scaffolds to increase ovary survival. 30º and 60º angles apparently provide better protection and vascularization than 90º angles. The results have been harnessed to create a prosthetic implant that is meant to help restore fertility. Sterile mice implanted with these new follicle-infused scaffolds were able to reproduce through natural mating processes. Nobel Prize Winning Scientist Recreates “Inception” in Mice: Susumu Tonegawa, the 1987 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine, and his team of neuroscientists at MIT have published compelling evidence suggesting that it is possible to access the memory axis and induce false memories in a mouse model. Tonegawa’s findings pose interesting and thought provoking questions to not only the scientific community but also the political, legal and social communities. One is forced to...

Virtual Reality Could Replace Anesthesia

While the idea of using virtual reality (VR) tools in medical training and patient treatment has been around since the inception of the technology, Dr. José Luis Mosso Vazquez, research professor at the Universidad Panamericana and accomplished surgeon, has been actively using VR in surgery for over a decade already. After purchasing his son a low-tech VR game featuring Spiderman back in 2004, Dr. Vasquez realized the tech’s potential for immersion and distraction. Since many areas of Mexico lack access to the latest medical technology and professionals, ailments requiring surgery can be prohibitively expensive for patients. Even in Mexico City the hospitals are considered to be largely underfunded, so surgical suites may be under-equipped or understaffed. Dr. Vasquez’s virtual reality solution allows surgery to be performed using only local anesthetics while the patient’s attention is focused on an immersive digital experience. In geographically difficult to reach areas, this innovative surgical approach has helped many hundreds of patients to date. VR is already being used in medical schools for surgical training. Read more about it: What does it really feel like to manage an emergency in the operating room? The Cleveland Clinic Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery is using virtual reality (VR) simulations of OR cardiac emergencies to replicate the experience as closely as possible and train cardiac surgery residents. “The two-minute video shows how Cleveland Clinic is using virtual reality scenarios to teach cardiac surgery...

Medical Students Facing Challenges With Classroom Robotics

Robotics have been making big changes to many industries including construction, manufacturing, and healthcare. In fact, healthcare was one of the first industries to see robotics at work. Arm-like automatons first made their big debut in the 1960s and 1970s. Robots like the Shakey (1966) and the Stanford Arm (1969) assisted surgeons when performing complicated surgeries. Since then, robots in the medical field have become faster, better, stronger, and more affordable. Today, one-third of American hospitals have at least one surgical robot. It’s no secret robotics have had a positive impact on the medical field. They help to identify health risks in patients and reduce the need for invasive procedures. But just as engineers and manufacturers need to adapt to advancing AI, medical professionals need to face the hurdles that come with robotics in the healthcare industry. Shifting Tides: The Challenge Of Classroom Robotics In The Medical Field Medical students, or surgical trainees, need training on proper medical procedures. They also need training on how to conduct these procedures using, or in tandem with, robotic systems. Unfortunately, these robotic systems don’t always go hand in hand with conventionally approved approaches. One of the norms of surgical training is that students cooperate with a senior surgeon. Students watch and assist during traditional open surgeries. This way they receive hands-on training in real time. Yet, today’s medical students aren’t receiving the...

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...

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