tech

The Future is Here: Controlling Prostheses With Thoughts Alone

In 2009, the National Library of Medicine reported that over 158,000 amputations were performed each year and that number has been and will continue to increase. The use of prosthetic rehabilitation has potential to restore lost locomotive or functional abilities and effectively improve one’s quality of life. However, many prosthetic limbs are extremely limited in their capabilities and overall usefulness, likely contributing to the significant amputee population that don’t use a prosthesis.   Now, amputees can have the ability to control their bionic prosthetic limbs with their minds through the use of tiny implanted myoelectric sensors developed by Icelandic company Ossur, according to a report by Reuters. Researchers and developers from Ossur implanted the tiny sensors in the residual muscle tissue of two amputees to trigger movement in the prosthesis through a receiver. The orthopaedics company says the implant procedure only requires local anaesthesia and is fairly quick and straightforward. Impulses go from the brain into muscles, causing the muscles to contract. The sensors in the muscles pick up the signals from the brain and the signals can move into the prosthetics causing the limb to react as the brain wants. One of the two amputees has been living with the Ossur prosthetic for over a year and the company plans to further assess the technology with clinical trials.   Check out the complete article published by Reuters,...

Apps Bringing Back the House Call

Lack of access to proper medical care is still a prevailing and major issue for the United States today. Three big apps are working on changing that.   If you live in LA or San Francisco… The app for you is: Heal What does it do: At the tap of button a licensed physician will arrive at your house in 20-60 minutes What can they do? Physicians are equipped to diagnose and treat mild to moderate ailments, write a prescription, stitch up a cut When? Every day 8am to 8pm How much $? $99 flat rate Fun fact: The New York Times called it the “Uber for Doctor House Calls”     If you live in New York…  The app for you is: Pager What does it do: In less than two hours a physician can be at your home, office, or hotel What can they do? Pager physicians are board-certified and equipped to diagnose and treat moderate illnesses, mild traumatic injuries, write a prescription, stitch up a cut, and perform physicals When? Every day from 8am to 10pm How much $? First visit is $50, urgent care visits are $200, and standard physicals are $100 Fun fact: Co-founded by a founder of Uber!     If you live… anywhere! The app for you is: Doctor On Demand What does it do: With the click of a button, anyone...

Wink: Tracking Your Menstrual Cycle Through Your Smartphone

A new gadget has arrived on the scene that will enable women to have more control over their fertility through fast and convenient menstrual cycle tracking. Kindara’s Wink is an oral thermometer that synchronizes with an app via Bluetooth, automatically compiling and tracking menstrual cycle data. For women who want to get pregnant, the Wink can enable them to do so more quickly. Similarly, the Wink is effective in helping women who want to avoid pregnancy do just that. During the menstrual cycle, body temperatures tend to be lower at the start, rising just prior to ovulation, and descending back down before the next period. With the information stored by the Wink, tracking is easy and accurate. Best of all, the Wink is camouflaged as makeup, and its unusual, patent-pending shape is purported to take temperatures four times faster than an ordinary thermometer.  Featured Image:...

This is Literally the Coolest Stuff You Can Do with Your Hands

Sick of all the wires, hand cramps, and bad back posture? The days of slouched, two-dimensional wired computing may soon be a thing of the past. The gesture motion breakthrough that is Leap Motion offers the opportunity for use in a crazy amount of applications. Elon Musk gives a demo of how this technology can be used to design actual rocket parts— without ever touching a piece of metal or a keyboard. Pretty damn amazing. I mean, imagine being able to build your own dream car or a new prosthetic leg from the comfort of your own home.   In this clip we see a veterinary surgeon manipulating CT scans while already scrubbed into surgery. You can easily see the advantages to having patient info and cbct scans to browse at your leisure during surgery. In the future, analyzing 3D scans of target organs during surgery could vastly improve the effectiveness of surgeons, and eliminate errors. The possibilities are endless.   And if you thought that was all boring, you could always go home and make an armored suit to fight delusional global...

Saving Time By Eliminating Showering?

If there’s one thing us AlmostDocs don’t have, it’s time. Rushing from class to class, spending hours in the library, and enjoying the occasional night away, is there any time to do anything else? Source: giphy.com According to this article, we might be able to make a little more time for ourselves by replacing our showers with a 3-minute misting of bacterial spray. The spray, called AO+ Refreshing Cosmetic Mist, contains an ammonia-oxidizing bacteria called Nitrosomonas eutropha, which is most commonly found in dirt and untreated water. It is believed that these bacteria used to exist in large quantities on humans, as well, and helped keep us clean before washing with soap and shampoo became a common practice. (a surprise to me, since I always assumed everyone just smelled really bad back then). That’s right, apparently you don’t even need deodorant if you have enough of this bacteria. Source: gifbay.com Still, people have reported a reduction in body odor and clearer, softer skin after just a month of forsaking modern bathing and instead using the AO+ Spray. So if you’re short on time, why not try a new method of hygiene, go old-school human, and save 10 minutes a day on a...

AccuVein: The Future of Venipuncture

The patient was a geriatric patient in the dementia ward. She complained of light-headedness, exhaustion, and couldn’t remember if she’d had anything to eat that morning or the night before. Her systolic blood pressure bounced between 96 and 100. Before we got her to the hospital, we had to get her an IV; she was severely dehydrated and desperately needed it, but finding any vein, let alone a good vein on a ninety-two year old woman with such dehydration was no small feat. Even the seasoned paramedics on-scene started to sweat, going through every possible needle size in their inventory. For the first few tries, the patient really seemed un-phased, but as the minutes ticked on her discomfort grew to anguish with every prick, to levels that pained all of us… ______________________________________________________________________   Every doctor, nurse, medical student and patient alike is familiar with the trials and tribulations that come with venipuncture whether you were the nervous new med student or the victim of one, or even just the doctor for or the patient with the incredible thin or deep veins… It’s nerve-wracking for everyone involved (I won’t even start on those who have needle phobia), and in some cases even the most seasoned physician can struggle. Finally, a solution has been found. AccuVein is a handheld device that projects a digital map of one’s vasculature on the skin....

How a Violin Served as a “Surgical Instrument” in One Musician’s Operation

When you think about surgical instruments, scalpels, forceps, and bone cutters are usually a few that come to mind. However, when concert violinist Roger Frisch began to develop hand tremors, doctors at Mayo Clinic were forced to think outside the box in order to come up with a solution. Using deep brain stimulation (DBS), the Mayo Clinic team used electricity to help treat Frisch’s condition. Because this was no ordinary case and the fix needed to be extremely precise, the surgeons had Frisch play the violin during surgery to ensure that the procedure was successful, making this operation the first of its kind to quite literally use a surgical “instrument.” Watch the video of Roger Frisch’s unique success story. Featured Image: Flickr | Jason...