tech

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...

German Docs Successfully Test The Surgery Tool of The Future

It’s been called the iSurgery room — which may or may not seem like a blatant ripoff of every hackneyed attempt to seem cool and tech-y in the past decade — but this is no bit of hollow branding. Rather, it is an exciting new step in augmented reality for surgeons, and it is (incredibly) based on the consumer iPad! German company Fraunhofer MEVIS announced that their tablet app was successfully used by surgeons at the Asklepios Klinik Barmbek in Hamburg during a liver operation. The company described the problem their technology is seeking to remedy: A liver cancer operation usually lasts many hours because the organ is difficult to operate. It hosts a branching vessel structure through which one and a half liters of blood flow every minute. If a surgeon makes a cut in an inappropriate place, this puts the patient at risk of severe blood loss. In addition, doctors must ensure that the patient retains enough organ volume for survival and that this volume is sufficiently supplied with blood. To accomplish this, doctors need to know as accurately as possible both before and during an operation where blood vessels inside the organ are located. The new tablet app from the Fraunhofer Institute for Medical Image Computing MEVIS in Bremen promises to deliver this support. It is based on the established MEVIS software for liver operation planning that is employed in...

Turn Your Heartbeat Into Music Via This App

BioBeat is a company that “merges entertainment and healthcare.” I have no idea what that means, but they recently released a new app called Pulse, which basically creates music by sensing changes in your heartbeat. The app hacks into the iPhone camera/flash and allows the phone to basically track changes in blood flow once you’ve placed your finger over the  camera. Then, using the data collected from the camera, the app turns your heartbeat into sound. Who would have thought that the human body came with its own DJ? This is one of those rare instances where even I can’t think of a practical use for this technology in healthcare, but it’s wicked cool so check out the video below and download the app!   Featured image is a screenshot taken  from the video...

Tweets for a Cause: How One Girl Got a Bionic Arm Thanks to Her Friends on Twitter

The power of social media is unfathomable. You’ve no doubt noticed this as the #ALSicebucketchallenge has taken Facebook and Youtube by storm. Here’s another great story of an individual who has been immensely affected by the generosity of strangers through the wonder that is social media. ______________________________________________________________________   Torri Biddle was born with only one full arm. She didn’t just live with her condition, she powered through, even making her high school’s basketball team.  The Ohio teen had no idea that one day her friends’ pleas for a #HandForTorri on Twitter would catch the attention of the bucket-list boys at “The Buried Life”… Or that the group on a mission to complete their bucket list and help others go after theirs would reach out to the top prosthetic manufacturer, Hanger Clinics, and get them to donate a bionic arm to her, completely free of charge.     Even better, if you watch and share this video, Hanger Clinics will donate another arm to a teenager in need if the video reaches 1 million views. Read more about Torri and her experience with The Buried Life...

“Playing Games” Could Be the Next Move for Doctors

No one likes playing games. Source: giphy.com That may change for doctors, though, thanks to a new concept being tested at hospitals in the Boston area. The VA hypertension game combines stock photos with silly captions and multiple-choice questions in an effort to improve high blood pressure treatments from doctors and nurses. By making the material entertaining and getting rid of dull educational materials, the game has actually improved patient blood pressure results over the year that their care providers played it. By also adding a leaderboard of the highest scores, developers have also introduced the element of competition to the game, something that no AlmostDoc is a stranger to, as if we ever finish above the curve we generally look like this: Source: giphy.com Next up is a game letting patients compete in managing their diabetes. For now, you can try this one out at Qstream.  ...

Should Google Glass Be Used in the OR?

Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to use Google Glass for 24 hours. It was an amazing opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. For the past year now, Google Glass has been a buzz word and tool amongst the technology community. Google Glass is a wearable computer with a small transparent prism on the right side that can display information and notifications. It also features a touchpad on the side to navigate various screens to check email, directions, the next subway, or headlines from The New York Times. It also features a high resolution camera and microphone to take photos and videos which can be shared on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter. Though it can take videos and pictures alone, many of its features require that you use Bluetooth to connect it to your smartphone for data. The device itself is quite elegant. Along with its sleek packaging, many of the nurses and physician assistants at the hospital thought they were an Apple product when they tried them on. The hardware is encased in soft-touch plastic which includes the battery as a counterweight. There’s a thin titanium strip that creates the arc of the glasses along with a nose pad which allow the device to rest on your face. If you’ve ever worn metal framed glasses, it will fit right at home, if a little off center due to...