tech

All the Eerie Glory of Human Cadavers. Without the Formaldehyde?!?

A new video from Slate shows the product of the latest collaboration between computer scientists and biologists at the University of Michigan. The Michigan Immersive Digital Experience Nexus, or MIDEN, “allows students to warp virtual human cadavers however they wish, pulling back flesh and segmenting bodies with the switch of the hand. The futuristic tool could prove essential to anatomy classes.” The possibilities for this type of training technology are...

Top 3 Coolest Medical Innovations of March

Here are the 3 latest innovations in medicine that will be sure to make a difference in clinical practices of the future: 1. Evoked Potential Assessment Device Prevents Arms and Legs from Falling Asleep During Surgery Often during surgery, arms or legs may be in positions for long periods of time. Nerves and blood vessels may be stretched and squeezed, and if a patient’s position is not adjusted in time, permanent tissue damage, compartment syndrome, and other risk factors may occur. SafeOp, a Maryland company has developed The Evoked Potential Assessment Device, which uses SSEPs (somatosensory evoked potentials) to detect abnormal nerve signaling that is indicative of poor patient positioning, to warn clinicians to reposition a patient in need.     Additional features include: – Wireless tablet control and display with wired backup – Real waveform data and graphical displays – Integrated neuromuscular junction testing including train of four, single simulation and post-tetanic count – Convenient easy clean, easy place headbox that can be rotated for supine or prone surgeries – Patent pending electro-cautery recognition and removal from averaged signals – Patent Pending distributed ground to reduce stimulus artifact – Single 6 layer board for durability and tight integration of functions – Simple and easy snap-on cable connection – Unified flat lying, fully shielded cables to minimize clutter and block out electrical interference – Easy place and connect surface electrodes...

3D-Printed Tracheal Splint Implant Saves This Baby’s Life

Born with Tetralogy of Fallot with absent pulmonary valve, a condition that leads to severe pulmonary regurgitation and dilation of pulmonary arteries, 18-month-old Garrett Peterson developed severe tracheobronchomalacia, leading to airway collapse and trouble breathing even on a ventilator. Using polycaprolactone, a biodegradable polyester, University of Michigan doctors and engineers worked together to 3-D print a biodegradable splint and implant it into the airway. Although doctors received FDA clearance to perform the surgery, the procedure itself has not received FDA approval. Garrett’s doctors hope that after the surgery, naturally occurring tissue will form over the splint, growing a fully functioning airway by the time the splint dissolves. For more on the 3D printing system that was used to print the tracheal splint watch the video...

How A Washing Machine Can Help Design a Safer ICU

Berg, the company the brought along fun internet-connected concepts and products such as the Little Printer released this interesting video recently. The amazing part of this is that Cloudwash is foundational and will just be built on. It shows where the current state of the Internet of Things is and where it can go in the future. What Berg did was amazing to me. It took a regular “dumb” appliance with software and electronics that were trapped in and made the interaction richer and its meaning and value richer. In a way, they radically changed the way I viewed how devices could be connected and created the possibility for a new class of devices in our daily lives. And in a way, I saw so many parallels to healthcare. In the video, Berg mentioned how the action of washing clothes can be quite complicated. There are baroque symbols on how clothes should be treated and this in turn is reflected by different sets of complicated icons on machines. Healthcare delivery can be far more complex though. “In any given hospital, as many as 15 medical devices, including monitors, ventilators and infusion pumps, are connected to an ICU patient, but because they are made by different companies, they don’t “talk” with one another. Patient-controlled analgesic pumps that deliver powerful narcotics, where a known side effect is respiratory depression, aren’t linked...

The Closest Thing We Have to a Real Life C-3P0: Doctor Robonaut

  A new post in IEEE Spectrum discusses the recent development of NASA’s Robonaut, a humanoid robot that may be tasked to perform medical procedures, including surgery, at the International Space Station and possibly en route to Mars. This research is all very preliminary, so it’ll be quite a while before Robonaut is asking any astronauts to please state the nature of their medical emergency. But as we start to rely more and more on robotic systems in space (as well as on Earth), having access to a capable generalist platform that can, if necessary, become an effective doctor on demand, will (let’s hope) enable us to head out into the solar system with more confidence....

Medstart’s Blue Button Challenge: The Best New Ideas in Medical Technology

The 2nd annual MedStart was hosted by Tufts University School of Medicine on January 17-19, 2014. This year, The Blue Button Boston Innovation Challenge brought together diverse minds from relevant fields of study (medicine, business, technology, engineering) to collaborate over a weekend to create a startup company. The code-a-thon was an opportunity for providers, patients, and the developers of consumer facing technology to come together to learn about Blue Button, identify high priority use cases, and build exciting new products ready to receive Blue Button...

Making the Most of the iPad Mini on Medicine Rounds

On my birthday a few years ago, I was lucky to get an iPad Mini from my husband. I already had an iPad and had shared my experience. In fact, we gave all of our residents iPads (one of them contacted Steve Jobs and got a response), and documented an improvement in efficiency on the wards. So why the Mini? What is all the fuss? Why is the Mini the new must-have for doctors and future doctors? 1. It fits in your white coat! Yes, while there were entrepeneurs who started creating the iCoat, the truth is who wants to wear a coat with a huge pocket on the side? This means that you also don’t need to wear the “strap” that we require our residents to wear for the iPad since we did not yet invest in the iCoat. 2. You can hold it in one hand! This for me is the best part and very underappreciated point in the blogs and reviews I have read. This means you can touch the screen with one hand while you are palming it with the other. I don’t even have the largest hands so I would say it definitely was just at the reach of my palm grasp, but I can imagine it would be perfect for my male colleagues. 3. It fits in your purse! While the female docs may find palming the iPad mini...