tech

The Cast that will Make You Want to Break a Bone

Breaking a bone sucks. Not only can you never use that line, “Nope, never broken anything, not me, no sir” anymore but also…it hurts.   Picture the scene: you are dribbling down the basketball court. Defender on your left, defender on your right. “Nope, can’t catch me. Not with my lightening speed and agility,” you think. Then bam, you trip. Over your own two feet. No one is going to believe that there was an unpredictable branch sticking out of the shiny, waxed basketball court, by the way. Fall to the floor, wrist first. Ouch.   If you’re like me the story goes more like this: I’m getting in the shower, all pumped to use my brand new shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. It’s the little things in life that get me by. Ok, in the shower now…shampoo in hand. Shampoo in hair. Whew, things are getting serious – I’m rocking this shower. Then bam, I slip and fall…out of the shower. Fall to the floor, wrist first. Ouch.   So now not only are you stuck with this excruciatingly painful injury (and excruciatingly embarrassing story, at that) but you are also going to rock a circa-7th-grade green (neon pink if you’re a cool kid like me) cast for the next 6 weeks. No worries though, you have the choice of either plaster or fiberglass! Mmmm…I just love how...

Medical TEDx Talks Worth Watching #4

Can 3D printing really be the rebirth of current medical practice? Although it sounds like a futuristic pipedream, 3D printing is actually more within reach than you’d think. Technology has come a very long way, even in just the last few decades.     4. 3D printing & medical applications – Carsten Engel The field of biomedical engineering has offered some of the most ground-breaking advancements to medicine. 3D printing is one such development that marks a turning point for customizable, patient-centered care. The printer can use various materials, such as metal, ceramic, even biodegradable materials, to recreate highly complex objects.   So far, 3D printing has been used for several applications in the medical field from printing bones to hearing aids. One of the most noteworthy features of this technology is its ability to customize the output, which lends itself to creating patient-specific solutions. This is just one of the huge advantages of using 3D printing within the medical field, as Carsten Engel discusses in his Talk.   Some other advantages include reducing surgery time, rehearsing surgery before going into the operating room, and providing a solution when there is no other solution. Engel also touches on some of the fascinating progress made in the area and what it could do for the medical field as we move into the future.   Video: Source   Engel brings up a...

Forget About Seat Belts, Self-Driving Cars Will Save Millions

Brad Templeton, Board Member, Foresight Nanotech Institute, explains the next great medical revolution, the self-driving car. Car accidents are the 7th leading cause of death in the US, but the advent of self-driving technology would significantly reduce the number of hospitalizations due to automobile accidents. Read more about Brad Templeton. Filmed at FutureMed, in February 2013, at Singularity...

Google Glass Helps Doctors Save Time

  Doctors working long hours and spending less and less time with patients is no new fact. Many doctors work 40-60 hour weeks, with many of them reporting less pay, less interaction with patients, and more time with administrative tasks and paperwork.  According to the New York Times, medical documentation can take up as much as a third of a physician’s workday. Physicians spend twice as much on medical documentation as two decades earlier. Further, this increased allocation towards administrative tasks contributes to doctors becoming jaded and becoming demoralized with their jobs. The following video accurately depicts doctors’ frustrations:   Not only is medical documentation demanding and time consuming, medical chart errors are common on these often rushed notes, which leaves doctors open to increasing patient liability suits. http://nurseslabs.com/26-funniest-charting-errors-found-on-actual-patients-medical-charts/   While many hospitals and doctors have hired medical scribes through companies like Scribe America and CEP America to overcome these hurdles, a lot of these companies focus on training and hiring specifically ER scribes who are very much in demand. Though these companies have slowly diversified to other departments, the waitlists to hire a scribe through these companies can vary from 3 months to a year.   Doctors who do not go through these companies can train and hire on their own but often do not have the resources to train on the medical terminology of their specialty or get...

New App Provides Kenyan Doctors Decision Support at Point-of-Care

    The ways to integrate mobile app technology in international development and global health are are exciting and endless. The widespread adoption of smartphones — even in remote locations — makes obtaining on-demand information a new reality.   I was recently contacted by Bruce Dahlman, MD, MSHPE, FAAFP, who is a family medicine educator at Kabarak University in Nakuru, Kenya. Dr. Dahlman introduced the Digital African Health Library, which he says  is “an integrated point-of-care resource that provides evidence-based, locally relevant decision support and health information which is shown to lead to more informed patient care.”   Dr. Dahlman, who is the Director of Digital African Health Library, allowed me to preview the app, which I found to be an innovative and invaluable resource. One of the best features is its ability to perform powerful cross-platform searches. For example, if I search for “malaria treatment”, it returns informative articles and treatment information from several sources, ranging from the African Health Journal to the Oxford Handbook of Tropical Medicine.                          I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Dahlman about this exciting new app.   Michelle: Who came up with the idea for the app, and what inspired that idea (what gap existed that warranted its development)? Dr. Dahlman: I followed the genesis of the health information “app” industry from its taking off in the mid-90s.  When setting up learner-centered family medicine post-graduate training programs in East...

5 Ways VuMedi and The Doctor’s Channel Can Help You Become A Better Doctor

    VuMedi and The Doctor’s Channel are video education websites for physicians, fellows, residents, or members of the allied health community. The main difference between the two websites is that VuMedi is restricted to members of the allied health community and to use the site, you must sign up for an account. According to VuMedi, over 100,000 doctors use the website for education and improving their practice and patient care. However, you do not have to make an account to access The Doctor’s Channel.   How can these websites help you as a medical student and future physician? 1.Watch surgical videos.  Are you studying a specific topic right now where watching a surgical video would help? Or are you on your surgery rotation?  The specialties on VuMedi include anesthesiology, cardiovascular, dental, neurosurgery, oral maxillofacial, orthopaedics, pediatrics, plastic surgery, podiatry, primary care, radiology, and urology. There are often videos of different approaches for the same surgical technique. Watching these surgical videos could help you understand the differences between the approaches. The Doctor’s Channel offers short informative videos on a variety of topics, including cutting edge research, case studies, and pretty much any specialty you can think of. If you need to know information about a topic, the Doctor’s Channel might be a better choice for a video.   2. Watch presentations conducted by the world renowned physicians.  In addition to...

Innovations in Emergency Medicine

  The healthcare landscape faces many challenges including an aging population, expensive insurance, and a varying distribution of resources. Many people dread going to the emergency department due to extended time spent in the waiting room and overcrowding—however, many hospitals are now using innovative technology to improve speed and efficiency in their emergency departments.   Improvements in technology are helping both physicians and patients through the hospitalization process with less stress and faster treatment. Many hospitals have implemented a variety of new directives for enhanced emergency department admission.     According to the Journal of General Internal Medicine, one hospital employed an admission system based on telephone consultation between doctors and hospital staff. This practice assisted in monitoring the admission rates making operations smoother and faster. Similarly, as reported in the Journal of Nursing Admission, other innovations have included “immediate bedding, optimizing use of point-of-care testing, utilizing mid-level providers, utilizing protocol orders, and using nontraditional beds,” in an effort to make the patients’ stay more comfortable.   While the emergency department demand is increasingly rising, many hospitals are aiming toward leaving their patients with improved and more satisfactory experiences. The possibilities for optimizing emergency department conditions are quite expansive.   In fact, when the Department of Emergency Medicine at Brigham & Women’s Hospital dramatically improved in patient satisfaction from the 6th to the 99th percentile, staff were trained in the...