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September 19th, 2018 by Kenan Raddawi
We spend around one-third of our life sleeping, and as we all know, the quality of our sleep directly affects how we feel and function the following day. Those of us looking for a better night’s sleep often start by searching for a “better” pillow, but what does that mean? We have all heard companies claim to have the most comfortable pillow, but how many of us have heard of a smart pillow to help improve our sleep quality? Enter ZEEQ by REM-Fit, based in Wheeling, Illinois, whose smart pillow,...
BIOTRONIK obtained FDA's approval, under the Humanitarian Device Exemption, for its PK Papyrus covered coronary stent system. It's indicated for emergency use when treating acute coronary perforations, both of native vessels and bypass grafts, and is the only device of its kind available to treat vessels between 2.5 mm and 5.0 millimeters in diameter and only 5 French compatible covered coronary stent in the U.S. It has been approved in Europe since 2013. The stent has a very thin electrospun covering made of polyurethane that keeps blood from pouring through its...
Many patient programs require technology businesses and startups to deploy complex workflows for healthcare organizations, which can vary all the way down to the patient level. Scaling these programs can require significant effort and cost, not to mention increased reliance on the technology provider to accurately translate a healthcare organization's complex patient interactions. Seeking to give control of patient programs back into the hands of healthcare organizations, earlier this month, Welkin Health, who we've spoken with before at Medgadget, launched Workshop. Welkin's existing patient management software is designed to automate healthcare...
Researchers at Jinan University in China have tinkered with the design of optical fibers to create a novel new type of sensor for photoacoustic imaging. Because the technology uses flexible fibers, it may have applications for implantable, wearable, and diagnostic medical devices. Photoacoustics involves using laser light to create ultrasound waves within tissue. This is possible because light will heat up the tissue and the thermal expansion that occurs generates waves through nearby tissues. The new imaging technique was applied to create an in vivo photoacoustic microscope, imaging from which is already...
Withings, the French company that sold itself to Nokia and then rescued itself back as an independent firm, has just put out its first product since the corporate separation. The new Withings Steel HR Sport watch looks much like a classic mechanical or quartz watch, but which is actually packed with multiple sensors and digital connectivity. The device has an activity tracker, but one that is able to count various repetitive movements specifically related to activities such as boxing, skiing, or playing soccer. The user simply selects which activity is...
Dopamine is a neural signaling molecule seemingly involved in nearly every aspect of the brain's activity. Yet, there hasn't been a practical way to monitor the long term levels of dopamine in lab animals, let alone in humans. The main problem is that sensors developed so far degrade in the brain within a matter of days. So while we know that dopamine is very important, we can't identify what specific roles it plays in the development of many diseases, including depression, Parkinson's, psychosis, and many others. Now scientists at MIT...
In addition to fatigue, high blood pressure, and weight gain experienced by individuals with chronically poor sleep, productivity and performance in the workplace are also known to suffer. Sleep deprivation, for example, can cost employers up to six lost working days and $2,762 in financial impact annually per employee. Today, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine estimates that 50-70 million adults in the U.S. suffer from chronic sleep issues or wakefulness disorder. Medgadget has previously covered sleep management solutions seeking to help individuals achieve better sleep. An upcoming player in...
Oticon, one of the big names in hearing aid products, is releasing a tool that helps people using hearing aids to learn more about their hearing health and to better understand how these devices are impacting their lives. The technology is available on the Oticon Opn hearing aids, including for patients that have already been using the devices. It's now a part of the company's ON App and Oticon compares the offering to wearable activity trackers, but specifically designed to assess one's hearing-related activities and participation in them. The HearingFitness...
Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is already beginning to have an impact in medicine, but there's certainly a lot more that we should be expecting from it in the future. There are a number of issues that prevent a wider adoption of AI in medicine, a lot of them technological in nature. For example, medical systems can produce vast quantities of data and a lot of the data may be coming from old, slow systems that were never expected to interface with modern computer platforms. Moreover, there aren't a lot of...
The cost and regulatory environment in which drugs are currently created lead to a number of difficulties for patients, providers, and drug manufacturers. Clearances and approvals, patents, and terms of use agreements, among other things, have forced some patients to turn to "biohacking" their own medical care. Researchers at Colorado State University have been studying the biohacking movement, specifically one related to making human insulin at home, and they believe these medical pioneers are truly foreshadowing the direction that the medical industry will be forced to take. The researchers have...
Being on a ventilator can be a frightening experience for many patients, and switching between different ventilators for transport, or when going home, can be emotionally challenging as well. To make transitions such as these easier for patients and clinicians, and to provide users the confidence that they're receiving consistent and closely monitored care, Philips is releasing a new ventilator platform called Trilogy Evo. The system consists of similar ventilators that essentially differ in their interfaces, specifically in terms of whether they're intended to be used in the hospital or...

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