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Many readers will be familiar with visiting an eye doctor to receive a range of exams to evaluate attributes such as visual acuity, color blindness, eye movement, depth perception, or the presence of glaucoma. These vision tests focus on the eyes themselves and how well they are functioning. Perhaps less familiar to our readers are vision tests in which providers go beyond the eye itself to understand how issues with vision are related to other impairments or neurological issues, such as concussions or traumatic brain injury. Across the board, all...
SPR Therapeutics, a Cleveland, Ohio firm, landed clearance from the FDA for its SPRINT endura  and extensa peripheral nerve stimulators (PNS). The endura is a single lead system, while the extensa is dual lead. The two devices represent the only FDA cleared dual-lead capable percutaneous PNS that can be used for up to two months in either the back or the extremities, and for both acute and chronic pain. The company believes that its technology can put a dent into the opioid epidemic by providing an affordable option, in many cases, to use the...
FundamentalVR, a firm based in London, UK, is releasing in the United States its Fundamental Surgery virtual reality surgical simulator. The system uses off-the-shelf haptic feedback controllers to manipulate objects in the virtual world. This gives the user the ability to touch what feels like physical objects while working in the virtual scene. Because it relies on existing equipment, the simulator is reportedly rather affordable. All the objects in the surgical scene, particularly the tissues, have a calibrated feel that can be sensed through the pen controllers. As you move...
Hologic is releasing a new fluid management system specifically designed for hysteroscopic procedures. The Fluent system aims to simplify, make more efficient, and less frustrating fluid management tasks. The setup is simplified with a modern touchscreen interface, there's only a one waste bag to worry about, the machine is purportedly quieter and doesn't shake around like a lot of existing devices. The screen runs the operator through all the steps to setup the machine so everything goes smoothly and quickly, and the same happens when it's time to wrap things up....
Radiation dosimeters are commonly used by clinicians working around CT scanners, fluoroscopes, radiotherapy systems, and other equipment. Typically, after wearing one for a month or so, the detector is sent to the manufacturer and the results come about a week or two later, though real-time smart counters are coming out. All these counters are also pricey, so there's real demand for cheap dosimeters that can give rapid results without having to mail anything. Scientists at Purdue University have now developed special yeast-powered badges that can tell a worker exposed to...
One of the most engaging areas of research these days is improving drug delivery. Here at Medgadget, we often share news about technological advances in nanomedicine that promise improved delivery to tumor sites, or newly designed gadgets that increase drug delivering efficacy. Rarely do we hear about attempts to improve drug delivery in the lungs. Recent reports suggest that almost 7% of all US deaths are due to chronic respiratory diseases, making them the fifth leading cause of death. Thankfully, a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon has recently taken on...
Patients on hemodialysis have to undergo vascular access procedures, typically arteriovenous fistulas or arteriovenous grafts. Some, though, are limited to tunneled cuffed catheters due to heart failure or poor cardiac reserve. Properly placing tunneled cuffed catheters can be challenging and failures can lead to serious complications such as clots and central vein thrombosis, in addition to having to repeat the placements. At the Okayama University in Japan, clinical researchers have developed a tool that helps to accurately place dialysis catheters and avoid repeat procedures. This can reduce the burden on patients,...
The patch clamp technique, for which the 1991 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded, is widely used to study the electrical activity of individual cells. It is particularly useful in neuroscience because electricity is the language through which neurons communicate. But it is slow and tedious since it requires a trained specialist to manually position a glass pipette against a cell's membrane and to do so repeatedly throughout the day. At Purdue University, scientists have now created a system that automates this process and which holds the promise...
Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland have developed a new technique to help amputees use their prostheses. The method involves virtual reality and neural stimulation to help change an amputee’s “phantom limb” to more closely match their prosthetic limb, making it easier and more natural to use. Amputees frequently experience sensations from their missing limbs. Typically, such “phantom limbs” are perceived as much smaller than the original limb. Commercially available prosthetic limbs do not typically offer experiences of sensation and touch, and they also match the...
Researchers at the Institute of Basic Science in South Korea have developed a highly stretchable bioelectronic mesh patch which can monitor electrophysiological signals, such as heart muscle electrical activity, and can apply electrical and thermal stimulation for therapeutic purposes. The mesh can be implanted, such as around the heart, or can be worn on the skin. Research into new materials for wearables and implantable medical devices is proceeding rapidly. This latest study demonstrates a new material developed by Korean scientists, which can record electrical signals from tissue or skin it...
BioSig Technologies, out of Los Angeles, California, won FDA clearance for its novel PURE EP, a system for gathering, analyzing, and manipulating electrocardiographic and intracardiac data during electrophysiology procedures. The company believes that its system can provide a more detailed and nuanced view of the heart during ablation procedures when treating atrial fibrillation and other heart rhythm disorders. Ablation catheters can create a great deal of electrical background noise, throwing off the signal as viewed on an electrophysiology system. Sometimes the signal is so out of normal bounds that it...

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