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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...
ENT
GN Hearing, a company that makes audio technology that appears under names such as Beltone, Interton, and Jabra, just announced new hearing aid called ReSound LiNX Quattro. The firm describes it as "the world’s first Premium-Plus hearing aid," delivering what it believes is the best sound quality and speech intelligibility available on the market. It is able to connect to smartphones and other devices to stream music, audiobooks, and anything else directly into the user's ears. The ReSound LiNX Quattro relies on a new processing chip, which processes a wide...
Earlier this year Medgadget spoke with Coral Health about the company's vision to create a more connected future in healthcare by leveraging blockchain technology. At the time, Coral Health COO Philip Parker commented that, "While EHRs have made record sharing possible, sharing has remained laborious and it wasn’t until the FHIR API standards that the costs of data sharing fell to the point where organizations like Apple started talking seriously about giving patients access to their medical records." As we know now, Apple has indeed taken its first big step to...
Guided Therapy Systems, based in Mesa, Arizona, landed EU CE mark approval (via Ardent Sound Inc., Guided's partner and manufacturer) for the Actisound Intense Therapeutic Ultrasound device. It's intended to help recover from a variety of injuries and chronic pain resulting from internal soft tissues. The device is used to create small ablations within the tendons, ligaments, and other soft tissues in order to promote the growth of new connective tissue. This technology is intended to be an option over more invasive or less focused laser, microwave, and RF energy sources,...
Osso VR, a leading virtual reality (VR) surgical training technology company, has recently announced the launch of its collaborative training feature that allows multiple surgeons to train together in a single immersive VR space. The option to train collaboratively offers improved learning opportunities for surgeons and the surgical teams regardless of their physical location and at a moment’s notice, allowing for more efficient and frequent training sessions. It also allows medical device companies to offer unlimited training to multiple surgeons in one session. Surgeons can train one-on-one in a virtual...
Adherium, a Silicon Valley firm, is releasing its Hailie system for inhaler monitoring in the United States. The company received FDA clearance to sell the product over the counter, allowing patients to work toward improved compliance with regards to their medications. The system includes a sensor that is attached to an inhaler and a smartphone app that communicates with the device. The app tracks inhaler usage and sends reminders when its time to take the medication, including sending warnings when the person forgot to take the latest dose. Data on...
Alder Hey, an important children's hospital in Liverpool, England, is working on integrating Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality technology into its operating theaters. The HoloLens is a headset that is able to overlay digital images onto a person's field of view, essentially mixing virtual reality with the real world. The hospital partnered with Black Marble, a Microsoft partner based in the UK, to implement the HoloLens so that it can be used by surgeons to easily access imaging and other data during surgery. HoloLens technology is being paired with Microsoft's Surface Hub, a...

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