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Pacemakers, defibrillators and other cardiac implants are life saving devices, but the batteries inside of them remain their Achilles' heel. Every five to ten years they have to be replaced in another invasive surgery that patients abhor and that put a high cost on the healthcare system. Harvesting energy from inside the body to power these devices, particularly from the heart's own movements, has been tried in the past with limited success. Simply not enough current has been produced to power a conventional pacemaker, but researchers at two Chinese universities...
Labels on pill bottles are designed to give the patient the necessary information, such as the drug inside and how often to take it. Prescriptions change, though, and in some cases, such as clinical trials, the regimen can vary significantly from day to day. We recently learned of a relatively new product, an electronic screen for pill bottles, that can be changed whenever necessary without worrying that the batteries will run out. E Ink, a company that developed the kind of paper-like screens that are common in Amazon's Kindles, partnered...
While many drugs are able to treat some condition or disease exceedingly well, it may be very hard to get that drug to the part of the body where it is most effective. Moreover, releasing a drug in a controlled fashion is another important factor for many medications. When developing drug ferrying particles, researchers end up doing a lot of testing of each batch of particles to see how well they work with a given drug. This is a slow and meticulous process that could benefit from a way to...
Counterfeit drugs are common in many parts of the world. Their existence is extremely dangerous for vulnerable patients who are robbed of their money and their health. Researchers at University of California, Riverside have come up with a way of testing drugs using cheap existing, but slightly modified, video equipment and image recognition tools. The idea is to film how a powdered drug, mixed with water, undergoes a physical change such as being frozen. Different chemicals freeze differently and these slight changes can actually be detected using standard video cameras...
Researchers at Vanderbilt University have developed a lightweight and inexpensive ankle exoskeleton to assist those with impaired lower leg muscles or those in jobs that require a lot of running or walking. Unlike previous ankle exoskeletons, the device is small enough to be worn discreetly under clothing. Developing assistive exoskeletal structures to aid people with limited mobility is an active area of research. However, in many cases such devices can be heavy, bulky, and unwieldy, making them difficult to use and wear. To address this, researchers at Vanderbilt have come...
GI
BrightWater Medical, based in Temecula, California, won FDA clearance for its ConvertX biliary stent. The system is used to relieve the biliary duct of obstructions. Blocked biliary ducts can cause all sorts of havoc on patients, such as infections, biliary cirrhosis, and liver damage. A stent and a drain is often placed to alleviate the condition. The stent needs to be removed after some time, so a separate invasive procedure is required. The innovative thing about the ConvertX biliary stent is that, unlike traditional stents, it does not require a separate procedure...
Phillips recently announced the release of an enhancement to its Azurion imaging system – the FlexArm. Developed in partnership with the Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, the technology allows a clinician to image a patient from every possible angle without having to move the patient or table. Given the proliferation of minimally invasive procedures possible under image guidance, technologies to simplify and streamline these sometimes complex procedures are likely to be welcome. During product development, extensive collaboration was conducted between engineers and potential users of the system, to assess their...
Modern technologies allow clinicians to assess the heart in all sorts of ways (electrocardiography (ECG), ultrasound, phonocardiography (PCG)), and just about anywhere. Yet, this reality is nowhere near ubiquitous because of high costs, interoperability issues, legacy tools, and frequent dependence on performing exams in a clinical setting by trained professionals. A team of clinicians and engineers at the IT - Instituto de Telecomunicações and Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal in Portugal have now modified an off-the-shelf electronic stethoscope to also perform ECG and PCG recording and auto analysis. The 3M Littmann 3200...
Most cardiac implants, such as pacemakers and AICDs, are designed to correct the underlying heart's rhythm, and synchronize atrial and ventricular contractions. That’s how these devices can improve cardiac performance in people with heart failure. They don't do anything to boost the intrinsic myocardial contractility of the heart. Now the FDA has just given approval to the first implant that actually uses electrical pulses to improve how hard the heart pushes blood through the body. The Optimizer Smart system from Impulse Dynamics, a company out of Orangeburg, New York, is...
Most current methods of looking at the activity of the brains of living animals are very limited in their field of view and/or frame rate. This makes it difficult to understand the complex activity taking place inside the brain that involves more than one small region of the organ. This is all rapidly changing as Boston University scientists are now reporting on a new microscope that can provide live video imaging of the activity of brain tissue over a diameter larger than a millimeter. This is quite large by today's...

March 21st, 2019 by Tom Peach
Future Healthcare 2019 came to London’s Olympia with a two-day exhibition and conference featuring speakers from industry, the clinical setting, and a strong showing of start-up companies. The event was opened by former UK Secretary of Health Patricia Hewitt and former UK Science Minister Lord Drayson who addressed a crowd drawn from both the UK and internationally. The event was a prime opportunity to learn about the latest developments in the B2B healthcare market, collaborate with colleagues spread across scales—from healthcare providers to start-up companies—and to explore future commercial opportunities. Topics...

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Custom Pill Bottles Thanks to E-Paper Labels

Labels on pill bottles are designed to give the patient the necessary information, such as the drug inside and how often to take it. Prescriptions change, though,... March 26th, 2019

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