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February 15th, 2019 by Editors
Exhaled breath is rich in biomarkers that can point to the presence of disease. In particular, ethanol, acetone, and isopropanol can point to the presence of lung cancer, so having a way of measuring these chemicals in breath might provide a way to diagnose lung cancers or to screen for them. Current methods of measuring exhaled biomarkers are prone to inaccuracies due to the humidity of exhaled breath, difficulty of calibrating such systems, and the presence of multiple analytes within breath. Researchers at University of Exeter have now shown that...
Tandem Diabetes received a brand new classification from the FDA for its t:slim X2 insulin pump. The device is the first in a category known as Alternate Controller Enabled Infusion Pumps (ACE pumps). According to the company, the associated indication is that the pump is "able to reliably and securely communicate with compatible, digitally connected devices, including automated insulin dosing software, to receive, execute, and confirm commands from these devices." “This new classification of the t:slim X2 pump provides more flexibility for us as we make improvements to current products, create...
Lively, a New York-based hearing aid provider, has recently announced their online platform for customers to take virtual hearing tests, purchase hearing aids, and receive videocall support from doctors to fine-tune their hearing aids. The platform represents a telemedicine solution for the hearing-impaired, and allows people to receive treatment for their hearing loss from the comfort of their own home. The company reports that 35 million Americans suffer hearing loss, and over 85% of these are untreated. Lively aims to make it easier for people to access treatment for their...
Vapotherm, a company based in New Hampshire, has released the latest version of its Precision Flow Hi-VNI system. The system is used to deliver non-invasive ventilation to spontaneously breathing patients using the company's Mask-Free NIV technology. The latest version of the system features updated hardware and software, which purportedly improves on reliability and "to comply with the EMC 4th Edition requirements for medical devices, IEC 60601-1-2:2014," according to a Vapotherm press release. Precision Flow Hi-VNI uses a nasal cannula, instead of a face mask, to deliver warm, humidified gas at high velocity to...
While there are wearable monitors that measure a person's respiration rate, they can't track the volume of air that a patient inspires. For people with asthma and other lung conditions, this is an important indicator that can be used to assess the patient's status. Engineers at University of California, Irvine have now developed a cheap and easy to use respiration monitor based on Shrinky Dinks, a popular children's craft toy. It consists of two piezo-resistive sensors that are stuck around the ribs and abdomen, and which measure the strain on the tissues...
Powered prosthetic devices need a great deal of electricity to energize them throughout the day. Researchers at the University of Glasgow in Scotland have developed a combination electronic "skin" that can generate and store electricity for prosthetic devices. The technology consists of layers of a finely tuned graphite-polyurethane composite covered by graphene, a material only one carbon atom in thickness. The graphite-polyurethane works as an electric supercapacitor, storing energy that can be used at any time by a prosthetic. The graphene component is essentially a solar panel that converts sunlight...
Operative repairs of emergency type A aortic dissections require serious surgical skills and a complicated decision making process. Ascyrus Medical, a company based out of Boca Raton, Florida, just won the European CE Mark to introduce its stenting system that works as an adjunct to the current surgical repair. According to the company, its Ascyrus Medical Dissection Stent (AMDS) “... is an arch remodeling hybrid graft designed as an adjunct to the current surgical reconstruction. The AMDS helps reduce the risk of complications and reoperations by treating malperfusion and stabilizing...
Cardiac implants, such as pacemakers and cardioverter defibrillators, have limited lifetimes because they're powered by batteries that cannot be recharged. Replacement surgeries are required roughly every ten years, creating difficulties for patients, many of whom are already fragile, and incurring a huge cost on the healthcare system. Engineers at Dartmouth, working with clinicians at University of Texas Health San Antonio, have developed and tested an electricity generator that uses the heart as its source of energy. Perhaps one day this technology will be powering cardiac implants indefinitely, saving patients from...
When using heat and other forms of radiation to ablate tumors, it is usually difficult to know just how hot the tissues around your target are getting, particularly when working deep within the body. MRI and ultrasound can be useful in many cases, but they have limitations and can produce misleading readings. To have a better option, researchers at Duke University have been working on using photoacoustic imaging as a tool to remotely measure the temperature of deep-seated tissues. Photoacoustic imaging involves shining light onto an object, heating it ever-so-slightly, and...
As a gym rat and recreational runner, I’m often annoyed by sore muscles holding me back from that early-morning workout. That’s why I was excited to try Spryng, a calf compression device that debuted in 2018 at the New York City Marathon. The concept behind Spryng is pneumatic compression. Pneumatic compression isn’t a new idea – it’s commonly used in hospitals to prevent deep vein thrombosis and in serious athletes to speed up recovery times. Studies do suggest that compression therapy reduces muscle soreness and swelling after maximal exercise. Most...
Researchers at Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland have developed miniature soft robots that can mechanically stimulate tiny tissue samples when activated by near-infrared light. The tiny machines could act as medical implants with a role in on-demand drug delivery or to mechanically manipulate tissues. Other applications include medical research, as components of lab-on-a-chip systems to investigate the role of mechanical stimuli in disease. Tissues experience a wide variety of mechanical stimuli, which can affect their function and play a role in disease. For instance, repeated trauma can result...

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