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People with dementia, as well as those that take care of them, can benefit from a bit of robotic assistance. There are a few robots on the market that are designed to help elderly people around the house, but not too much exists for those suffering from cognitive decline. While there's been development in this field, researchers at the University of California, San Diego wanted to find out what kinds of robots would actually help. The team brought together a group of caregivers that have a good deal of experience with...
The world’s aging population continues to grow. Today, in the U.S. alone, there are more than 46 million people 65 years and older, accounting for around 15 percent of the population. This is expected to swell to 20 percent by the year 2030. One of the main decisions that we are bound to make as we get older is whether or not we will continue to live at our own place. Unsurprisingly, studies have shown that nearly 90 percent of seniors living in the U.S. prefer to grow old in...
BD (Becton Dickinson) won FDA approval for its Venovo venous stent, which is the first stent available for treating iliofemoral venous occlusive disease. Typically, arteries are the vessels that become narrow or even blocked from calcified plaque, but veins can also suffer from similar issues. The iliac and femoral veins near the groin are particularly prone to being occluded and that's where the Venovo stent should help. The Venovo is made of nitinol and it's made to be very flexible, so as to be able to reach the target treatment zone....
Platelets are an important component of blood's clotting mechanism. When platelets are not aggregating as well as they should, there might be a need for a platelet transfusion during clinical care. Platelet functionality is hard to determine quickly with current methods, but researchers at the University of Washington have developed a microfluidic device that can directly assess how well the platelets are doing. The device produces results within about two minutes, which is fast enough in most cases to let clinicians decide a timely course of action. “Our system requires a...
FundamentalVR, a company that makes virtual reality training tools for medical education, has integrated the HaptX Gloves into its Fundamental Surgery platform. Fundamental surgery can be used on different computers and with a variety of virtual reality headsets and haptic tools. Most systems that can provide a sense of touch have relied on pointer-like tools that the user holds with the fingers. The HaptX Gloves make each finger and the entire hand into a virtual reality, haptic controller. Her'es a video FundamentalVR released showing off what's possible: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZZmca5EWRA Via: FundamentalVR...
Direct studies on the brain are inherently difficult, as it's a complex and fragile organ hidden behind a thick skull. Animal studies can help, but animal brains are different from human ones. In order to better study how the brain works and its pathophysiology, researchers have been working on growing tiny replicas of specific parts of the brain in the lab. Now scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry and Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany are reporting the development of a brain organoid model of neuronal heterotopia,...
Wearable and implantable medical devices are constantly hungry for electricity to power their functions. Batteries, their lifetime, whether they can be recharged, and other related issues influence the design, usability, and functionality of electrically powered medical tech. Triboelectric generators that convert mechanical energy into electricity are an ideal solution, but their efficiency and other limitations have prevented their adoption in the medical space. Researchers at Purdue University have now developed a liquid-metal-inclusion based triboelectric nanogenerator, dubbed LMI-TENG, that can produce meaningful amounts of electricity from natural body movements, such as those...
Following peripheral vascular and microvascular surgeries, it is important to be able to monitor how blood is flowing through the treated vessels and whether there may be an occlusion or compromise. This monitoring typically requires a nurse or a trained sonographer to use Doppler ultrasound, but now a new option is available. Sonavex, a company based in Baltimore, won FDA clearance for its EchoSure system that combines 3D ultrasound with deep learning algorithms that can nearly completely automate the process of blood flow monitoring. The system provides both visual and...
Ossio, a medical device company with offices in Caesarea, Israel and Woburn, Massachusetts, recently announced a $22 million Series A venture investment round led by LA-based OCV Partners. This brings the company’s total venture funding to $35 million. This technology received FDA 510(k) clearance in January 2019. Ossio has developed the OSSIOfiber Intelligent Bone Regeneration Technology, which provides a biocompatible framework for bone regeneration after traumatic fractures or orthopedic surgery. The platform is a bioabsorbable polymer resin (PLDLA) combined with natural mineral fibers, constructed in a sturdy matrix to maximize biomechanical...
The FDA has given BIOTRONIK approval to introduce the company's Acticor and Rivacor lines of high-voltage cardiac rhythm implants. They're designed to treat tachycardia (likely supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) and have been made to be smaller and have a longer battery life. Some of the implants have a nearly 15 year lifetime, helping to lower the number of replacement procedures. All of the implants are 3 Tesla MR-conditional, meaning that patients can undergo most MRI scans as long as certain precautions are taken. BIOTRONIK touts the shape of the implants, which...
Withings, the famous French maker of stylish activity trackers, blood pressure cuffs, and other personal healthcare and fitness devices, is releasing a breathing disturbance monitor. Built into its Sleep tracking mat, the technology can detect many of the instances when a person's breathing is interrupted. These events can be signs of sleep apnea, which in turn can lead to a variety of cardiovascular conditions. As a matter of fact, Withings is planning to add true sleep apnea detection to the Sleep mat once it received FDA and European regulatory clearances,...

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