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February 25th, 2020 by Medgadget Editors
Stroke can result in a variety of debilitating conditions caused by damaged neural connections within the brain. Researchers at the Eddy Scurlock Stroke Center at Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas have now successfully tested a wearable, multifocal, transcranial, rotating, permanent magnet stimulator (TRPMS) to boost neural activity near injured brain areas in patients recovering from a stroke. The trial involved 30 patients, half of whom were treated with TRPMS and the other half received a sham treatment. All had weakness on one side of the body three months following their...Read More

February 25th, 2020 by Medgadget Editors
Abbott won clearance in the European Union for its new Gallant implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D) implants. The MRI compatible devices, which Abbott claims have an extended battery lifetime, can securely communicate with patients and physicians via Abbott's myMerlinPulse smartphone app. Physicians can monitor their patients, including being able to spot asymptomatic events, and patients can trigger their own signals to notify their doctors when they are feeling something abnormal. Patients can also use the app to see what data their docs are receiving, how...Read More

February 24th, 2020 by Medgadget Editors
A variety of medical conditions, including diabetic neuropathy, infections, and injuries, can lead to a reduced ability to feel touch with one's skin. This can be frustrating and uncomfortable, but it can also result in an inability to walk in comfort, notice wounds and injuries, and deal with everyday tasks. Now researchers in China are reporting in journal Applied Physics Reviews on a technology that significantly boosts a person's ability to feel with the finger tips. Things like touches by a flower petal, tiny drops of water falling on the...Read More
Critically ill patients with acute respiratory or cardiopulmonary failure who are on long-term mechanical ventilation too often suffer a variety of side effects. These can include ventilator associated lung injury, pneumonia, and diaphragm dysfunction. Moreover, related sedation and lack of movement can aggravate an already difficult situation. To help address some of the challenges of utilizing mechanical ventilation, the FDA has just cleared the Novalung System, a product of Fresenius Medical Care, that lets clinicians choose to use extracorporeal gas exchange over mechanical ventilation when managing patients for extended periods...Read More

February 24th, 2020 by Medgadget Editors
Cerus Endovascular, a firm based in Fremont, California, won the EU's CE Mark for the Contour Neurovascular System, the company's flagship product. Designed to treat intracranial aneurysms, the Contour is a mesh braid that diverts and disrupts blood flow in and out of an aneurysm. The device is positioned at the neck of the aneurysm and doesn't enter deep into the fragile dome of the diseased structure. This helps to prevent accidents and sizing criteria are not as limiting as with devices, such as coils, that have to be properly...Read More

February 24th, 2020 by Conn Hastings
Researchers at Flinders University in Australia have developed a handheld eye scanner that could help to identify children with autism spectrum disorder. The device allows clinicians to obtain light-adapted electroretinograms, which involves detecting electrical signals in the retina. The device could help in diagnosing children with autism much earlier, meaning that they can get appropriate support as soon as possible. Parents who have had one autistic child have a higher chance of having a second, and early diagnosis would be very valuable for such families. One of the researchers behind...Read More
Tozuda, a company based in Philadelphia, has developed a head impact sensor that can be attached to a sports helmet, such as those worn by football or hockey players, and which will indicate if a dangerous impact has occurred. The sensor undergoes a simple color change if an impact that is powerful enough to cause a concussion occurs. The company has partnered with Protolabs, who were featured in another Medgadget interview recently, to develop and manufacture the sensor. Concussions are incredibly common in athletes, and can potentially be life-threatening. It...Read More
Researchers at the University of Toronto have developed a miniaturized chemical heater that can precisely heat biological samples during diagnostic tests, but does not require electricity or any specialized equipment to work. The low-cost technology is based on the exothermic reaction that occurs when lithium encounters water, and the precise shape of the pill-sized heater dictates the heating profile it can produce. Performing diagnostic assays to detect infectious diseases can be difficult in remote and low-income areas. Frequently, such assays require expensive and bulky lab equipment, and low-resource regions may...Read More
In a world where cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death (with an estimated 17.9 million annual deaths globally, according to the WHO), the need to accurately and reliably monitor patients following cardiac procedures is ever-growing. This need is highlighted by the frequency of complications that occur following such procedures. For example, approximately 30% of patients experience problems with electrical conduction in the heart following an aortic valve replacement, leading to a dysregulation of heart rhythm (arrhythmias). Currently, early detection of such complications is only possible if patients are...Read More
Researchers at the Beckman Institute of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign have developed a method that employs ultrashort laser pulses to visualize extracellular vesicles in tissue samples without using stains or labeling compounds. An increase in the number of these small vesicles is known to be associated with cancer, whereby cancer cells use them to communicate with each other. Therefore, visualizing them microscopically could be useful in detecting cancer progression. At present, researchers use labels and stains so that they can see specific structures in tissue samples, such as...Read More
TTP, a technology company based in Melbourn, UK, is developing a handheld PCR (polymerase chain reaction) diagnostic device that can rapidly detect influenza viruses, and one day other viruses, in samples of nasal mucus. The company claims that the system, which uses a high speed version of traditional RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction), incorporates several breakthroughs that translate to improved speed, cost, and size when compared with existing molecular diagnostics systems. Such technology could be crucial in providing diagnostic and surveillance capability for infectious disease outbreaks such as the...Read More

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