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At the University of Michigan researchers have developed a special microfluidic device that can help to study how cancer spreads to different parts of the body. While microfluidic systems have been in existence for years now, they typically don't allow cells to live inside them and be monitored for longer than a few days. The development of tumors and how they release cells that end up metastasizing are processes that take weeks, so the U of M wanted a device that can keep cancer cells viable for a similar span...
Scientists at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) in San Diego, California have devised a way to optically image tumors with unprecedented clarity using quantum dots. These nano structures are tiny particles, only a few nanometers wide, that generate light of a specific wavelength when they're themselves stimulated by a light beam. On their own quantum dots are quite bright, but their signal gets washed out by other nearby quantum dots. To clean the signal and be able to see tumors better, the SBP team used a so-called...
ENT
ClaroNav, a company headquartered in Toronto, Canada, won FDA clearance for its NaviENT system that gives otolaryngologists information about the location of the tip of an instrument introduced during functional endoscopic sinus and skull base surgeries. During such surgeries, which are performed through the nose, the NaviENT shows the instrument tip superimposed on a 3D CT scan performed earlier on the same patient. This allows physicians to accurately traverse through difficult anatomy while avoiding fragile and important tissues. The system uses 3D cameras placed not far from the head of...
It is important to detect concussions promptly. Much too often those that are affected go on doing what they were doing, blissfully unaware of being impaired and in serious danger for other injuries and oncoming symptoms of the brain trauma. Now a team at University of Washington has created a smartphone app that tracks the movement of the pupils to identify whether someone may or may not be concussed. The PupilScreen app measures the eye's pupillary light reflex, or how the pupil changes its shape in response to changes in the light striking...

September 7th, 2017 by Conn Hastings
Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have developed a hand-held surgical “pen” that can analyze tissue samples and tell a surgeon if they are cancerous in just a few seconds. During surgery to remove a tumor, surgeons need to know if they have removed the entire tumor margins, as leaving just a small piece of neoplasm could mean that it grows back. Often the tumor looks very similar to healthy tissue, making it difficult to distinguish, and a surgeon will sometimes remove large areas of healthy tissue to...
GE Healthcare won FDA clearance for the first mammography system, the Senographe Pristina Dueta, that lets women undergoing an exam to control how much the device compresses the breasts. As the woman is prepared for the exam, she is handed a small remote control that has a plus and minus buttons on it. The breast is then positioned by the technologist between the compression plates and from then on the patient has control in terms of how much compression she's willing to take. While compression is still necessary to achieve...
For high-risk patients or those with diseases that require constant blood monitoring, going to the doctor for blood tests may soon be a thing of the past. Athelas, a company based in Mountain View, California, announced the launch of a new blood test that has been clinically validated and can be used in the patient’s own home. The company claims that their tall cylindrical device that performs the test, resembling an Amazon Echo, can accurately visualize almost all types of blood cells within 60 seconds. Patients perform a finger prick...
Our irrational fears are both very real and are also figments of our imagination. By manipulating what we think of as reality, researchers at Stanford University are working to understand the source of our anxieties and how to alleviate them. In order to do so, they built a virtual reality chamber where one's fears can be generated by a computer. In 1984, the book, this was done in a special room as well, but with real objects of fear and for opposite reasons. The hope is that by being able to...

September 6th, 2017 by Conn Hastings
A group of researchers in California has developed a smartphone app that can be used to evaluate some aspects of heart health, potentially replacing in some cases more complicated procedures like ultrasound or MRI. In patients with heart failure it is important for doctors to assess how effective the heart is at pumping blood around the body. At the moment, doctors use techniques like MRI or ultrasound to examine the cardiac output and other measures of heart’s efficiency. In the case of ultrasound, the most commonly used technique, the in-clinic...
Safely tracking the location of the tip of an endoscope while it's inside the body has posed a serious challenge for biomedical engineers. The benefit of tracking can help to guide an endoscope to its target quickly and accurately. X-rays can be used, but unnecessary radiation is not advised. Now researchers from University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University in Scotland have devised a method of seeing the endoscope tip through the body by detecting the light emitted at its tip. The technology relies on a camera able to detect individual...
Researchers at the University of Sussex in the UK have devised an algorithm that helps smartwatches track activity more effectively by learning new movements as they happen, rather than just having a limited number of pre-programmed activities they can recognize. Wearable devices to track movement are currently very popular. At the moment, these devices can recognize when you are doing specific activities, such as yoga, but only if these types of movements have been pre-programmed into the device. “Current activity-recognition systems usually fail because they are limited to recognizing a predefined...

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Medgadget's Best of CES 2018

CES 2018 is over. We assessed the many health-related gadgets that were shown off by a myriad of companies, concluded our deliberations, and now is the time to present... January 16th, 2018

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