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Philips has launched a brand new true spectral CT scanner, the IQon Elite Spectral CT. Spectral CT provides a more nuanced look at body tissues, which reveals some information about the composition of anatomy and not only its structure. The different frequencies of X-rays in a spectral CT can be compared to different colors of light, which are produced by different frequencies of visible radiation. In a spectral CT, things like iodine show up at lower energies, while the visual impact of metal can be reduced when viewing the higher...
Microchip Technology Inc. is a provider of microcontroller, mixed-signal, and analog semiconductors that are designed to offer low-risk product development at lower total system costs and a faster time to market for thousands of diverse applications. Those in the electrical engineering world are very familiar with their PIC microcontrollers, digital signal controllers, and other microprocessors. However, in the medtech prototyping world, knowledge that Microchip has a special group dedicated to medical solutions may be less common. Microchip cultivates an elite group of Medical Design Partner Specialists, which consists of engineering...
The San Francisco Bay Area may be best known for information technology startups, but there are other small companies around that develop very different technologies. CompactCath has created a urinary catheter that solves some of the persistent issues that users of such devices have to face every day, and the company just announced that its eponymous device received CE Mark approval in Europe. About a year ago the CompactCath received FDA clearance. The unisex device comes coiled, which makes it the smallest similar catheter while it's still inside its discreet...
A new startup company called SLEEPON has recently launched their crowdfunding campaign for their first product, GO2SLEEP, “the world’s smallest sleep apnea detection ring.” Sleep apnea is a condition where an individual’s breathing is interrupted during sleep, and this can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, irritability, and morning headaches. Left untreated, sleep apnea increases the risk of numerous serious health issues, including high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and stroke. Sleep apnea affects around 25 million Americans, but many more people likely remain undiagnosed. Given these high numbers, detecting sleep apnea...
Boston Scientific won FDA approval for its Vercise Deep Brain Stimulation System for treatment of Parkinson's. The implantable stimulator can be programmed in a variety of ways to target different regions of the subthalamic nucleus. This may help to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson's by delivering therapy in an optimal way for each patient. The implant is rechargeable and can last for more than 15 years. Each of the eight electrodes on the leads can be controlled independently. The electrodes make contact with brain tissue along a 15.5 millimeter length,...
Neurostimulators are becoming popular for treating Parkinson's, Essential Tremor, pain, and other neurological conditions. They typically involve a battery-powered implant resembling a pacemaker placed on the chest that has electrode leads attached reaching up to another part of the body, often the brain. There are a number of disadvantages with implantable batteries and issues related to leads that researchers at Draper Labs have been working to avoid altogether. The team has unveiled a neural stimulator that is less than a cubic millimeter in size that can be placed directly where...
Researchers from École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland and Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan have developed a way of imaging biochemicals in the body using electric current. The technique, named scanning electrochemical microscopy, has already been used to map out hemoglobin throughout a heart of a mouse. Other target molecules can also be used as natural imaging contrast agents, providing novel ways to analyze organs and tissues, with initial focus probably on cancerous lesions. Their technique works via a device with eight flexible electrodes. It is placed, along with...
When surgeons excise a tumor, the challenge is always to remove the neoplasm with good margins while preserving as much of the healthy surrounding tissue as possible. To make sure that everything appropriate has been removed, pathologists look at the frozen sections and later at the full slices of samples taken during surgery. The preparation of the slides, imaging, and analysis takes so much time that patients often have to be closed up before results come in. Revision surgeries are therefore common and associated worries, costs, and time lost are...
Most powered hand prostheses measure the electrical signals (electromyography) produced by muscles near the stump to detect when the user wants to activate the opening or closing of the fingers. While this has worked marginally well so far, this technology doesn't have the resolution for intuitive individual finger control. Now researchers at Georgia Tech have developed an ultrasound detector that resolves residual muscle activity well enough to control all the five fingers of a hand prosthesis. The technology is already good enough to allow a musician who lost his hand...
ENT
3D printing technology has changed the way many medical devices are designed and has huge potential to also disrupt healthcare by making devices more accessible, affordable, and personalized to the patient. While we've seen 3D-printed parts used in a variety of external limb prostheses and even for implants, researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have utilized the technique to create custom-designed prosthetic replacements for damaged parts of the middle ear. According to lead researcher and study author Dr. Jeffrey Hirsch, reconstructive surgery to treat hearing loss has a high failure...
Researchers at Yokohama City University and Cincinnati Children’s Center for Stem Cell and Organoid Medicine have developed a large-scale method to produce bioengineered liver tissue from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The technique could provide viable, consistently produced liver transplants, offering hope to patients with liver disease. One of the limitations faced by scientists trying to grow certain human cells in the lab for therapeutic purposes is the need to include animal cells in the same environment to help the human cells grow. Such animal cells produce substances that...

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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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