Items tagged with medical

Update - 3:44PM ET 6/21/19: This article has been updated to reflect skepticism of the claims made by researchers and any direct causation with the symptom of bone spurs in the subjects of the study. Some recent biomechanics research suggests that young people are developing horn-like spikes at the back of their skulls due to excessive mobile phone use. These bone spurs are reportedly caused by the forward tilt of the head, which shifts the weight from the spine to the muscles in the back of the head. That tilt is reportedly causing bone growth in the connecting tendons and ligaments. The scientists involved in the study claim that the weight transfer that causes the build-up is comparative to... Read more...
Samsung has been fighting with former employees and their families for over a decade after some of those workers became ill or died due to unsafe working conditions inside its chip and display manufacturing facilities. These types of facilities are used by Samsung to make displays and semiconductors, like the Exynos 9810, that debuted earlier this year. Some of the workers that were employed at these factories contracted severe diseases such as leukemia and brain tumors. After many years of fights between these former employees and their families, Samsung has issued an official apology. The apology comes after Samsung and family members agreed to accept compensation terms that were suggested... Read more...
Implanted ID devices certainly aren’t new; they have been used to help lost pets return home for many years now. These little chips are embedded under the skin of the dog or cat, and if picked up by animal control, the chip can be scanned, and the pets returned home. They are rather like tags that can’t be lost and both the injection and presence of the device under the skin goes unnoticed by most animals. These implanted chips are now going mainstream for people, according to a man called Patrick Kramer of Digiwell, who has implanted about 2,000 similar chips into humans but this is also just part of an overall trend in human augmentation. These implants inside people aren’t... Read more...
Apple is working hard to position the new Apple Watch Series 4 wearable as a state of the art health monitoring device. Moving beyond the gadget and Apple fan crowd into the medical device and health monitoring market could certainly expand the reach of the wearable. Apple's latest watch has FDA approved EKG monitoring inside along with fall detection. The fall detection feature can dial out in an emergency for the elderly; that feature was recently tested by a stunt woman and found to function as promised. Apple has announced that it has teamed up with medical device maker Zimmer Biomet on a new app that runs on the Apple Watch that aims to gather data on patients who have had knee or hip replacements.... Read more...
Garmin has announced a new wearable that has some very cool tracking capabilities called the vivosmart 4. The device is very slim, and the coolest feature of the wearable is that it has a wrist-based pulse oximeter. A pulse oximeter is a medical device that can track oxygen saturation or the amount of oxygen that is in your blood. Oxygen saturation is a key indicator of many health-related issues, especially at night. Low levels of blood oxygen during sleep is a key indicator of potentially serious sleep problems like sleep apnea. The vivosmart 4 can monitor oxygen levels at night allowing users to monitor health conditions and energy levels. Along with the pulse ox integrated into the wearable,... Read more...
Engineers and researchers are constantly on the lookout for new ways to find problems inside the human body that allow doctors to determine what's going on internally without having to resort to cutting. A team from the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) led by Professor Dina Katabi is working on a new wireless system that the team likens to an in-body GPS system called ReMix. The system is designed specifically to locate ingestible implants inside the body using a low-power wireless signal from outside the body. MIT Prof. Dina Katabi The idea is that the ReMix wireless system could allow medical personnel to determine the exact location of ingestible implants... Read more...
We talked not too long ago about a study that had found that the Apple Watch might be usable for detecting high blood pressure and sleep apnea, thanks to the sensitivity of its heart rate monitor and an accompanying app. This week marks the first actual FDA approved accessory for the Apple Watch that is able to monitor health conditions, which just so happens to be the KardiaBand by AliveCor. The device is a personal electrocardiogram or EKG. The KardiaBand connects to the Apple Watch like any other accessory band, but it has tech inside that allows the wearer to discreetly take their heart rate and capture EKG data from nearly anywhere. The band is reportedly able to quickly detect a normal... Read more...
We have been talking about benefits of machine-learning investments for quite some time. There's simply an incredible amount of potential and opportunities that can come from these learning machines - especially where the medical field is concerned. IBM's Watson might have been one of the first major computers to be used in this way, but the number of dedicated learning machines out there continues to grow by the day. The human body (and the systems of any living thing, in general) is seriously complex. Doctors can do their best to diagnose issues, but as a mere mortal, there's just no guarantee that they'll be able to correctly detect all ailments, especially when diagnosing certain issues in... Read more...
For decades, one of the most-studied and elusive cures in medical science has been biotechnology that would allow humans to walk again after spinal cord trauma. Other prosthetic devices have advanced enormously over the last 50 years, thanks to the integration of miniaturized motors, space-age materials, and cutting edge fabrication, while repairing damage to the nervous system has advanced at a comparative snail's pace. Now, a group of researchers has demonstrated a new device that allows paralyzed rats to walk again, and they're hoping it can do the same for humans. To understand the significance of this new device, dubbed the e-Dura, we need to talk a bit about the underlying problem. When... Read more...
Google is responsible for a lot of things that have made our lives better. Better search, better email, and one impressive mobile operating system. But beyond its commercial success sits a research department that's doing fascinating stuff. Project Loon is helping rural areas around the globe receive Internet for the first time, and it appears that Google's fixation on health is going to extend well beyond a simple app. The company's Google X division has announced a project whereby researchers are building nanoparticles that "combine a magnetic material with antibodies or proteins that can attach to and detect other molecules inside the body." The goal? To enable patients to simply swallow a... Read more...
If ever you were concerned that you may not yet be living in the future, allow Google to assuage those fears. The company's famed X division -- the one where all of the super secret projects develop -- has just announced a new smart contact lens initiative. Yes, a contact lens from Google. Interestingly enough, the project isn't at all what you may expect from the name. It's hardly the in-eye approach to Google Glass. Instead, it's being engineered as a contact lens that boasts an internal computer chip that can measure glucose levels in tears. The lens is built more for diabetic individuals than anything else, using a wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor that are embedded between two... Read more...
When IBM’s Watson supercomputer proved that the meatsack we call a human brain was inferior to its robot intellect on TV’s Jeopardy, it was an entertaining parlor trick-style PR stunt to show that Watson was capable of “learning”. Now, IBM is putting Watson to use in real life by deploying it in the medical field. According to a Forbes report, IBM has partnered with Memorial Sloan-Kettering and WellPoint to employ Watson to help doctors treat lung cancer patients. Hospitals can access Watson via the cloud or with their own small (not nearly the size of the beast we all saw on Jeopardy) server. The report notes further that Watson’s processing power has also since... Read more...
Tablets are a dime a dozen these days, but Memo is doing something very different with their offering. Instead of just butting heads with the iPad, this new Memo Touch tablet acts a new memory assistant that helps seniors with short-term memory loss maintain their independence and age in their own home. Introduced today, the custom software which operates on an Android tablet allows family members to provide their aging parent or loved one with reminders to manage everyday activities even when they are miles away. It's designed specifically for persons with memory loss and the people who care for them. Elders need no computer experience to use it. "If they can watch TV, they can use a Memo,"... Read more...
The so-called "silver tsunami" is coming, and there's nothing we can do to stop it. In order to ensure that the coming wave of baby boomers are well taken care of, medical outfitters the world over are working around the clock to crank out new technologies that can keep seniors out of nursing homes longer and independently functional. Some of the latest concoctions dreamed up by medical device manufacturers involve complex sensor systems that can be embedded into anything from carpet to bed sheets. For example, one Eva Olweea -- an 86-year old gal who was having trouble resting at night -- was cured of her restlessness after sensor-laden sheets informed watchful researchers that excessive bloating... Read more...
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