GE Healthcare Vscan Portable Pocket Ultrasound Tool (Video)

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GE Healthcare Vscan UltrasoundI got the opportunity to sit down with Ajay Parkhe, General Manager of Primary Care Ultrasound for GE Healthcare to talk about the V-Scan portable ultrasound recently. Check out this tool that could be changing the way your physician or nurse practitioner assesses and manages your care outside of the hospital setting soon.

The V-Scan is a pocket-sized portable touch-screen device that has many of the capabilities of a full sized ultrasound machine at the hospital. The difference is your primary care provider can examine you right away in their office without you having to take extra time off work, make another appointment and then wait even longer to find out what’s wrong with you!

GE Healthcare’s innovative pocket-sized ultrasound features the first of its kind dual probe that houses two transducers in one probe. The Vscan with Dual Probe transforms physical exams to help enable and deepen efficient triage, fast workflow, and helps deepen patient connection. This intuitive device provides a non-invasive look inside the body, with both shallow and deep views, that helps speed diagnostic decisions for a wide range of clinical applications.

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That will wrap up this episode of Health Tech Weekly. Make sure you follow up over at our website, HTWeekly.com, for more information on this and all of our episodes. There are additional resource links, links to trusted resources for living a healthier lifestyle and more. If you have a comment on this week’s episode please get back in touch with me either over at HTWeekly.com in comment links for each article or shoot me an email at podmedic@mac.com.

High Tech Nicotine Patch Changes Doses When You Need It (video)

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This week on the Health Tech Weekly show we look at a breakthrough in the war to quit smoking. The folks at Chrono Therapeutics have come up with a way to deliver a targeted dose of nicotine via a smart patch technology so that people can up the nicotine dose when they have the biggest craving to smoke. Standard nicotine patches deliver a constant low dose of nicotine that doesn’t compensate for those times when people are dealing with their biggest nicotine cravings, during times of high stress, or after meals for instance.

SmartStop Nicotine Dosing System

chronodosescienceUsing a dosing reservoir, a tiny micro pump and a drug-metering membrane, they are able to deliver a larger dose based on the setting of the delivery device directly to the surface of the skin where it can be absorbed. The SmartStop device can be worn using an armband similar to those worn to hold iPods for runners, or it can be attached via an adhesive patch. The drug reservoir is replenished with replaceable cartridges and the rest of the device is reusable.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that smoking caused 100 million deaths in the 20th century. If current trends continue, totals could rise to a billion deaths in the 21st century. With 1 billion current smokers world-wide new solutions are needed to address the growing death rates from smoking-related diseases.

The smoking epidemic is a serious public health issue with pproximately one person dying every six seconds due to tobacco, accounting for one in 10 adult deaths. Something needs to be done beyond the 40 year-old technology of patches and gum. SmartStop might just be the thing to do it.

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That will wrap up this episode of Health Tech Weekly. Make sure you follow up over at our website, HTWeekly.com, for more information on this and all of our episodes. There are additional resource links, links to trusted resources for living a healthier lifestyle and more. If you have a comment on this week’s episode please get back in touch with me either over at HTWeekly.com in comment links for each article or shoot me an email at podmedic@mac.com.

Health Tech Weekly Joins GNC Ohana (Family)

GNC_LogoYou may notice that the Health Tech Weekly site looks different all of the sudden. I’m very pleased to announce that HT Weekly has joined the Ohana (family) over at Geek News Central (GeekNewsCentral.com). Todd Cochrane has been leading the charge with the best in tech coverage for many years and he’s one of my favorite podcasters. When he says “If it’s Tech, it’s here” he means it!

Also on the Geek News Central Podcast family of shows is the New Media Show (with Todd Cochrane and Rob Greenlee), the Gadget Professor (with Don Baine), The Elder Divide (with Todd Aune), and Robot Underpants (with Baron Mat “Langley” Luschek, Eric Rice and “Starman” Michael Gaines). All of these are family-friendly, tech focused shows covering different spaces in the tech marketplace. I urge you to check out these other programs in the Geek News Central Family.

In the meantime, nothing will change here at Health Tech Weekly. I’ll still be bringing you the best and latest in health technology including the annual trip to the CES International conference and the Digital Health Pavilion there. Stay tuned for more!

Healthier Drivers Thanks to Your Car (video)

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Good day and welcome to Health Tech Weekly, the show on technology that helps create a healthier you! I’m your host Jamie Davis, the Podmedic. Before we get into this week’s health tech item, make sure you head over to our site at HTWeekly.com for links to everything covered in this episode, contact information and more. Also, Health Tech Weekly is a proud member of the Tech Podcast Network, if it’s tech it’s here at TPN.tv.

Cars of the Future Monitor Driver Health

harken_schemeSo how cool would it be if your car could monitor your health while you’re driving? Pretty cool, right? Enter the Harken project over at Harken.ibv.org. They understand that many motor vehicle accidents happen due to driver fatigue. People fall asleep while driving or just become drowsy and less attentive all the time.

According to data collected in the EU, almost 10% of all crashes can be attributed to driver fatigue. The stats are similar here in the U.S. and lead to thousands of highway deaths each year. If only we could do something to fight this fatigue and recognize it before it became a problem.

Sensors Implanted in Seatbelts

The folks at the Harken project have discovered that by implanting heart and respiratory sensors in the seatbelt straps of a normal car, they could monitor the driver’s heart and breathing rates and see when they were devolving into a pattern that would lead to drowsiness. They’ve already been able to create sensors that can detect heart rate and breathing patterns while not being affected by the movement of the car or the driver’s normal body motion.

Now the task is to take that monitoring and determine when a person is getting tired and falling asleep. That is where they are in the project now. The exciting part of this is that within the next 5 or 10 years, this technology could be standard issue for long-haul truck drivers, police and EMS personnel and anyone else who spends a lot of time behind the wheel. It will also eventually show up in our own cars someday, making the roads safer for all of us and reducing the number of deaths from fatigued and drowsy driving.

Stay tuned for more updates in a future episode here on Health Tech Weekly!

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That will wrap up this episode of Health Tech Weekly. Make sure you follow up over at out website, HTWeekly.com, for more information on this and all of our episodes. There are additional resource links, links to trusted resources for living a healthier lifestyle and more. If you have a comment on this week’s episode please get back in touch with me either over at HTWeekly.com in comment links for each article or shoot me an email at podmedic@mac.com.

I’m your host Jamie Davis, the Podmedic. I’ll be back soon with more health technology for you. In the meantime, remember that improving health takes small, simple steps that over time all add up to a healthier you. Why don’t you take a healthier step today?

Gene Therapy for the Heart Replaces Mechanical Pacemaker (video)

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Good day and welcome to Health Tech Weekly, the show on technology that helps create a healthier you! I’m your host Jamie Davis, the Podmedic. Before we get into this week’s health tech item, make sure you head over to our site at HTWeekly.com for links to everything covered in this episode, contact information and more. Also, Health Tech Weekly is a proud member of the Tech Podcast Network, if it’s tech it’s here at TPN.tv.

Speeding Up A Slowing Heart

DNA_chain_greenThis week on Health Tech Weekly I am excited to bring you some new information on breakthroughs in gene therapy. Specifically, gene therapy for people with heart conditions. Currently when you have certain kinds of heart conditions where the cardiac muscle has become damaged and can’t beat effectively on it’s own, you can get an implanted pacemaker which reads the heartbeat and determines if the beat is fast enough. If it’s not, the pacemaker sends an electrical charge to the heart muscle causing it to contract and beat.

Some scientists would like to do something a little less invasive than putting a battery pack the size of a deck of cards in a person’s chest. The gang at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in LA have come up with a possible biological solution to the problem with an implanted gene that would create a pacemaker in the heart itself to speed up the heartbeat in people with one that is too slow.

Permanent Pacemaker Fix

They have made this work in pigs hearts, where they inject a gene called TBX18 into a pigs heart and the heartbeat speeds up for the duration of the study. This could be a lot let invasive than a full surgical implantation of a current mechanical pacemaker and battery pack. This type of therapy also is promising for infants with heart conditions since they are not able to put full sized pacemakers in them until they are nearly adults.

This might mean that a slow heartbeat could be cured forever without risk of mechanical failure, infection or having to replace batteries every 10 years. Cool! I’ll bring you more on this and other cutting edge gene therapy in future episodes here on the show so stay tuned here to Health Tech Weekly!

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That will wrap up this episode of Health Tech Weekly. Make sure you follow up over at out website, HTWeekly.com, for more information on this and all of our episodes. There are additional resource links, links to trusted resources for living a healthier lifestyle and more. If you have a comment on this week’s episode please get back in touch with me either over at HTWeekly.com in comment links for each article or shoot me an email at podmedic@mac.com.

I’m your host Jamie Davis, the Podmedic. I’ll be back soon with more health technology for you. In the meantime, remember that improving health takes small, simple steps that over time all add up to a healthier you. Why don’t you take a healthier step today?

Technology to Isolate Hospital Rooms With Ebola Virus Patients

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This week on Health Tech Weekly I thought I would address the concerns many of you have voiced recently about the way we can protect ourselves from infections like Ebola. This starts with the technology that hospitals like Emory University in Atlanta are using to manage the two Ebola patients there.

Ebola Not As Contagious As You Think

Ebola virusFirst off, the Ebola virus can’t be contracted through casual contact, it requires the exchange of body fluids, usually blood. That said, it is usually 90% fatal and requires some special attention to detail when getting prepared to manage these patients. First off, the simplest technology is often the most effective. This includes hospital staff wearing gloves, a gown, eye protection and a mask to keep fluids away from their skin and mucous membranes.

The hospital rooms themselves are set up to isolate the patient from the rest of the building. The rooms are built with negative airflow pressure. This means that the air pressure from the ventilation system is greater outside of the room so that all air flows in and not out when a door is opened into the patient care areas. The air that ventilates the room is also completely separate from the rest of the hospital, keeping the patients further isolated from the community and the air from the room is scrubbed before it is released outside the hospital.

Monitored Constantly By People

Even the simplest technology needs to be monitored so the hospital room has a human monitor set up outside the staging area to ensure that all people who will enter the room adhere to the strict isolation procedures like putting on the correct protective clothing and wearing it all correctly before they go in to treat the patients. Then all of the disposable gowns and gear from the room will be disposed of through incineration after it leaves the room in sealed containers. So that’s it! That’s how we’ll protect everyone from the Ebola virus  and other infectious diseases now and in the future.

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That will wrap up this episode of Health Tech Weekly. Make sure you follow up over at out website, HTWeekly.com, for more information on this and all of our episodes. There are additional resource links, links to trusted resources for living a healthier lifestyle and more. If you have a comment on this week’s episode please get back in touch with me either over at HTWeekly.com in comment links for each article or shoot me an email at podmedic@mac.com.

I’m your host Jamie Davis, the Podmedic. I’ll be back soon with more health technology for you. In the meantime, remember that improving health takes small, simple steps that over time all add up to a healthier you. Why don’t you take a healthier step today?

21st Century 3D Printed Cadavers (video)

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This week on Health Tech Weekly I bring you a look at a new technology that is continuing to revolutionize how we innovate medicine and healthcare. I’m talking about 3D printing. You may remember our story a while back about a 3D printed prosthetic hand that was used for a boy who couldn’t afford one of the traditional manufactured ones. Someone must’ve looked at that story and decided they could do even better.

Australian Researchers Print 3D Body

Example of scaling up or scaling down a 3D print. (A) A full size upper limb prosection shown; (B) reduction at 50%; (C) reduction at 25%; (D) the inner ear of a colobus monkey derived from segmented data extracted from a microCT data obtained from a dried skull at full size; (E) 500% enlargement of the same specimen.

Example of scaling up or scaling down a 3D print. (A) A full size upper limb prosection shown; (B) reduction at 50%; (C) reduction at 25%; (D) the inner ear of a colobus monkey derived from segmented data extracted from a microCT data obtained from a dried skull at full size; (E) 500% enlargement of the same specimen.

A team of researchers at Monash University in Australia decided to print a complete and accurate human cadaver in a 3D printer. This could totally change medical education. The use of cadavers in medical education has been the traditional way for educators to pass on anatomical knowledge to students in health careers.

The challenge has always been that the supply of donated human remains has always been limited meaning that cadavers are expensive and pretty much limited to medical schools and some high end nursing programs. If we could print anatomically correct body parts that could be easily dissected and reassembled, then more health professionals would be able to have access to this valuable learning tool.

The printed cadaver comes in a kit form with 3D rendered files from real CT scans or from surface laser scanning of a real body part. So think about it. If you’re studying the muscles of the arm, then you just print the arm. Eventually you’ll have a whole 3D body to look at with realistic tendons, veins, arteries, muscles and bone. So ask your doctor the next time you see them what they think of training on a 3D cadaver for medical school.

Link to Full Journal Article.

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That will wrap up this episode of Health Tech Weekly. Make sure you follow up over at out website, HTWeekly.com, for more information on this and all of our episodes. There are additional resource links, links to trusted resources for living a healthier lifestyle and more. If you have a comment on this week’s episode please get back in touch with me either over at HTWeekly.com in comment links for each article or shoot me an email at podmedic@mac.com.

I’m your host Jamie Davis, the Podmedic. I’ll be back soon with more health technology for you. In the meantime, remember that improving health takes small, simple steps that over time all add up to a healthier you. Why don’t you take a healthier step today?

Figure 1 is Like Instagram for Doctors and Nurses (Video)

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Josh_Landy_ScreenshotThis week on Health Tech Weekly I bring you a special interview with Dr. Josh Landy, the originator of a new social media app created just for health care professionals so they can share images and information safely and securely while protecting patient confidentiality. Think of it as Instagram for doctors and nurses. Here’s that interview with Dr. Josh Landy.

Josh created Figure 1, a new photo sharing app designed specifically for nurses, doctors and medical students. The idea behind Figure 1 is that there is a wealth of knowledge that can be tapped into by capitalizing on daily social media behavior. With privacy a concern, Figure 1 protects the patient by instantly removing all identifying features from the photo. Here’s a special interview and look at the Figure 1 app with Dr. Josh Landy!

Figure 1 App on iOS

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That will wrap up this episode of Health Tech Weekly. Make sure you follow up over at out website, HTWeekly.com, for more information on this and all of our episodes. There are additional resource links, links to trusted resources for living a healthier lifestyle and more. If you have a comment on this week’s episode please get back in touch with me either over at HTWeekly.com in comment links for each article or shoot me an email at podmedic@mac.com.

I’m your host Jamie Davis, the Podmedic. I’ll be back soon with more health technology for you. In the meantime, remember that improving health takes small, simple steps that over time all add up to a healthier you. Why don’t you take a healthier step today?

JHU Students Create Better Shirt Defibrillator (Video)

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jhu-shock-shirt-1This week on Health Tech Weekly I bring you a look at new wearable technology that could save your life or the life of someone you love. Students at Johns Hopkins University’s biomedical engineering program have developed a light-weight, easy to wear shirt that can shock a person’s heart back to a normal rhythm if it detects a life threatening change in the way the heart beats, called an arrhythmia.

This system could be used by patients at risk for a life threatening heart attack and would be a way to protect them before they get an implanted defibrillator inside their chest. There is already a wearable defibrillator on the market but recent studies showed that many of the patients given these devices didn’t wear it because it was bulky and uncomfortable. The students took that as a challenge to create a more user friendly, wearable defibrillator shirt that users would actually tolerate.

Article on Wearable Shirt Defibrillator

jhu-shock-shirt-2This is a common problem with patients with chronic issues that require them to wear or use medical devices to keep them healthy. They don’t comply with the requirements of the device or don’t take their medication because of side effects. So medical researchers and engineers are constantly looking for ways to improve these devices so that patients will be more likely to live with them and use them as intended.

These students at Johns Hopkins University took that challenge to heart, literally, and created a better defibrillator shirt. Tests are currently underway to see if more patients tolerate wearing the newer, lighter shirt around the clock. This will allow more patients to survive the time it takes to get them in to surgery to get an implanted defibrillator permanently put in their chests. Kudos to these bio-engineers!

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That will wrap up this episode of Health Tech Weekly. Make sure you follow up over at out website, HTWeekly.com, for more information on this and all of our episodes. There are additional resource links, links to trusted resources for living a healthier lifestyle and more. If you have a comment on this week’s episode please get back in touch with me either over at HTWeekly.com in comment links for each article or shoot me an email at podmedic@mac.com.

I’m your host Jamie Davis, the Podmedic. I’ll be back soon with more health technology for you. In the meantime, remember that improving health takes small, simple steps that over time all add up to a healthier you. Why don’t you take a healthier step today?

Dad Creates Artificial Pancreas for Son Using Smart Phone (Video)

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artificial pancreas setupThis week on Health Tech Weekly we bring you another update in the continuing search for better treatments for patients with Type 1 or insulin dependent diabetes. A group of researchers from Boston University and Massachusetts General Hospital are working together to make automated blood glucose control a reality.

It all started with a father whose son is a Type 1 diabetic. The difference between this father and many others around the world is that this particular father is also a biomedical engineer and that gives him the tools to try to come up with a solution to the challenges faced by his son. Ed Damiano knows that his son’s pancreas doesn’t work correctly so it doesn’t release the insulin or glucagon into his system to manage his blood sugar. These are the hormones that regulate blood sugar in a healthy person.

Artificial Pancreas Site

Damiano wondered if there was a way to create a bionic pancreas that would automatically regulate the release of these hormones into his son. Insulin and glucagon pumps exist now but they all require manual input from the user to regulate the release of the medicine based on how much food was consumed or the types of activities the person was going to engage in. What if you could take the manual input out of the loop and let a small super computer monitor and manage blood sugar levels?

Damiano and his team from Boston University and Massachusetts General Hospital came up with a system that uses a dual Insulin/Glucagon pump coupled with a constant blood sugar monitoring implant that communicates with a smart phone. Yep, you heard that right. They created an app for that pancreas. The app reads blood sugar in near real time and sends signals to the pump to release either insulin or glucagon, depending on the reading.

This is an amazing breakthrough! They tested the device on 52 individuals and the system managed their blood sugar levels better than the people did on their own. More studies on a larger patient population are needed but the possibilities are really exciting. This could revolutionize the way that people with diabetes live with their chronic illness, making them have almost completely normal lives with this bionic pancreas. And it all started with one father saying, “What if. . . ?”

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That will wrap up this episode of Health Tech Weekly. Make sure you follow up over at out website, HTWeekly.com, for more information on this and all of our episodes. There are additional resource links, links to trusted resources for living a healthier lifestyle and more. If you have a comment on this week’s episode please get back in touch with me either over at HTWeekly.com in comment links for each article or shoot me an email at podmedic@mac.com.

I’m your host Jamie Davis, the Podmedic. I’ll be back soon with more health technology for you. In the meantime, remember that improving health takes small, simple steps that over time all add up to a healthier you. Why don’t you take a healthier step today?