Jscreen Helps Parents With Genetic Testing for Pregnancy (video)

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logo-jscreenThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration is stepping up efforts to ensure the reliability of certain diagnostic tests. This is especially important to thousands undergoing genetic testing every year. There’s also a movement towards increased testing to help fight the genetic diseases impacting Americans. Joining us to learn more about those initiatives are Dr. Jessica Spencer and Caroline Gold – whose daughter suffers from a rare genetic disease.

Genetic testing technology is changing the landscape of healthcare in many different ways. One way this is important is to inform couples trying to get pregnant what genetic disorders they may be carrying in their DNA and are at risk for passing on to their children. If both parents carry the same genetic disorder gene, they could pass that on to a child.

Parents in this position may opt to adopt a child or engage in in-vitro fertilization to screen embryos rather than run the risk of a baby having a devastating genetic disease. JScreen.org is a service for people  who are at increased risk for genetic diseases. Originally screening for just diseases associated with people of Jewish descent, they now screen for over 80 diseases for people of any ethnic background.

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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.

Cancer Treatment Advances and Blood Cancer Awareness Month (video)

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Every three minutes, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with a blood cancer and right now more than 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with, or in remission from, a blood cancer.  Unlike with other cancers, you cannot screen or prevent for most blood cancers.  But thanks to breakthrough research, survival rates for patients with many blood cancers have doubled, tripled and even quadrupled since the early 1960s.

logo_llsSince its inception 65 years ago, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has invested more than $1 billion to advance cancer therapies and save lives.  In that time, cures for many patients with acute lyphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and Hodgkin lymphoma have been achieved and the five-year survival rate for children with ALL jumped from 3 percent in 1964 to approximately 90 percent in 2014.

Check out this episode of the Health Tech Weekly Podcast where host Jamie Davis, the Podmedic interviews Dr. Louis DeGennaro, Ph.D. president and CEO of the LLS, and LLS Ambassador Jessica Melore who is herself a cancer survivor. They talk about  Blood Cancer Awareness Month in September and some of the key advancements and new treatments being pioneered by the LLS.

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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.

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?