More Telemedicine and Digital Connections to Your Healthcare

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Midsection Of Shirtless Man And Heartbeat GraphThis week on the Health Tech Weekly Podcast we take another look at how telemedicine is helping to connect patients with their doctors without traveling hundreds of miles for appointments. Patients at Carle Hoopeston Regional Medical Center in Hoopeston, Illinois are now able to connect with their specialists over 50 miles away in Urbana using a telemedicine connection.

Small local hospitals around the country are seeing the same telemedicine improvements where they can get their specialist followup visits via this video phone connection, ask their doctor or nurse questions about their care and do it all relatively close to home. These local hospitals are also using other cutting edge technologies to leverage their community connections.

Carle Hoopeston is also using a smartphone app that patients can access and download. It allows them to connect to see emergency room wait times, followup appointment times and access their health records. All of these advancements are available because of the push to connect patients digitally and the initiatives to drive healthcare costs lower through innovative use of things like telemedicine connections.

Patients and healthcare providers both like the connection using big flatscreen TVs and HD web cameras. Some say it is just like being in the same room as the doctor. Look for technology like this soon in your community that will allow you to meet with your doctors closer to home and avoid traveling long distances and inconvenient trips to distant hospital centers.

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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.

Video Game Tech Teaches Parents and Children About Surgeries

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Stanford-heart-repair-screenshot3This week on the Health Tech Weekly Podcast I found a great article on new avenues for patient and family education that is really cool. New video game style technology is now being used to help educate children and their family members about upcoming surgeries and procedures thanks to an initiative started by Stanford Children’s Health in the San Francisco Bay area.

Stanford Children’s Health collaborated with Lighthaus, Inc. a company that creates video game style animations to create educational, interactive 3D videos that help families understand congenital heart defects and the procedures used in surgery to correct them. Families don’t often understand the complicated 12-hour surgery used to correct these defects. They just sign on the dotted line and trust the medical team. This is not really informed consent, nor do you have an educated patient or caregiver who can help with care after the surgery.

The use of this type of creative animation can be used help many different types of patients understand what is going on with their conditions and health. According to the article, because the video education program is interactive, it allows the patients and family members to “help” complete the procedure in the simulation and that interaction creates much deeper understanding about what is occurring in the surgery. I look for other creative patient education techniques to continue to crop up as technology becomes more and more available for such things.

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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.

Decoy Proteins Trick Cancer Cells To Stay In Place & Not Spread

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DNWord-StrandThis week on the Health Tech Weekly Podcast I have another exciting breakthrough in cancer treatment and management technology that might stop cancers from spreading throughout the body, allowing the cancer to be treated in it’s original location much more easily. The spread of cancer through the body from its original location is called metastasis. It’s often what makes cancer so hard to treat and ultimately fatal. So if scientists could find a way to stop that metastasis then we could get ahead of the cancer spread rather than constantly playing catchup.

That’s what the team at Stanford University did with their research into the way that the proteins Axl and Gas6 work together to help cancer spread through the body. Apparently when these proteins team up on the surface of cancer cells, they cause the cells to detach and move through the body to start cancer tumors or nodules elsewhere.

What the Stanford team did was create an Axl decoy protein that acts like the original version except it doesn’t allow the cell to detach from the tumor to travel around the body. This means that potentially, a cancer treatment team could inject these decoy proteins into the cancer patient while they are treating the original tumor through surgery, radiation or chemotherapy and slowing or stopping the spread of the tumor to other parts of the body.

Currently the treatment is showing promising results in laboratory mice with cancers, stopping the spread of new nodules by up to 78%. This type of genetic protein engineering is holding out hope for being a powerful new addition to the treatment of cancer buying the patient and treatment team valuable time to halt or slow the spread of the disease. Stay tuned here to Health Tech Weekly for more cancer treatment news in the future here on the show.

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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.

Vetigel Clots Blood Superfast for Your Pets

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This week on the Health Tech Weekly Podcast I have a brand new technology for you that will likely change the way healthcare professionals and emergency responders deal with stopping severe bleeding in just ten seconds. This amazing technology came from an unlikely source when then 17 year-old NYU student Joe Landolina discovered a unique protein gel that when injected into blood, it stops the bleeding quickly and safely.

College Contest Winner Starts Company

Vetigel-Stops-Bleeding-In-Seconds-2Joe won a contest as a college freshman and got the money to startup a new company around his discovery and invention called Suneris. The first application of the blood clotting gel is in the veterinary world with the product called VetiGel which is being tested by 1,000 vets right now.

The technology and discovery came from Joe’s work on a plant derived protein that in its gel form creates an extracellular matrix of proteins and sugars that imitates the cellular matrix of the tissue it’s placed on or in. So put it on skin and it acts like skin, put it on muscle and it acts like muscle, and put it in blood and it forms the clotting matrix of blood attracting fiber and proteins from the blood to its matrix and stopping bleeding fast.

Veterinary Practice First, Then Humans

According to the Suneris site description of VetiGel it is designed exclusively for veterinarians to stop internal and external bleeding. The gel activates blood’s natural clotting process and is made with biocompatible components that can be absorbed directly into the body. By reassembling onto a wound site, VETIGEL mimics the body’s extracellular matrix and accelerates the production of fibrin, which enables the body to clot rapidly.

I’m sure this will migrate to the human treatment world soon so stick around here at HTWeekly.com for more on this as the news is released in the future and if you know a vet, send them to the website. It might just be the thing that saves your pet’s life someday.

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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.

Wearable Pregnancy Monitor for Pregnant Moms-to-be from Drexel University Team

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This week on the Health Tech Weekly Podcast I have a brand new technology for women with at-risk pregnancy. Monitoring the health of the fetus remotely during pregnancy is a challenge. The existing ultrasound technology requires the patients to remain still during monitoring. But what if you could create a wearable contraction monitor that at-risk moms-to-be could still be out working or caring for their families while still being connected to the monitoring station? That’s what the folks at Drexel University decided to work on.

Pregnant_BlueBringing together people from multiple disciplines, the Drexel team has Tim Kurzweg a professor of electrical and computer engineering, Shima Seiki a professor of Fashion Design, and Dr. Owen Montgomery, OB-GYN chairman at Drexel University College of Medicine. That’s quite a cross disciplinary platform for research! They created a smart fabric that can be worn and connect the monitoring technology from the pregnant patient back to their Doctor’s office or hospital center. The fabric acts as both monitor and antenna using RFID technology. They are getting ready to test the monitor in a clinical trial of pregnant mothers.

This is exciting because this could revolutionize all sorts of remote monitoring setups. Adult heart monitoring, brainwave monitoring or almost anything else. Imagine going to the doctors office and getting a tight fitting t-shirt to wear for the next week while they collect data on your body. It’s just the beginning of an exciting time in medical fashion and fabric design. The Smart Fabric Belly Band is the first of its kind and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Stick around here and come back and check out future episodes here on the Health Tech Weekly show. I’ll be bringing you more on this as it continues to develop and be tested.

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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.

Mayo Clinic Direct to Patient Telemedicine Innovates Care (video)

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Mayo Clinic TelemedicineThis week on the Health Tech Weekly Podcast I have a look at a new use for an existing medical technology that may change the face of medical treatment for minor illnesses, aches and pains in the future. The folks at the Mayo Clinic have long been in the business of shaking up the medical treatment paradigm by finding new and innovative ways to manage health and wellness while treating illnesses. They have now implemented a new use for an existing medical technology called telemedicine.

This is where a doctor or nurse at a remote location can interact with healthcare professionals and patients in a different place and give their advice and treatment recommendations remotely. Usually this is confined to the hospital arena where rural hospitals can get the benefit of the expertise of specialists in large urban hospital centers. But the Mayo clinic thought outside the box and decided to experiment with a direct-to-patient model for telemedicine.

In their Austin, Texas offices, employees with a minor ache or pain can visit a telemedicine kiosk in the building called Mayo Connected Care. There is an HD web cam connected to a machine that can take pulse, blood pressure, and temperature. It can measure their height and weight as well as look in their mouth, throat and ears. It is being used for minor treatments just for the Mayo Clinic employees right now but if it’s successful, other companies might start using this technology because employees can get looked at without leaving the office and going to wait in a doctor’s office.

This can improve workplace productivity, health and wellness in so many ways. I look forward to more on the results of this technology in the near future. I’ll make sure to keep you up to date on the advancements in the program here on the Health Tech Weekly podcast!

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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.

New Laser Cancer Treatment Fluorescent Nanoparticle Research

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This week on the show we look at a recent breakthrough in cancer treatment that uses lasers and specially designed photo sensitive nanoparticles to seek out, light up and destroy cancer cells. The researchers at University of California, Riverside have been working with the folks at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to create a technology that has been used to find and target ovarian cancer cells in the laboratory.

A light show in disco club.They use a special medical imaging technology chemical called indocyanine green that is currently used for everything from determining cardiac output to liver function. Now that special infrared fluorescent dye is being used in the this new laser targeting cancer technology that may well change the way cancer is treated and ultimately cured. The indocyanine dye is special because it allows the deeper cells and structures to be visualized and imaged ultimately allowing those tissues to be targeted when cancer is present.

This technology is still a few years away from being used practically in human treatment but I think this may change the way we zero in on specific types of cancer and zap them with pinpoint targeted laser treatment rather than wasting away the whole body with radiation or chemotherapy. This means that cancer treatment doesn’t have to be worse than the cancer itself which is often the case with current treatment.

Stay tuned here to the Health Tech Weekly podcast for more on this and other cancer treatment breakthroughs in the future. I’ll bring them to you here on the show.

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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.

Old Health Tech Goes Hi-Tech With Leeches (video)

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Leeches_by_gloved_handThis week on the show I bring you a look at an old, even ancient technology brought to you as something new to help vascular surgeons reattach arteries to skin and amputated body parts. I’m talking about the time honored medical tool called leeches. Yes, I said leeches. They’re back and they are changing the way patients respond to vascular surgeries and putting amputated limbs and fingers back on with fewer complications.

Now these aren’t the leeches you’ll find in the backyard stream around much of the world. I’m talking about specially raised medical grade leeches from companies like Leeches USA where doctors and surgical centers can order their leeches in 100 leech batches online.

What the leeches do is break up blood clots and promote the flow of blood in newly attached regions of the body by releasing anti clotting chemicals and other beneficial proteins into the bloodstream of an affected area. After about 10 minutes the leech fills up with blood and just lets go. The best part is that their bite causes no pain because they have a natural anesthetic in their saliva that numbs the area as they latch on.

Doctors, especially vascular surgeons have been using leeches in the U.S. since 2004 and these little buggers have become popular and cost-effective medical tools since then. A single one-time-use leech treatment costs just $10 which is much cheaper than additional surgeries to enhance blood flow to grafted skin or body parts. So the next time you head for surgery, ask you doctor if they use leeches in their practice and demonstrate your knowledge of health technology both new and old!

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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.

Scrubbing Bubbles Break Stroke Blood Clots (video)

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brain-strokeThis week I bring you a look at a new stroke treatment that could change the way we help people with the emergency condition. Strokes happen when something blocks the flow of blood to a portion of the brain. This is usually caused by a blood clot, about 85% of the time.

When this type of stroke, called an ischemic stroke, occurs the typical treatment is to rush the patient to the emergency department and get them special drugs called clot busters administered. This has to be accomplished within the first few hours after the stroke to have an effect.

But what if we could do something to deal with that stroke even faster? That is what the folks at Vesselon have decided to do. They are proposing that ambulance crews, EMTs and paramedics, use their special ultrasound device to target likely spots in the brain where most stroke occur. Then the paramedic administers special IV fluids containing micro bubbles to the patient. When these micro bubbles reach the location of a clot and are stimulated by the special ultrasound waves, they act like the scrubbing bubbles in that bathroom cleaner commercial and break down the clot.

This treatment is minimally invasive, has few or no side effects and could be the difference between a long healthy life or prolonged disability and even death. This experimental treatment is in the development stages now but could be started with clinical trials soon in Toronto, Canada to determine the effectiveness in treatment by real field crews. Stay tuned because I’ll be following this technology closely since it represents one of the most exciting advances in stroke treatment in recent years.

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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.

Zinger is Powered Wheelchair of the Future (video)

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Zinger_lookOn this week’s episode of Health Tech Weekly, I thought I would bring you a look at the powered wheelchair of the future. Enter the Zinger! Now, it’s not currently available but should be in production soon.

The Zinger features super lightweight construction at just 38 pounds and a motor capable of carrying someone for 8 miles at 6 miles per hour. Current motorized wheelchairs are hundreds of pounds that require expensive customized minivans with ramps and lifts.

This high tech wheelchair is light enough and compact enough to fold up into a package that easily fits in the trunk of a car! There are also other exciting features including no side arm rests so that you can pull up to a table or desk to eat or work comfortably. It also steers using left and right hand levers so your can turn on a dime.

The Zinger website says it’s easy to learn and fun to drive this compact lightweight wheelchair. It even has a super slow learning mode for beginners if you’re worried about zooming off too quickly. I’ll stay on top of this new tool for powered chair users and try and let you know when it’s finally available for purchase but in the meantime, you can sign up for more info at ZingerChair.com.

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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.