Gene Therapy for the Heart Replaces Mechanical Pacemaker (video)

Play

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!

—-

Subscribe – Health Tech Weekly Show

itunesRSS

—-

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

Play

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.

—-

Subscribe – Health Tech Weekly Show

itunesRSS

—-

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)

Play

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.

—-

Subscribe – Health Tech Weekly Show

itunesRSS

—-

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)

Play

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

—-

Subscribe – Health Tech Weekly Show

itunesRSS

—-

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)

Play

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!

—-

Subscribe – Health Tech Weekly Show

itunesRSS

—-

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)

Play

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. . . ?”

—-

Subscribe – Health Tech Weekly Show

itunesRSS

—-

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?

Giving Prosthetic Hands a Feeling Touch (Video)

Play

Young man looking at his prosthetic hand over gray backgroundThis week on Health Tech Weekly we look at an amazing advancement in artificial limbs that many experts consider the “holy grail” of prosthetics. One thing that an artificial hand can’t do currently is have a sense of touch. People with an artificial limb can’t feel what they pick up or grasp. Well, not until now, anyway.

A group of researchers and engineers in Rome’s Gemelli Hospital have come up with a way to transmit a sense of touch to the user of a prosthetic hand to help them sense what they are trying to grasp and to moderate how much force they apply to hold on to the object. Think about how you pick up something with your natural hand. You use feedback from your fingers and skin of your hand to sense how much force is needed to hold on to the object. Prosthetic hands have not had this sense and so they can sometimes crush soft objects when picking them up because the user had to use their visual sense alone to determine how much force to apply.

Article on bionic sensing hand

The engineers and doctors implanted two tiny electrodes into the nerves in a volunteer amputee’s stump. When these electrodes were stimulated, the man said he felt like his fingers were moving proving that the nerves still worked. Then they created a robotic loop  between the electrodes and the prosthetic hand they developed that allowed the hand to communicate with the user. Suddenly, the man could sense the hardness and general shape of an object and adjust his grasp to hold on to things like a bottle or orange.

This is incredible and while it’s just a first step in a process to develop a fully functional sensing hand, you can start to see just how quickly the process is progressing. I truly believe that we are just a few years away from this being the standard of prosthetic for amputees and people with birth defects who don’t have functioning hands. I’ll keep on this story so stay tuned here to Health Tech Weekly in the future for more updates as this research continues to develop.

—-

Subscribe – Health Tech Weekly Show

itunesRSS

—-

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?

New Hope for Spine Injuries with Epidural Nerve Stimulator (video)

Play

universal wheel chair sign isolated on whiteThis week on Health Tech Weekly I take a look at a recent breakthrough for people with spinal cord injuries that offers hope for the future. I sincerely believe that opportunities for these people to walk and move around again on their own power is just around the corner! Scientists at the University of Louisville in Kentucky have broken ground that many consider to be the “holy grail” of spinal injury research, returning motor control to muscles and limbs that had previously been paralyzed. One researcher was doing a routine test with a paralyzed patient recently where she was using an electrical nerve stimulator to map nerve pathways in the limbs of paralyzed patients. She wasn’t trying to move anything, just map the pathways.

Article on Spinal Injury Breakthrough at CNN

Suddenly the patient said “Hey, I can move my toe!” Neuroscientist Susan Harkema was stunned. She asked him to do it again and to move the other foot. The patient could twitch toes on both feet voluntarily after years of paralysis. That was five years ago and now after further study with neurostimulators and focused physical therapy, every patient they’ve tried this on has gained returned movement to some degree including the ability to lift their legs, wiggle their toes and do sit-ups. This is huge, especially because it has worked on every single patient they’ve tried the treatment on.

The study was funded by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, in name of the actor who was paralyzed and later died following an equestrian accident. While the stimulator, implanted in the abdomen hasn’t led to walking patients, it has had other positive effects including improved bladder, bowel and sexual function. The improved mobility of lower extremities also led to better overall health with improved cardiovascular function. I think this research is amazing and I’ll keep you up to date on its progress in the future here on the show. We might soon see previously unrecoverable injuries being treated and in some cases healed through modern medical technology more and more frequently which makes our life saving efforts in the field when patients have terrible injuries even more important.

—-

Subscribe – Health Tech Weekly Show

itunesRSS

—-

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?

Helping Patients Who Can’t Talk Communicate with Family and Healthcare Team

Play

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.

instantvoiceThis week on Health Tech Weekly I have a special crossover segment from the Nursing Show that features a new tool to help patients who can’t talk to communicate with their caregivers anyway using a brand new software tool built just for these special patients in the hospital.

Instant Voice from Rose Medical Systems is a patented system that allows patients who have temporarily lost their ability to speak due to intubation, tracheotomy, stroke, surgery or other causes to be able to fully communicate with their doctors, nurses, caregivers, family and friends!

—-

Subscribe – Health Tech Weekly Show

itunesRSS

—-

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?

Informacio Medical Workstation Helps Doctors and Patients See Problems

Play

informacio-gifGood 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.

This week on Health Tech Weekly I bring you a special interview segment with the founder and CEO of PolarGreenLLC.com, Vincent Paglione, who is using crowd funding technology and a passion for improving health care to develop a brand new medical workstation for use by doctors, nurses and patients to better understand their health.

The Informacio Workstation incorporates award-winning wireless technology with modern design principles to create an unparalleled medical experience for patients and physicians. With an eye to the future, Informacio additionally creates a low-cost upgrade path for healthcare centers, allowing for the regular updating and integration of new technology. Here’s that segment with Vincent.

—-

Subscribe – Health Tech Weekly Show

itunesRSS

—-

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?