Giving Prosthetic Hands a Feeling Touch (Video)

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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.

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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?

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

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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.

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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?

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

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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.

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!

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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?

Informacio Medical Workstation Helps Doctors and Patients See Problems

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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.

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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?

Cancer Detection with Breathalyzer Device

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This week on Health Tech Weekly is a look at a potential cancer diagnosis breakthrough that could change the way we get the early jump on cancer. Researchers at Rey Juan Carlos University and Alcorcon Hospital in Madrid, Spain have discovered that people with certain kinds of oral and throat cancers release some unique levels of volatile chemicals.

Throat Cancers Give Off Volatile Organic Compounds

Breath-AnalyzerThese can be detected with a specially calibrated breathalyzer device similar to the one used by police to test potential intoxicated drivers. This works because human breath contains many different volatile organic compounds or VOCs and apparently, measuring the level of them may indicate different cancers including cancer of larynx.

The study was conducted with a group of patients with known throat cancer or cancer of the larynx and their results were compared to a group of people without cancer. The resulting VOC levels could be used to not only detect the presence of a cancer but also to detect the size of the tumor since apparently the larger the tumor the higher the levels of particular VOCs.

This and breakthroughs like it are important because a technology like this one is much less invasive and less expensive than imaging tests like CT scans and MRIs. Stay tuned here to Health Tech Weekly as I will continue to follow this story and others like it so that you have the latest health technology information out there.

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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?

New Light Sensitive Nanoparticles Deliver Meds Efficiently

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beautiful young woman with sun shape in sunscreenGood 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.

Light Triggered Medication Delivery

This week on Health Tech Weekly I bring you a look at a new technology that could revolutionize the way drugs are selectively delivered in the body. Imagine getting an injection once a month that will slowly dose you with a drug all month long. How do you know how much drug you get or need? You dial it in directly with a special “drug releasing” light.

This is what researchers at UC San Diego say they have developed. They developed an inexpensive way to use nano-particles infused with drugs in a water solution that when subjected to near-infrared light (NIR) become selectively permeable. That means that some of the drug leaks out into the surrounding tissues.

More Light, More Medication Delivered

How much drug depends on how long and how intense the infrared light is but you can see the potential to increase or decrease dosing as easily as setting a timer on a light. This could be used to deliver targeted drugs to a particular part of the body or release something slowly to the entire body.

One potential use cited in the article is to embed sunscreen in the polymers and as you get more sunlight, you release more sunscreen to the skin layers. It’s truly amazing and the applications are nearly boundless. I’ll bring you more on this as researchers continue to develop this technology.

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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?

Tao Wellness Using Isometric Exercise Tracking for Fitness

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Tao-Wellness-device-300x222Chris Montera, the Geekymedic attended CES 2014 with the Healthtech Weekly team to cover the Digital Health Pavilion there. While there he covered some of the latest in health and fitness tools and apps and Tao-Wellness is brand new. It’s a portable, mobile electronic device you can actually exercise with. Other fitness devices will enable you to track your steps and various levels of activity but only the Tao-Wellness device gives you a way to see you exercise in real time and track the effectiveness of that exercise.

When you think about how the Tao Wellness tool works, think about Pilates and Isometrics. The team at Tao Wellness calls it Variobics because they’re variable, measured and very active like aerobics. The Tao Wellness tool is a puck-like device that senses the pressure applied and coaches you through the level of exercise and force you put in to each of the various movements. Chris Montera interviews Philo Northrup as he demonstrates a pectoral exercise for the camera. It shows how the accompanying app works on a mobile device (iPad) coaching him through the form of the motion and pressure.

The patented Ta0-Wellness shell is a mobile gym and trainer that goes where you go, so you can exercise anywhere, anytime. It monitors your progress, then displays your fitness data (steps, miles, aerobic exercise, nutrition, sleep, etc.) and rewards your achievements.

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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?

Hospital Room of the Future From Intermountain Healthcare

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Have you ever wondered what the hospital room of the future might look like? The team at Intermountain Healthcare in Utah has taken steps to put that future into reality today. Dr. Valdes and Health Tech Weekly guest host Chris Montera take a tour of the Intermountain Healthcare booth while at the International CES conference recently in Las Vegas.

The system used in the room features the tiny yet powerful computers from Xi3 corporation to give the greatest computing power in a very small footprint. It’s perfect for health care and other business settings where space and portability is at a premium. The Xi3 computers are found supporting patient care information and entertainment systems, nurses’ workstations, tele health communication systems for remote monitoring and much, much more.

Check out the additional coverage from CES this year over at our partner network, TPN.tv (Tech Podcast Network).

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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?

Inbody System Helps Individuals Manage Their Weight and Health

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Health Tech Weekly guest host Chris Montera, the Geekymedic, checks in at the InBody booth at the International CES conference’s digital health pavilion. Obesity is a health issue facing much of the industrialized world. Having a way to monitor, define problem areas, and create targeted goals for weight loss is an important part of treating this epidemic. InBody systems from BioSpaceis leading the way in body composition monitoring.

The InBody system and parent company Biospace has made the terms “body composition” and “body fat” popular in helping to define the source of the problem. The prevention of obesity hinges on reduction and control of body fat. The InBody test is a commonly given body composition analysis that is increasing in popularity. Understanding and knowledge of the underlying problem gives the person power to devise a targeted weight loss and fitness program.

The InBody system, made by Biospace uses a unique 8-point tactile electrode method to determine body composition. It has received FDA approval for use in the United States. The accuracy and quality of the device’s findings is key to developing a patient fitness profile that can be used to create a personalized program for improving body fat and wellness.

Check out the additional coverage from CES this year over at our partner network, TPN.tv (Tech Podcast Network).

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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?

Reebok Checklight Measure Force of Head Impact for Sports Concussion Awareness

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Checklight-reebok-concussion-detectorThe folks at Reebok are innovating the detection of potential sports related concussions with their brand new Checklight headband. Health Tech Weekly host Jamie Davis, the Podmedic stopped by the Reebok booth while at the International CES event “CES Unveiled” to see what they’ve developed to improve concussion and head injury awareness in sports.

The Reebok  CHECKLIGHT™ is a brand new wearable sensor athletes can put on under their caps or helmets to detect any impacts to the head. CHECKLIGHT™ then alerts athletes, coaches, athletic trainers and parents to the severity of impacts that occur.

Jamie got a chance to chat with Paul from Reebok about how the CHECKLIGHT™ works. The CHECKLIGHT device is worn under any helmet or sports cap attached to a thin skullcap. They also have a sweatband version for sports and activities without helmets like soccer, rugby or field hockey.

Plus, the CHECKLIGHT is really simple to read for coaches, trainers and parents. It has three lights on the back of the band. Green indicates no significant impact, yellow alerts to a moderate impact and red signals a potentially significant impact. Paul notes that the device doesn’t show the presence or diagnosis of injury. It’s not a medical device, just a tool that provides a measurement of the force received by the head. The CHECKLIGHT can be used by parents, coaches and trainers to indicate whether further medical evaluation might be needed.

The CHECKLIGHT™ is available now on Reebok’s website for $149.98. Check it out!

Check out the additional coverage from CES this year over at our partner network, TPN.tv (Tech Podcast Network).

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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?