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Category Archives: Medical

Nail Trepanation Made Easy With The Pathformer

nail trepanation pathformer

By David Ponce

There you go. What better way to start the day and enjoy your coffee/breakfast than by looking at some gross medical pictures? Huh? This sight for sore eyes is a nail being Trephinated (aka trepanated, etc) by the Pathformer, a tool specifically designed for this task. Trepanation is the act of drilling holes, basically, and it seems that if you smash your nails real hard, and get subungal hematoma (black toe), it might do you some good to do just that. The little holes allow the pooled blood to pour out and relieve the painful pressure.

The Pathfinder

creates a microconduit in skin or nail within a specified depth range. The scissioning tool continually measures the resistance with reference to a skin electrode. This ensures the halting of the procedure when the lowering resistance reaches a preset value.

Fully open pathways can be painlessly scized (cut) through the stratum corneum of the skin or the nail. Microconduits, 300-500 microns in diameter, are produced within seconds and without sensation.

[Patherformer Website] VIA [Medgadget]

Acu-Point Pen

Acu-Point Pen (Image courtesy SkyMall)By Andrew Liszewski

Depending on where you stand in terms of the actual benefits of acupuncture this may seem like the greatest device ever or you may choose to spend your money on a big box of placebos instead. Either way I’m definitely no expert on acupuncture or for that matter really know the first thing about it besides seeing it performed once in a cartoon so I won’t jump to any conclusions.

That being said the Acu-Point pen apparently uses specially designed electronic acupuncture probes which can simulate a traditional acupuncture treatment in the comfort of your own home. Using the built-in LCD screen you can diagnose ailments or pinpoint specific areas of your body that are cause for concern simply by passing the Acu-Point pen over your palm. The power of 2000 years of ancient Chinese medicine is also powered by 2 AAA batteries which are included.

The Acu-Point Pen is currently available from Gadget Universe for $99.95.

[Acu-Point Pen]

Spenco MTB Heat Wave Glove

Spenco MTB Heat Wave Glove (Image courtesy Spenco)By Andrew Liszewski

Here I am feeling guilty for sitting at a computer all day and worrying about the inevitable carpal tunnel syndrome when it turns out that even those living an extreme lifestyle like off-road mountain bikers share the same risks.

Typically after a long trek off-road riders can experience numbness in their hands due to constant vibrations from the bike rattling the carpal tunnel or median nerve in their hand. The MTB Heat Wave glove helps drastically reduce the amount of vibration hitting this nerve thanks to strategically placed gel pads.

The Spenco MTB gloves with this patented ‘Shock-Tek’ technology currently come in 3 versions. The ‘Trail Pro’ which is a standard model, the ‘Heat Wave’ which is designed with extra ventilation for warm days and the ‘Cold Snap’ which has additional fleece lining for those cold spells. Depending on the specific size or model the MTB gloves all run between $30-40.

[Spenco MTB Heat Wave Glove] VIA [Popular Science]

Nerve-Express, An Expensive Health Monitoring Pocket PC

pocket pc nerve expressBy David Ponce

Looks like $5,000 just doesn’t have the same mileage it used to. For this tidy sum, you can purchase a package from company Heart Rhythm Instruments called Pocket-PC Nerve Express. It includes an iPaq, a Polar belt (to be fixed firmly around one?s chest) and a transducer. You are then to go out in the wilderness (or the comfort of your treadmill) and put your health to the test. The device and software will then assess your heart rate variability, an apparently essential determinant of your level of physical fitness.

At this price, you may as well try and turn it into a microbusiness of sorts. Like, standing on a street corner, trying to convince passersby to strap themselves in, and determine their level of fitness, for $10 a pop.

Cause, after you’ve done the test once or twice… what’s the point?

[Pocket-PC Nerve Express] VIA [Gearlog]

SteriPEN – UV Water Purifier

SteriPEN (Image courtesy Magellan's)By Andrew Liszewski

UV light has long been used to rid drinking water of bacteria and other dangerous elements without the need for chemicals, boiling or other harsh treatments.

You can now make sure the water you’re drinking is clean and sterile no matter where you are with the SteriPEN purifier. Just gently stir your glass of water with the handheld device for about a minute and your beverage will be disinfected and ready to drink. The SteriPEN is powered by 4 AA batteries and can purify about 16 oz of water at a time.

The SteriPEN is currently available from Magellan’s for about $280 (after currency conversion.)

[SteriPEN] VIA [Shiny Shiny]

Wearable UV Meter

Wearable UV Meter (Image courtesy The Andrew Liszewski

Sure everyone hates being indoors when the sun is shining but besides the light and warmth it brings it also has a dark side. The sun’s UV rays bring sunburns, can lead to cataracts and in the worst case scenario can cause skin cancer. As a result it’s important to be aware of how long that bright glowing star can safely be enjoyed.

This wearable UV meter takes the guess work out of how long it’s safe to be outside. It measures the strength of the sun’s UV rays and with an easy to read LCD screen lets you know what the current temperature is, your recommended sun exposure time, the recommended sun protection factor based on the current conditions, how long you’ve already been in the sun and most importantly when it’s time to head indoors. It has an ‘anti-splash’ design so while not completely waterproof it’s still usable at the beach or poolside.

The Wearable UV Meter is available from The for about $23.00 (after conversion.)

[Wearable UV Meter] VIA [Gadget Candy]

Portable Radiation Detector

Portable Radiation Detector (Image courtesy ThinkGeek)By Andrew Liszewski

Radiation is a fact of life. It exists everywhere and is pretty much inescapable. Unless of course you choose to live out your days in a lead box. Otherwise if you’re concerned about particularly high doses of radiation the Portable Radiation Detector could give you some peace of mind.

A sensitive microprocessor samples the air 32,768 times a second looking for the presence of gamma-ray, beta, fast-neutron and x-ray radiation. If levels rise above 75 milliRoentgens an hour (mR/hr) an LED will flash, and the detector will beep. Low levels will result in a long-long beep, medium levels in a long-short beep and high levels in a short-short beep. The unit will monitor for radiation 24/7 and will run for about 6 months on an included CR2032 lithium-ion battery which is replaceable.

The Portable Radiation Detector is now available from ThinkGeek for $99.

[Portable Radiation Detector]

SmartPill pH.p Capsule

SmartPill pH.p Capsule (Image courtesy SmartPill)By Andrew Liszewski

The usual method of examining the intestines involves the use of a camera in a procedure that I can only imagine is far from comfortable. Imagine this examination conducted on an outpatient basis, where you’re free to carry on your daily activities throughout the procedure.

The pH.p capsule from SmartPill is a high-tech pill that will monitor the pressure, temperature and pH of the patient’s intestines while the pill passes through the body. Using low power RF carrier frequencies the data that is collected is transmitted to the SmartPill Data Receiver which is carried by the patient over the course of the ‘examination.’ The process usually takes about 72 hours and during that time the patient is required to press an ‘event’ button on the receiver during times of exercise, meals or bowel movement. Once the information from the receiver is uploaded to a computer the doctor is able to graph the data over time paying particular attention to the ‘event’ times to help make a proper diagnosis.

The most important feature of the pH.p capsule of course is the following; “The single-use capsule is excreted naturally from the body, usually within a day or two, without pain or discomfort.”

[SmartPill pH.p Capsule] VIA [Strange New Products]

GE Logiq Book XP – Portable Ultrasound

GE Logiq Book XP (Image courtesy GE Healthcare website)By Andrew Liszewski

It’s not just how much training an athlete has that decides who gets Olympic medals. There is still quite a bit of chance that comes into play, and of course this can include injuries. A team’s support staff of doctors and physicians can oftentimes be vital to success.

One of the newest tools the British Olympians relied on at the 2006 Winter games was the GE Logiq Book XP portable ultrasound. Weighing in at just over 11lbs and looking like a beefed-up laptop, the Logiq Book is the world’s smallest portable ultrasound unit. All of it’s components can fit easily in a backpack allowing it to be on-site in the event an injury occurs. The Logiq Book can also transmit scans in real-time to any hospital if a second opinion is required on whether or not an athlete can safely return to competition.

[GE Logiq Book XP] VIA [gizmag]