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Category Archives: Medical

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]

Hospital Communicators

Hospital Communicator (Image courtesy BBC News website)By Andrew Liszewski

In yet another case of science-fiction meeting reality, health workers at the Royal Cornwall Hospital have started using small voice-activated badges that allow instant communication between the staff just by saying the person’s name or their department. A technology not unlike the communicators used by characters in ‘Star Trek TNG’.

Developed by BT Health, the BT Managed Vocera system is a huge improvement over cellphones, radios and even pagers. Since the badges are designed to be constantly worn, even important staff members who are often away from their desks or phones can instantly be contacted. And since the technology is all voice-activated, the staff no longer needs to memorise phone numbers or maintain lists of contact numbers in order to stay in touch with every department.

[Hospital Communicators] VIA [BBC News]

A Thermometer Pacifier

By David Ponce

You gotta love how easy it is to fool a baby. Take the Babyplane as an example.

And here’s one more. You want to take his temperature without having to jam gently insert a traditional thermometer in his mouth? Try this $10 thermometer pacifier from eGiggle.

[Thermometer Pacifier] VIA [Xataka]

Malaria Monitor Watch

malaria monitor wristwatchBy David Ponce

Not a truckload by way of information here, aside from a few snippets. The skinny is that this is a special wristwatch being developed by South African inventor Dr Gervan Lubbe. It’s special because it comes loaded with a tiny needle that automatically pricks you 4 times a day and analyses your blood, looking for malaria parasites. If the parasite level tops 50, you are supposed to take certain pills that will prevent you from either becoming freakishly sick, or freakishly dead.

Additionally, the watch will be able to transmit information to a central computer somewhere and alert health authorities who will then ensure that everyone at risk is also treated.

I imagine this to be for the type of person who enjoys doing some hardcore research deep in the jungles of someplace or other. It is expected to cost 1,700 rand, or about $280.

[C|Net Asia]