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Tag Archives: Medical

Student Invents Ultrasound Shoes For The Blind

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Blindness is, obviously, quite debilitating. But there are people out there working on developing tools that might make the lives of those deprived of sight just a bit easier. Argentinian student Juan Manuel Bustamante has developed a pair of shoes that uses ultrasound to help a blind person navigate his environment, removing the need for a cane. Dubbing his invention ‘Duspavoni’, the shoes feature sensors on the front, side, and back. They establish a 25-inch (63.5 centimeter) perimeter and will vibrate when a solid object is detected within it, vibrating the part of the shoe that corresponds with the location of the object. The closer the wearer gets to this object, the stronger and faster the vibration is, allowing them not only to know the direction but also the approximate distance to their obstacle.

The batteries that power the shoes are rechargeable, with a 5 hour charge lasting between 3 to 5 days. Unfortunately, there isn’t any information about commercialization or availability.

[ RT Article ] VIA [ DamnGeeky ]

This Device Can Diagnose Hundreds Of Diseases With One Drop Of Blood

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The new fad in the tech industry is health. You can see this with Apple’s Health app, as well as a seemingly endless ecosystem of activity trackers like the FitBit or Nike Fuel band. But for all their focus on health, they’re really only scratching the surface; if you’re actually sick, they won’t do much to tell you what’s wrong. For serious illnesses, you still have to make your way to a doctor and often subject yourself to blood extractions. But if the xHEALTH X1 takes off, you may not even need to do that.

It’s a device being developed by Dr. Eugene Chan and his colleagues at the DNA Medical Institute (DMI), with grants from “NASA, the National Institutes of Health, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. On Monday, the team received yet another nod (and more funding) as the winners of this year’s Nokia Sensing XChallenge, one of several competitions run by the moonshot-seeking XPrize Foundation.” With a single drop of blood it would be able to tell you if you have anything from HIV, to Pneumonia, or even Ebola within minutes.

One small drop of blood is dropped into a small receptacle, where nanostrips and reagents react to the blood’s contents. The whole cocktail then goes through a spiral micro-mixer and is streamed past lasers that use variations in light intensity and scattering to come up with a diagnosis,

The xHEALTH X1 is still under development, so it’s not quite ready for public consumtion just yet. There is no timeframe on that, but the work being done is well under way and should result in a viable product in the near future.

[ Wired ]

Inexpensive Incubator Wins Dyson Award For Best Invention Of The Year

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It’s pretty amazing the number of things we take for granted here in the “developed world”. Post-natal care is a flagrant example, where a child dying of hypothermia (or other complications) shortly after birth is almost inconceivable, yet is the stark reality facing over 1 million children in developing nations yearly. Incubators go a long way to preventing these deaths, providing pre-term babies with the warmth and humidity control that’s essential for their survival, but they cost about $45,000, an amount so outrageous that it’s inconceivable for many impoverished hospitals. That’s where 23-year-old British student named James Roberts comes in. He designed MOM, an inflatable incubator that cost about $400. It’s designed to pull power from unconventional sources like car batteries and thus keep working in areas with inconsistent power supplies, and provides temperature and humidity controls, as well as special lights for fighting jaundice. It works so well as such a low cost that James recently won the James Dyson Award for Best Invention of the Year and received $45,000 to further develop his prototype into a marketable product.

While many of you reading this won’t directly benefit from James’ invention, it’s always nice to hear about programs like the Dyson Award spurring innovation in today’s youth. As much as we like to think we do, we don’t live in isolation on this planet and the more we do for the less fortunate, the better many of us will be able to sleep at night.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Ambulance Drone Could Save Your Life One Day

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It’s estimated that out of the roughly 800,000 people who suffer a cardiac arrest in the EU each year, only about 8% of them survive. That’s in large part due to how long it can take emergency services to reach the patient. While 10 minutes may not seem like much, brain death occurs in 4 to 6 minutes so every second counts. That’s why a device like Alec Momont Ambulance Drone could save lives. It would carry a defibrillator, travel up to 60 mph, and be able to reach its target within one minute. The patient’s exact location would be communicated via their smartphone’s GPS, and as long as someone is nearby to administer treatment, survival rates could easily increase to 80%

The drone is a graduation project at the moment, and isn’t in the process of getting to market. However, Alec intends to pursue its development and hopes to see a viable product within 5 years.

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[ Project Page ] VIA [ Walyou ]

Thinklabs Updates The Stethoscope With Tech

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You guys ever notice that doctors are using stethoscope technology that dates back almost 200 years? Not that there’s anything really wrong with it, and there’s no need to re-invent the wheel, but in this case, Thinklabs may definitely be on to something. The One is their version of what a modern stethoscope should be, and it’s packed with features. Aside from amplifying sounds up to 100 times, the smartphone-connected device lets physicians filter the audio for “for low, midrange or higher frequencies, as well as for S3, valves and murmurs, and lung sounds. Filter out ambient noise frequencies.” This lets physicians focus on specific characteristics that they’re looking for and potentially arrive at a diagnostic faster and more accurately.

The fact that The One is connected to a smartphone also means your doctor is able to record the audio from your chest or abdominal cavity for later analysis or even just for archival. It’s used by connecting to some high-end headphones, either the ones provided by the company, or your own. Yes, that does mean that your doctor could one day listen to your heart while sporting some Beats. Matter of fact, the company has a Beats package in case you don’t already have your own. It’s $500 for the device only (with regular high-quality earbuds), or $800 for the Beats package.

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[ Product Page ] VIA [ MedGadget ]

Shake Those Bowels Loose With This Edible Vibrating Pill

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Being clogged is not cool, and there are countless remedies on the market. From the powdered fibre supplements, to more industrial laxatives, it’s fairly easy to get traffic going again down there. But some people apparently need a more… mechanical encouragement, and that’s where this vibrating capsule invented by Israeli company Vibrant comes into play.

A team of researchers headed by Yishai Ron, research leader and gastroenterologist at the Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center are testing a multi-vitamin sized pill that induces movement inside the lower intestine that pushes the waste down and prevents any constipation. In the pilot study, the vibrating capsule was found to nearly double the weekly bowel movements of patients suffering from chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) and constipation predominant irritable bowel syndrome (C-IBS).

The capsule is programmed to start vibrating 6 to 8 hours after being ingested, and we’re going to go ahead and assume it’s a one-time-use affair. It’s not available yet, pending further testing.

[ Source ] VIA [ DamnGeeky ]

So This Exists: Mouse Taxidermy Kit

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Things that come in kits are always intriguing; you have all the tools you need to accomplish a specific task all in one place. But it’s a little disconcerting when the task in question is the somewhat disturbing act of performing taxidermy on a mouse. Granted it would be even more disturbing if it was a cat taxidermy kit, for instance; while cute, less people will lose sleep over a stuffed mouse than a stuffed cat, we think. But we’re trying to wrap our heads around this product nonetheless. We suppose we should say “to each their own”, so if you have a beloved mouse on life support and are thinking of pulling the plug, maybe $50 and 4 spare hours (70 easy steps!) will let you keep it around… forever? The kit contains the following:

1 Mouse Taxidermy Workshop Manual, 65 mm of Liquacure Tanning Solution, 200 grams Borax, Surgical gloves, PVA Glue, Cotton wool, Wool String, Galvanised wire, Scalpel, Glass Beads, Linen thread and Needle nose pliers

Yeah, this is a bit of a sad product.

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Buzzy pain Relief System: Distract’Em So It Doesn’t Hurt’Em

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The Buzzy Pain Relief System pictured above is a vibrating ice pack with a cute bee-like figure on it, just for good measure. See, it’s meant to be used on kids that are about to get some form of potentially painful medical treatment, like an injection. Just hold it against the planned injection site for a few seconds, then move it to some other part of their body while you do the deed. They will feel nothing, or almost nothing. Hundreds of positive reviews back this up, as well as the Buzzy being FDA-approved and award-winning.

. Buzzy is a hand-held device that naturally and quickly minimizes sharp pain from needle sticks like IV starts, blood draws, finger pricks and immunizations, through a combination of vibration, ice and distraction methods. Buzzy combines two pain control theories, the Gate Theory of Pain Control (the vibration) and the Descending Noxious Inhibitory Control (the ice) to confuse the nerves and trick the brain into not feeling the sharp pain. Buzzy helps minimize the drama and trauma that sometimes come with medical visits.

It’s $40 and completely reusable.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ ThisIsWhyImBroke ]

$1 Folding Microscope With 2,000X Magnification And 800nm Resolution

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Peering into the abysmally small doesn’t always require fancy equipment. Or at the very least, it doesn’t seem to require expensive equipment since the Foldscope pictured above costs less than a dollar to make and can magnify objects up to 2,000X. Made by a research team at PrakashLab at Stanford University, Foldscope is ultimately meant to be used in developing nations where being able to accurately diagnose specific diseases greatly improves survival, and where traditional microscopes may be out of range.

Foldscope is an origami-based print-and-fold optical microscope that can be assembled from a flat sheet of paper. Although it costs less than a dollar in parts, it can provide over 2,000X magnification with sub-micron resolution (800nm), weighs less than two nickels (8.8 g), is small enough to fit in a pocket (70 × 20 × 2 mm3), requires no external power, and can survive being dropped from a 3-story building or stepped on by a person.

The team is currently looking for 10,000 Beta testers. To sign up you have to send them a proposal of what you’d do with yours, through the link available below.

[ Product Page ] AND [ Signup Page ] VIA [ Reddit ]