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Microsoft Kinect Helps Surgeons Review Radiology Images In The OR

2whae44.jpgEngineers at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital have been trialing a new system that uses Microsoft’s Kinect to allow surgeons to browse through diagnostic images without having to physically touch any controls. Using the system surgeons can manipulate images without losing sterility, without any assistance from a nurse or other person in the OR, all while not having to move away from the patient.

Here’s a report from The Globe and Mail:

More from The Globe and Mail: Toronto doctors try Microsoft’s Kinect in OR

Flashbacks: Microsoft Kinect 3D Camera for Hands-Free Radiologic Image Browsing;

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

The Government Is Not Keeping Up With Medical Guidelines

In case people are wondering if our governmental overlords really care about the latest and greatest treatment guidelines published by our professional health care organizations, take note.

CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) is still using guidelines for defibrillator implantation from 2005 to justify payment for services in their national coverage decision, whereas the latest guidelines published by the Heart Rhythm Society published in 2008 carry signficiant differences in their recommendations for appropriate patients for this technology.

So which set of guidelines should doctors use?

The answer is obvious: if you use the latest data to decide who should receive a defibrillator, you might be subject to a Department of Justice investigation.

So much for using updated guidelines.

-WesMusings of a cardiologist and cardiac electrophysiologist.

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*

Elizabeth Taylor And Understanding Heart Failure


The condition that took Elizabeth Taylor’s life affects millions of Americans.

Reports of Elizabeth Taylor’s death focused, as they should, on her life, not on her death from heart failure. But given how common this condition is—the American Heart Association says nearly 6 million Americans are living with heart failure and it kills about 300,000 each year—a little attention to it might be a good idea.

What is heart failure?

The term “heart failure” is a scary one, conjuring up images of a heart that is suddenly unable to work. In truth, it represents a gradual decline in the heart’s ability to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. As the heart weakens, all parts of the body suffer the consequences. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Harvard Health Blog*

Dr. Lisa Sanders: Medical Detective

If you follow me regularly, you know I enjoy watching the Fox television drama House M.D. on Monday nights (although I often watch the recording later in the week). Doctor Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) is a sorry character but a terrific diagnostician.  In almost every episode someone is on the brink of death from an elusive illness when House’s “light bulb” goes on and, in a flash, he saves the patient’s life by proving himself to being the world’s best medical detective.

Doc Hollywood

Doc Hollywood???

Dr. Lisa Sanders is watching 3,000 miles away in New Haven, Connecticut where she teaches first and second year med students at Yale how to learn to be House-type medical detectives – but much more respectful ones. She is like that herself. She’s so good at it she writes a medical column for The New York Times Magazine. That column was actually the inspiration for the television show. And it won Dr. Sanders a job as technical adviser on the medical drama. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Andrew's Blog*

Verification: The New Scam In Town

There’s a new scam in town.

Company calls over and over again (claiming to be the phone company, actually) just wanting to “verify your address”. Over and over again they get told we aren’t interested, leave us alone, don’t call. Finally, my solitary staffer gets sick of fending them off and goes through their voice activated “address verification”, during which a mechanical voice asks questions, followed by a command to “Say Yes or No, then press the pound key.”

So she goes through the innocuous questions, including her full name, the office address and phone number, plus several iterations of saying “Yes or No, then press pound.” The calls stop; everyone is happy.

Until I get the phone bill six weeks later. Lo and behold, there is an extra $49.99 charge (plus tax) from a company I never heard of. Multiple phone calls reveal it to be a company providing “Internet optimization, web services, and a toll free number,” stuff I neither need nor want. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Musings of a Dinosaur*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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