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Stem Cell Research Shows Promise For In Vivo Integration

864ei5e4w Combining Stem Cells and Optogenetics Holds Promise for Neurodegenerative DisordersEmbryonic stem cells have the potential to treat a range of diseases and conditions for which current treatment options are lacking. Capable of differentiating practically into all of the types of tissues in the human body, the cells could be used in therapies to treat conditions such as paralysis, brain damage, and Parkinson’s disease. Among the many challenges to be overcome before human embryonic stem cells live up to their promise is difficulty in proving whether transplanted stem cells can integrate successfully in vivo.

Researchers from University of Wisconsin-Madison have announced progress on that front. Having created Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Researchers Develop Computerized Contact Lens

img mid 52851 Bionic Contact Lens to Check Your EmailWe’re another step closer to integrating real time information into our vision. Researchers from the University of Washington and Aalto University Finland have engineered the first prototype of a computerized contact lens on which you can see information updates. They presented their findings today in IOP Publishing’s Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering.

The lens only contained one pixel, but by proving that the concept works without any adverse side effects, they can develop it into lenses with more pixels. This could eventually lead to contact lenses on which you can read your email and catch up on the news. A device like this could also Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Penn Students Use XBox Kinect To Create Device For Visually Impaired

r5lq7rt1 Students Hack Microsofts Kinect to Assist the Visually Impaired Two computer science students from the University of Pennsylvania, Eric Berdinis and Jeff Kiske, have hacked together a very impressive tactile feedback system for the visually impaired using a Microsoft Kinect device and a number of vibration actuators. The Kinecthesia is a belt worn camera system that detects the location and depth of objects in front of the wearer using depth information detected by the Kinect sensor. This information is processed on a BeagleBoard open computer platform and then used to drive six vibration motors located to the left, center and right of the user. The video below shows a demo of the system in use and gives a quick explanation of its operation.

The students came up with the idea for the Kinecthesia when Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Research Looks At Effectiveness Of World’s Smallest Heart Pump

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Cost scrutiny and comparative effectiveness research are playing a growing role in shaping healthcare delivery. In light of that, Abiomed Inc. (Danvers, MA) has recently announced the results of a study that showed the company’s Impella heart pump significantly reduced major adverse events at an incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year. “The cost-effective message is directly tied to the financial impact of these better clinical outcomes for patients treated with Impella,” Jeffrey Popma, MD, the director of the angiographic Core Laboratory at Beth Israel Deaconess told Medgadget. Popma was responsible for the planned analysis of the angiographic results.

The device, which the company describes as the “world’s smallest heart pump,” demonstrated an increase in ejection fraction of more than 20% and an improvement in Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Medtronic’s New Insulin Pump Aims To Prevent Hypoglycemia

g345yedy23wr Medtronics Low Glucose Suspend Technology Brings Insulin Pump Closer to Artificial Pancreas FunctionalityMedtronic received the go-ahead to begin an at-home U.S. trial of its Low Glucose Suspend technology that aims to prevent hypoglycemia by automatically stopping basal insulin delivery when measured glucose reaches a critically low level.

The pump technology is already available in Europe on the company’s Paradigm Veo insulin pump.

This is the second phase of the ASPIRE (Automation to Simulate Pancreatic Insulin REsponse) study, following the completion of the in-patient clinical study. ASPIRE is a multi-center, randomized, pivotal in-home study being conducted at multiple investigational centers to determine the safety and efficacy of the Low Glucose Suspend feature in the sensor-augmented MiniMed Paradigm insulin pump. Medtronic’s newest continuous glucose sensor, the Enlite™ sensor, will be tested as part of the overall system.

ASPIRE will compare Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

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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