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Researchers Explore New Methods Of Testing Blood Sugar

My fingers hate diabetes. Several times a day they get poked with a sharp, needle-like lancet. The drops of blood they give up tell me how my blood sugar roller coaster is doing. That’s really important information I need to determine whether to eat, exercise, or give myself some insulin.

It would be such a treat to check my blood sugar (glucose) without pricking a finger, squeezing out a drop of blood, and placing it on a small test strip attached to a meter. Help may be on the way—though I’m not expecting any big breakthroughs for another few years—as researchers across the country explore prick-free ways to measure blood sugar.

Here are three interesting approaches. Read more »

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

Research Finds A Possible Cure For Viral Infections

For real… at least in mice, but has potential for human application if the promise holds out!

MIT researchers have developed a radical new approach to eradicating viral infections no matter what the virus may be… common cold, HIV, Ebola, polio, dengue fever, etc.

The usual anti-viral antibiotics in use today target the viral replication process which unfortunately often fails with time as the virus adapts and develops resistance to the medication.

The new medication dubbed “DRACO” (Double-stranded RNA Activated Caspase Oligomerizers) approaches viral infections using a totally different approach. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Fauquier ENT Blog*

Medical App Improves Healthcare Access In Remote Areas

A team of student and faculty researchers at MIT have developed an open source software system with the goal of improving healthcare access to patients in remote regions.

The software is called Sana and runs on the Android platform. The app allows healthcare workers in remote clinics to send pictures and videos to a database where they can be reviewed by a physician who is then able to provide a preliminary diagnosis via texting.

Sana is different than other collaborative electronic medical sharing efforts because it allows complex medical imaging, such as X-rays and ultrasound images to be uploaded and analyzed.

Since Sana is open source, it can be customized to a specific regions needs and tailored to specific pathologies that need to be studied. Program developers hope this gives healthcare workers a shared sense of responsibility and promotes a level of sustainability. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at iMedicalApps*

An Eye Exam On Your iPhone?

Researchers at MIT have developed a method of using a basic cellphone coupled with a cheap and simple plastic device clipped onto the screen to estimate refractive errors and focal range of eyes.

Because of its simplicity, and the fact that soon just about everyone will have access to a mobile phone, eye exams may become available to the whole world at little to no cost. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Food Allergy Or Not? New Test In The Works

Peanut AllergyCurrent methods of testing people for food allergies aren’t particularly precise, leaving many people to falsely think that they have a condition that they really don’t.

MIT chemical engineer Christopher Love is working on a new test based on cytokines that may prove to be substantially faster and more reliable. 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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