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Electronic Pancreas May Keep Glucose In Safe Range Overnight

9o5ay97d.pngA team led by researchers from University of Cambridge showed that closed loop insulin delivery was effective in controlling overnight blood glucose levels in patients with type 1 diabetes. The system took readings every fifteen minutes and automatically titrated a proper amount of insulin.

University of Cambridge researcher Dr Roman Hovorka led two studies to evaluate the performance of the artificial pancreas in 10 men and 14 women, aged 18 to 65, who had used an insulin pump for at least three months. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

FluPhone Tracks “Super Spreaders” Of Disease

“Are you a super-spreader?” That’s the catchphrase for a new study out of the University of Cambridge. However, if you answered “yes”, you may want to stay home and cover your mouth, because the study was designed to track the spread of influenza using cellular phone technology.

The study (and accompanying app) is called FluPhone, and it uses cell phones to collect information on social encounters within the study sample of participants in Cambridge. A phone’s Bluetooth antenna detects encounters with other participants and also records the proximity to each other. The built-in GPS chip tracks each user’s location, but this feature was disabled due to recent ethical concerns. Finally, the phone’s 3G/GPRS antenna sends all the proximity data automatically back to researchers for analysis. Other features include the ability to program a specific disease model by introducing a virtual “pathogen” which can be transmitted via Bluetooth when at least two users are near each other.

In addition to revealing useful data about the spread of disease and how to minimize its effects, the study could also be helpful for creating more effective public health messages.

More from the University of Cambridge: FluPhone: disease tracking by app…

Research project page…

FluPhone participant website…

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Pimped Out Wheelchairs

atgw4.pngHumor site Cracked.com is profiling stories of five souped-up wheelchair projects. If you already have four wheels and a frame, might as well install a flame thrower on it. Or how about a motorcycle with a wheelchair docking system?

Link: The 5 Most Incredible Stories of Pimped Out Wheelchairs…

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Uncover Your Heart Disease Risk With A Wrist Band Device?

A study published in journal Chest has shown that novel intra-sleep pulse oxymetry can be an effective modality in identifying cardiovascular disease risk in patients. In the study, a modified version of Weinmann‘s SOMNOcheck micro oximeter was used to observe pulse wave attenuation, heart rate acceleration, pulse propagation times, as well as respiration-related pulse oscillations and oxygen desaturation episodes. All the collected data was analyzed by an algorithm, and the prognostic results were checked against European Society of Hypertension/European Society of Cardiology (ESH/ESC) risk factor matrix.

Some details from the study abstract: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

IBM’s New Solution For Drug-Resistant Bacteria: Nanotechnology

treatedcell.pngIBM and the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Shanghai have designed a new type of polymer that can detect and destroy antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as MRSA. The polymer nanostructures also prevent bacteria from developing drug resistance. Moreover, because of the mechanism by which the nanostructures work, they don’t affect circulating blood cells, and, unlike most traditional antimicrobial agents, the nanostructures are biodegradable, naturally eliminated from the body rather than remaining behind and accumulating in tissues.

From the Nature Chemistry abstract by Nederberg, et al.: 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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