It’s just getting more and more amazing how robotics can be implemented into healthcare. One of the latest examples belongs to the UCSF Medical Center where they now use robotic pharmacy in order to remove medication errors from the system. The most impressive thing, we think, is that our robot pals have not had a single error since preparing 350,000 doses of meds.
Robots are slowly taking over the world, right? Well, their latest conquest is the pharmacy. The UCSF Medical Center has implemented three robotic pill-dispensing machines that handle and prepare medication that’s dangerous to the common human. The process works as follows: doctor writes a prescription, hospital clerk sends it over to pharmacist, pharmacist enters slip into the computer, robot picks up it and does the dirty work. The automated machine will grab the proper dosage, package it and slap a label indicating instructions and patient info. Rather than fearing for their jobs (or lives), the folks at the UCSF at are excited about this robot-takeover ’cause it increases the time care-givers spend with patients while allowing pharmacists to work more efficiently with physicians in determining what medication to supply.
(Hat tip: Engadget)
I wouldn’t buy a mirror for over $1000 only to measure my body temperature from 30 centimeters away, but there must be someone in Japan who will do so because a Japanese electronics firm NEC/Avio just presented at CES 2011 this technology.
All this without sticking a glass mercury stick underneath your tongue! So when you call in sick to work from your cellular phone, you actually have the evidence that you are indeed “under the weather”. In fact, your boss can even hear the confirmation because the Thermo Mirror will sound an alarm if your temperature is above normal.
By the way, when the Thermo Mirror is not displaying your personal body temperature, it is displaying other information such as the date, time, humidity, and weather temperature.
The product probably works with infrared thermography.
I’ve already written about numerous ECG solutions in smartphones (see below), but a recent Medgadget report beats them all.What you need is an iPhone with the special app, a wireless case and you can perform an ECG. There are so many great ideas which will probably never be used in practice, but this, I believe, will be an exception.
Seattle, Washington based Alivecor will be showing off its new iPhonECG system at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The company has partnered with Oregon Scientific to manufacture the units, which are expected to sell for under $100 a piece.
Yesterday, the huge CES conference was launched in which there are plenty of Innovations Honorees in the healthcare category. It seems devices designed for hearing loss or damage rule this year’s health category. Here is the full list with details, and here is my summary:
- An In-Ear Assistive Listening Device that provides full time low level amplification with situational hearing solutions
- Hearing instrument system comprising an “industry first” proprietary digital wireless communication solution
- High-Fidelity Electronic BlastPLG Earplugs were developed to mitigate hearing damage and tinnitus sustained by deployed soldiers.
- Moneual Silver Care Robot
- Digital sports watch aimed at Nike runners.
- Pharos’ Cognit is designed for individuals living with brain injuries, mental disorders, and other cognitive challenges.
- MyTrek is a heart beat monitoring system that attaches to a forearm and pairs with your iPhone
- The patented ErgoMotionTM Keyboard provides comfortable and innovative typing experience.
- OtoLens™ is the first invisible-in-the-canal hearing aid.
- TabSafe is a medical management device that gives reminders for medications and activities.
- SmartBabyPhone, based on digital convergence, is a smart sensor communicating with any connected screen.
Engadget just reported a fantastic technology which enables diabetes patients to measure blood sugar levels without finger pricks.
A crew of researchers from The University of Tokyo and BEANS Research Institute are in the process of developing a newfangled blood sugar sensor that “reacts to glucose and lights up inside the body.” ‘Course, injecting dyes into humans in order to receive interpretable signals ain’t exactly new, but hydrogel is what makes this approach unique. As the story goes, this jelly-esque material can be implanted within the body, enabling blood sugar levels to be monitored and measured externally with no pain or irritation whatsoever. In theory, a monitoring system could trigger an alert as soon as the internal levels dipped or rose beyond a predetermined extreme, giving those with diabetes a maximum amount of time to get things back in balance.
Have you every wondered what happens if you combine a 3D TV with virtual reality in medical imaging? Well, the device described in the video was developed by the University of California, San Diego and costs around $10,000. CoolestGadgets commented on this:
HUVR “couples a consumer 3D HDTV panel with a half-silvered mirror to project any graphic image onto the user’s hands and/or into the space surrounding them”. Apparently, the user’s head is tracked in order to get the correct perspective, and there is a haptic feedback device on hand for manipulation. I noticed that their haptic device looks a lot like a Novint Falcon, which I believe was designed for 3D gaming.
And as a second step, if you think it will lead to even more complicated interfaces, well, see what Hitachi developed, a gesture-based interface:
You may remember when I wrote about how cellphones could be used as microscopes in dermatology and I also mentioned the iMicroscope once. Now over at Spoonful of Medicine, a new cheap device is described:
Aydogan Ozcan is a professor of electrical engineering at UCLA. From $10 worth of parts, he built an apparatus that turns a cell phone into a mobile microscope. His device contains no lens, instead relying on a system of electronic magnification that creates a hologram, which is then transmitted wirelessly to a lab. The cellphone microscope could help doctors working in remote areas rapidly analyze patient blood samples, allowing them to screen for diseases like malaria, TB and anemia.
Here is Buzzy, a reusable pain relief device, developed by a pediatrician. It works based on the gate control theory of pain.
Buzzy is a newly developed reusable pain relief device that children can bring to the doctor’s office with them to help dull the pain of shots! As the brainchild of Pediatrician Amy Baxter, Buzzy rapidly reduces pain when pressed onto the skin. Buzzy is especially helpful for children who receive shots often, like those suffering from Diabetes. Buzzy can also be used for the small things, like taking splinters out!
Not only is Buzzy a kid-favorite, but it’s safe, effective immediately on contact, FDA compliant, and environmentally friendly too.
Here are a few examples how it works:
Federico Semeraro and his collegues just published a paper in Resuscitation focusing on the evaluation of a virtual reality enhanced mannequin designed for resuscitation training.
The objective of this study was to test acceptance of, and interest in, a newly developed prototype of virtual reality enhanced mannequin (VREM) on a sample of congress attendees who volunteered to participate in the evaluation session and to respond to a specifically designed questionnaire.
RESULTS: Overall, the evaluation of the system was very positive, as was the feeling of immersion and realism of the environment and simulation. Overall, 84.6% of the participants judged the virtual reality experience as interesting and believed that its development could be very useful for healthcare training.
CONCLUSIONS: The prototype of the virtual reality enhanced mannequin was well-liked, without interfence by interaction devices, and deserves full technological development and validation in emergency medical training.
Medgadget published a report about Virtobot that shows what the future of forensic medicine will look like.
The robot scans the contours and texture of the human body by projecting light bars on it and acquiring high definition images. These data are combined with the CT images acquired by the scanner in the same room. A three dimensional image of the body is then reconstructed that can be used during forensic examinations and be preserved as long as necessary.
You might remember when Swedish researchers developed an interactive touchscreen 3D autopsy table, the Virtual Autopsy Table: