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Posts tagged ‘Video’

9 Ways Technology Helps Manage Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease

With all these technological advances, improvements and new devices coming to the market, we could significantly improve the lives of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease patients. They could change the way they eat or they orientate, how they gather information. We could improve their lives all together. In the newest video of The Medical Futurist Youtube channel, I describe 9 examples.

Lift Labs designs a spoon that can cancel the tremor for Parkinson’s disease patients while they are having their meal.

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The Wright Stuff offers a range of products that makes getting dressed easier for anyone who has lost the use of one of their hands. The company has Dressing Sticks, one-handed belt, sock aids, they even one-handed nail clippers for people.

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Wearable cameras and augmented reality glasses could help patients with Alzheimer’s disease. These gadgets can snap hundreds of photos every day from their user’s perspective logging their lives this way.

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Tablet-based applications such as Speak For Yourself put vocabularies of 13,000 words within a few touches on a screen. Plus, as the sound quality is improving, the voice becomes more and more natural.

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MC10 develops a Biostamp that is thinner than a band-aid, and it has the size of just two postage stamps. It can be attached to any part of the body and the sensors monitor temperature, movements, heart rate, all these vital signs which can be transmitted wirelessly to an application, for example.

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Even little ideas matter. A German senior center implemented the idea of using fake bus stops to prevent Alzheimer’s disease patients from wandering off. Because their short term memory is not intact, but while the long term memory works fine, therefore they know what the sign means and they stop. It is a huge success in Germany, now they want to bring it to several clinics.

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Devices could be used for fall prevention to make sure when a patient falls down or there is an emergency situation, this sign could be transmitted wirelessly to the local clinic or hospital.

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A company called Ybrain has built a wearable device based on neuroscience technology to specifically target brain regions using electrical signals that aim to reduce the symptoms of degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.

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A company called GTX Corp developed a smart shoe with which patients can find the way home and they can orientate quite easily while walking around the street.

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It’s time to significantly improve the lives of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease patients. If you know about other examples, technological solutions or gadgets, please share those!

Read more about the future of disease management in my recent book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine!

The Guide to the Future of Medicine ebook cover

Tips to Make Your Digital Life Efficient (Video)

In the newest video of The Medical Futurist Youtube channel, I talk about how I rewired my social media profiles and my whole online presence to make digital life as efficient as possible. Using e-mails, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and more!

See more videos here.

5 Ways to Prepare The Doctors of The Future

Years ago when I was a medical student I felt that lexical knowledge was more important than actually being able to find the information I need. And now there are 23 million peer-reviewed papers on Pubmed.com so the skill of being able to find information is becoming even more important than ever.

I thought that medical curriculum should be redesigned in a way that now we can serve this new need for skills such as digital literacy. That is why I launched the world’s first university course focusing on social media, mobile health and the future of medicine. The course is still running with full house.

In my new video, I described methods that help us prepare students for becoming physicians who can take care of their patients in a technological world. Here is the video and then summaries of the 5 methods.

Developing e-learning platforms

I launched an e-learning platform for my students on which they can check all the presentations with hand-outs, data, studies, plus they can do the tests online. If they complete the tests online, they can skip the written exam.

The Social MEDia Course

The Social MEDia Course

Engaging students through social media

As all my medical students have Facebook accounts; challenges, tasks about online activities and questions about the topics covered during the lectures are posted every day during the semester on the Facebook page of the course and students with the most bonus points do not have to take the written exam. They fight against each other.

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Gamification

The typical curriculum requires students to study texts and data by heart without proper reasoning and understanding the logic behind it. Instead, study through serious diagnostic games has clear advantages. The “Healing Blade” card game takes the player into a world of sorcery and creatures where real–world knowledge of infectious diseases and therapeutics play a pivotal role in the winning strategy. “Occam’s Razor” is a real diagnostic card game released by NerdCore Medical.

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Creating a digital environment

I offer students the chance to interact with each other outside the curriculum online. If they need help in using a social media channel, they can find me online and I’m happy to help. With some of them, I’m still in touch even years after they completed my course. This way they can learn the tricks of online collaboration and it might be a simpler task when they have to do it as a part of their everyday job.

Rethinking the whole curriculum

At Radboud University Medical Center, they are currently working on a revolutionary new medical curriculum. The educational vision behind this transformation has been inspired by people all over the world who want to improve people’s lives through healthcare and education. In this system, each student has a personal coach. They work with a so–called open space technology in which students themselves decide what will be addressed when students and teachers meet. Currently, biomedical and medical students also work as consultants for pharmaceutical companies in an attempt to come up with innovative ideas. These young students still have a lot to learn, but it seems they learn very quickly when under pressure.

Please share what you think either as a student or a lecturer and read more about the future of medical education in my recent book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine!

The Guide to the Future of Medicine ebook cover

Which Wearable Device to Choose? (Video)

As a geek, let me tell you it’s quite simple to fall in love with a gadget or device at first sight. Although the way we try to stay healthy should not be controlled by technology or gadgets but by being proactive in our own health.

As many subscribers asked me about how I choose my own wearable devices for tracking health, I thought I would share the quality features I take a look at first so then you can make an informed decision when purchasing a wearable tracker.

A few things I check:

  • Company behind the device
  • App is updated regularly
  • User reviews
  • Money-back guarantee
  • What do I want to measure
  • How to access data
  • How to export data
  • Is it compatible with my smartphone

Read more about health wearables in The Guide to the Future of Medicine.

Twelve Things We Can 3D Print in Medicine Now

Kaiba Gionfriddo was born prematurely in 2011. After 8 months his lung development caused concerns, although he was sent home with his parents as his breathing was normal. Six weeks later, Kaiba stopped breathing and turned blue. He was diagnosed with tracheobronchomalacia, a long Latin word that means his windpipe was so weak that it collapsed. He had a tracheostomy and was put on a ventilator––the conventional treatment. Still, Kaiba would stop breathing almost daily. His heart would stop, too. His caregivers 3D printed a bioresorbable device that instantly helped Kaiba breathe. This case is considered a prime example of how customized 3D printing is transforming healthcare as we know it.

Since then this area has been skyrocketing. The list of objects that have been successfully printed out in 3D demonstrates the potential this technology holds for the near future of medicine.

Tissues with blood vessels: Researchers at Harvard University were the first to use a custom–built 3D printer and a dissolving ink to create a swatch of tissue that contains skin cells interwoven with structural material interwoven that can potentially function as blood vessels.

Low–Cost Prosthetic Parts: Creating traditional prosthetics is very time–consuming and destructive, which means that any modifications would destroy the original molds. Researchers at the University of Toronto, in collaboration with Autodesk Research and CBM Canada, used 3D printing to quickly produce cheap and easily customizable prosthetic sockets for patients in the developing world. 1371558697309.cached

Drugs: Lee Cronin, a chemist at the University of Glasgow, wants to do for the discovery and distribution of prescription drugs what Apple did for music. In a TED talk he described a prototype 3D printer capable of assembling chemical compounds at the molecular level. Patients would go to an online drugstore with their digital prescription, buy the blueprint and the chemical ink needed, and then print the drug at home. In the future he said we might sell not drugs but rather blueprints or apps.

Tailor–made sensors: Researchers have used scans of animal hearts to create printed models, and then added stretchy electronics on top of those models. The material can be peeled off the printed model and wrapped around the real heart for a perfect fit. The next step is to enhance the electronics with multiple sensors.

Tumor Models: Researchers in China and the US have both printed models of cancerous tumors to aid discovery of new anti–cancer drugs and to better understand how tumors develop, grow, and spread.

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Bone: Professor Susmita Bose of Washington State University modified a 3D printer to bind chemicals to a ceramic powder creating intricate ceramic scaffolds that promote the growth of the bone in any shape.

Heart Valve: Jonathan Butcher of Cornell University has printed a heart valve that will soon be tested in sheep. He used a combination of cells and biomaterials to control the valve’s stiffness.

Ear cartilage: Lawrence Bonassar of Cornell University used 3D photos of human ears to create ear molds. The molds were then filled with a gel containing bovine cartilage cells suspended in collagen, which held the shape of the ear while cells grew their extracellular matrix.

Medical equipment: Already, 3D printing is occurring in underdeveloped areas. “Not Impossible Labs” based in Venice, California took 3D printers to Sudan where the chaos of war has left many people with amputated limbs. The organization’s founder, Mick Ebeling, trained locals how to operate the machinery, create patient–specific limbs, and fit these new, very inexpensive prosthetics.

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Cranium Replacement: Dutch surgeons replaced the entire top of a 22 year–old woman’s skull with a customized printed implant made from plastic.

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Synthetic skin: James Yoo at the Wake Forest School of Medicine in the US has developed a printer that can print skin straight onto the wounds of burn victims.

Organs: Organovo just announced that their bioprinted liver assays are able to function for more than 40 days. Organovo’s top executives and other industry experts suggest that within a decade we will be able to print solid organs such as liver, heart, and kidney. Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide are waiting for an organ donor. Imagine how such a technology could transform their lives.

Read more about the use of 3D printing in medicine in The Guide to the Future of Medicine!

The Guide to the Future of Medicine ebook cover

10 Things How Artificial Intelligence Could Make Me a Better Doctor

I was watching the movie Her for the second time and I was fascinated again about the scene in which the main character played by Joaquin Phoenix got his new operating system with artificial intelligence (AI) and started working with that. I couldn’t stop thinking about the ways I could use such an AI system in my life and how it actually could make me a better doctor.

Don’t get me wrong, I think empathy and great communication with patients can make a doctor better primarily, but as the amount of medical information out there is exponentially growing; as the time for dealing with patients and information is getting less, it is becoming humanly impossible to keep up with that. If I could devote the time it takes now to deal with technology (inputting information, looking for papers, etc.) to patients, that would be a huge step towards becoming better.

Here are 10 things how AI could make me a better doctor and consequently live a better life.

1) Eradicate waiting time: Not only patients have to wait a lot for their doctors, but doctors lose a lot of time everyday waiting for something (a patient, a lab result, etc.). An AI system that makes my schedule as efficient as possible directing me to the next logical task would be a jackpot.

2) Prioritize my emails: I deal with about 200 e-mails every single day. I try to teach GMail how to mark an e-mail important or categorize them automatically into social media messages, newsletters and personal e-mails, it’s still a challenge. In Her, the AI system prioritized all the 3000 unread e-mails in a second. Imagine that!

HER

3) Find me the information I need: I think I have mastered the skill of searching for information online using dozens of Google search operators and different kinds of search engines for different tasks, but it still takes time. What if an AI OS could answer my questions immediately by looking up the answer online?

4) Keep me up-to-date: There are 23 million papers on Pubmed.com. If I could read 3-4 papers of my field of interest per week, I couldn’t finish in a lifetime and meanwhile millions of new studies would come out. I need an AI to show me what I should really read that day. Now my curated social media networks do this job, although I’m sure it would be much more accurate with AI.

5) Work when I don’t: I can fulfil my online tasks (e-mails, reading papers, searching for information) when I use my PC or laptop, and I can do most of these on my smartphone. When I don’t use any of these, I obviously cannot work. An AI system could work on these when I don’t have any device in hand.

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6) Help me make hard decisions rational: A doctor must face a series of hard decisions every day. The best we can do is to make those decisions as informed as possible. Some of them are still hard to make. I can ask people of whom I value the opinions and that’s it. Imagine discussing these with an AI system that is even more rational than you are.

7) Help patients with urgent matters reach me: A doctor has a lot of calls, in-person questions, e-mails and even messages from social media channels on a daily basis. In this noise of information, not every urgent matter can reach you. What if an AI OS could select the crucial ones out of the mess and direct your attention to it when it’s actually needed.

8) Help me improve over time: People, even those who work on becoming better at their job, make the same mistakes again and again. By discussing every challenging task or decision with an AI, I could improve my overall well-being and the quality of my job. We could do that with people as well, but let’s be honest, it’s practically impossible.

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9) Help me collaborate more: In Her, the AI collected the letters the main character wrote and compiled them into one manuscript which she sent to a publisher that she thought would be willing to publish it. Similarly an AI could find the most potential collaborators and invite them to work on a paper or study I otherwise work on. This way, opening up my networks even more.

10) Do administrative work: Quite an essential percentage of an average day of a doctor is spent with administrative stuff. An AI could learn how to do it properly and do it better than me by time. It could write down my thoughts and compile them anytime just as if I decided to sit down and write them down saving me an enormous amount of time.

Read more about the use of AI in medicine in The Guide to the Future of Medicine!

The Guide to the Future of Medicine ebook cover

Would you use AI in your work? Please do share! Until then, here is how supercomputers make physicians better:

Exoskeletons let paralyzed people walk again! (VIDEO)

When I watched the movies Avatar, Elysium or Iron Man, I was thinking about how great it would be to have those so called exoskeletons in real life letting paralyzed people walk again. And then science fiction became reality.

On a sunny day in November, 2013 I attended the Europe Summit organized by the Singularity University in Budapest at the amazing venue of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music. We listened to Amanda Boxtel, who got paralyzed from a spinal cord injury in a ski accident in Aspen, Colorado in 1992. She told us how she felt after getting the diagnosis of never being able to walk again and how she refused to stop dreaming. Since then, she has established adaptive ski programs, carried the Olympic torch, organized disabled rafting expeditions, and even conducted research in the Antarctica. She has also become one of the ambassadors of an innovative company called Ekso Bionics.

Their exoskeletons are used by individuals with various degrees of paralysis and stemming by a variety of causes. Ekso Bionics have helped individuals take more than a million steps that would not otherwise have been possible. Boxtel is one of ten Ekso Bionics test pilots who received a customized exoskeleton. According to Boxtel, the project “represents the triumph of human creativity and technology that converged to restore my authentic functionality in a stunningly beautiful, fashionable and organic design.”

See it in action:

Another story includes Hugh Herr, who directs the Biomechatronics research group at MIT’s Media Lab and gave an amazing TED talk in 2014. Herr lost both his legs in a climbing accident 30 years earlier. He spoke of his plan to make flexible, smart prosthetics cheaper and widely available for those who need them. His team is pioneering a new class of smart biohybrid prostheses and exoskeletons for people with physical disabilities. It builds prosthetic knees, legs, and ankles that fuse biomechanics with microprocessors in order to restore normal gait, balance, and speed. They may even enhance biological functions including strength or speed. At the end of his talk came a surprise. Ballroom dancer Adrianne Haslet–Davis, who lost her left leg in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, performed on stage for us for the first time since her accident.

A San Francisco based company, Bespoke Innovations, went further in customization to make beautifully designed prosthetics based on the patient’s needs and personality. Scott Summit, the designer at Bespoke, explained that in single amputees, the remaining leg is scanned and mirrored to give the correct geometry.

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A recent study showed that flexible spinal cord implants will let paralyzed people walk again. These include “flexible electrodes, cracked gold electronic tracks and fluidic microchannels to deliver both electrical impulses and chemicals while mimicking the spine’s movements and avoiding friction”.

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There is a reason to be optimistic! The advances of 3D printing lead to better, more comfortable and cheaper prosthetics, as well as exoskeletons. Having a disability should soon mean no disadvantage to a patient. Moreover, it might lead to unexpected advantages. The first Olympic Games for people with robotic protheses or powered exoskeletons will take place in Zurich, Switzerland in 2016. It is going to be a milestone.

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The list of examples and real-life stories could go on forever and hopefully the group of powered exoskeletons is going to be the hottest example about how technology can truly improve people’s lives.

Read more about such stories, even neuroprosthetics and the ethical dilemmas we will soon have to face in in my book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine.

The Guide to the Future of Medicine ebook cover

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