UBC student recovers heart function after needing two heart pumps

February 23, 2007

Some of you might remember a posting from last November about how artificial heart pumps can be used to rejuvenate dying hearts.  It turns out that the only person in Canada and one of very few people in the world to have recovered heart function after needing two simultaneous heart pumps to keep her heart pumping is a UBC student, Marrie!

 Read her story


Intelligent tooth automatically releases drugs – available by 2010

February 22, 2007

Researchers are developing an artificial tooth that automatically releases drugs. The device, called Intellidrug, works by holding the drug in tablet form in a reservoir which will release the drug. It might be used for conditions that require a constant level of drug in the blood, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

“With this system, we can time the dosage to take place – even when the patient is sleeping.

“We can easily adjust the dosage in line with the patient’s needs, dependent on sex or weight.”

Also, it might be useful for those with chronic conditions.

“About 50% of people with chronic conditions do not take their medicines correctly and that in turn costs the health service money.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Motion Computing announces the C5 Clinical Assistant Tablet PC

February 22, 2007

The lightweight, bump-tolerant, spill-resistant and easy-to-disinfect C5, the first mobile clinical assistant, allows nurses to access up-to-the-minute patient records and document a patient’s condition in real time, enhancing patient care while reducing the administrative workload of the clinical staff.

The tablet PC features a 1.2GHz Intel Core Solo processor, 512MB RAM (kinda small don’t you think? it’s 2007!), 30GB HDD, RFID reader (yay!), integrated 2 megapixel camera and runs on the newly released Windows Vista. Price is set to start at $2199 USD. Not bad huh?


Motion Computing Product Page

New HIV screening recommendations from the CDC for US populations

February 21, 2007

In September of 2006, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention changed their recommendations that all individuals 13-64 be routinely tested for HIV and that requirements for written consent and pre-test counselling be dropped.

Kevin Fenton, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention, said the recommendations will make “routine HIV screening feasible in busy medical settings where it previously was impractical,” adding, “Making the HIV test a normal part of care for all Americans is also an important step toward removing the stigma still associated with testing”.

Below are some reactions to the changes.

Article – New CDC HIV Testing Recommendations Could Compromise Patients’ Civil Rights, ACLU Statement Says

Video and Slide Show Presentations – Routine Testing for HIV Infection: New CDC Screening Recommendations for the US Population. (Requires signing up to Medscape, or can use bugmenot.com)

High-tech patient wristbands now carry personal data

February 16, 2007

A hospital in England has added electronic tags to wristbands to store patient personal information such as a digital photo of the patient and details of the care they need. These high-tech wristbands are used to increase patient safety by allowing hospital staff to read the tag details using a PDA and ensure they are treating the right person. They are also used to see what checks the patient has had, or if they are ready for surgery, to ensure they get the right drugs, tests and operations via the checklist on the PDA.

Read the rest of this entry »

First Bionic Arms. Then Bionic Legs. Now Bionic Eyes. – are featured on our website

February 16, 2007

US researchers have developed a bionic eye implant that could help restore the sight of millions of blind people. And it could be available to patients within 2 years!

More information:

Trials for ‘bionic’ eye implants
By Jonathan Fildes
Science and technology reporter, BBC News, San Francisco
Published: Friday, 16 February 2007, 10:48 GMT

Other postings about bionic limbs:

Diabetes gene find: a step closer to gene profiling

February 13, 2007

A Canadian-led team has identified five genes associated to Type 2 diabetes, by scanning DNA from almost 7,000 individuals.

Dr. Polychronakos says the field is moving so quickly it will soon be possible to predict from birth the ailments to which a particluar person will become prone.

“You’d be able to take a drop of blood from a newborn and determine if they have genes associated with diabetes, or heart disease or Alzheimer’s or any of the common health problems,” said Dr. Polychronakos, acknowledging there would be difficult social and ethical issues associated with such gene profiling.

The researchers are now looking for other genes that increase the susceptibility to Type 2 diabetes, which will help improve diagnoses and treatment.

Read the rest of this entry »