Category Archives: Innovation

Alive & Alert With No Pulse – FLATLINE

Imagine someone without a heartbeat, completely flatlined, yet still alert, oriented and living. Continuous flow, artificial hearts may sound like something of the future, but not anymore!

The artificial heart was constructed in a physician’s garage from materials purchased at home depot. Subsequently, experiments were conducted on animals using the homemade device. After surgically implanting the heart into these ainmals, they’d simply wake up the next day and resume their normal lifestyle. Minus one glaring difference of course… no pulse. They are flatlined.

The artificial heart works using turbines, creating a constant bloodflow throughout the body, similar to water moving through a garden hose. A patients heart would be completely removed and in its place, this artificial heart would keep their body alive. Ultimately, this could save the lives of the 300 to 400 thousand people that die from heart failure each year in the US alone.

The procedure was even performed on a man named Craig Lewis who was diagnosed with amyloidosis. The disease led to heart failure and after being examined by physicians, they determined he would die in 12 – 24 hours. This innovative device was his only chance at survival so the surgical team went to work. The next day, the patient was alert & oriented, despite his complete lack of a pulse. As stated in the video, “No heartbeat, no pulse, flatline pressure”.

Video discovered one http://www.upworthy.com

Innovative Healthcare – Real-Time Patient Monitoring After Discharge

A company known as Health Recovery Solutions (HRS) is on the rise and in my opinion, it should benefit everyone. The primary goal of HRS is simple: to reduce patient readmission to hospitals. How will it do this?

Tablets.

And I’m not talking about any medication tablets either. HRS provides hospitals with electronic tablets, which are given to patients at risk for readmission upon discharge from the hospital. The benefits of using the devices include:

  1. The devices contain educational videos, as well as quizzes following each video. Patient performance allows hospital staff to determine quantitatively determine that patient’s educational needs. 
  2. Patients use the tablet at home to record medications, weight, activities, etc. This information is then transmitted back to the healthcare facility so the patient’s healthcare providers can monitor their progress. 

Thus far, out of all the patients to receive the tablet upon discharge, not one has been readmitted to the hospital. According to the HRS website, the tablets use “a research based platform (PatientConnect) that constructively guides patents’ behaviors” and will help hospitals to “improve patient satisfaction, increase efficiency of their workflow, and generate additional revenue”.

What could make this software even more beneficial in the future?

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, hopes to reduce hospital readmission as well. According to an article on CNN Money, HRS is one of several companies that should benefit from the institution of Obamacare. To reduce patient readmission rates, Obamacare institutes a penalty for hospitals that fail to meet criteria:

  • Any Medicare patient treated for pneumonia, heart failure, or a heart attack that requires readmission to the hospital within 30 days of original discharge will result in a 1% reduction in Medicare reimbursements for that hospital.

Obviously, if HRS can continue to prove their worth, the tablet concept would prove paramount in avoiding patient readmission penalties. As stated previously, HRS claims that healthcare facilities can actually increase their revenue by using the tablet platform. Only time will tell. Regardless of the effects on Health Recovery Solutions due to Obamacare, the company has employed an innovative idea that should benefits patients and healthcare professionals.

What might be a problem? 

Despite my fascination with this concept, I just don’t see how it can work in a facility that serves the underprivileged population. The main reason that comes to mind is cost. This wouldn’t be as large of an issue if the hospital can truly make money by implementing this system. If it does cost the hospital money, institutions that are already hard-pressed to obtain adequate funding will be unable to use it. Furthermore, many of the patients treated in these facilities are living below the national poverty level, oftentimes homeless or unemployed. Giving out tablets to everyone and expecting to get them all back is simply unrealistic. You can charge fees to prevent the wealthy from breaking, losing or stealing, but the undeserved population wouldn’t be able to pay the fee anyway. Would the hospital or insurance company cover it then? Someone has to pay the bill, because you know HRS isn’t going to turn into a company that gives away free tablets. 

Conclusion

As long as hospitals are able to meet the financial obligations, HRS could have extremely beneficial effects on the healthcare system. I think real-time patient monitoring after discharge is one of the next innovative steps in healthcare. A foundational component of Obamacare being successful is preventative medicine. Preventing readmission through post-discharge monitoring systems is an excellent method for preventing post-treatment complications and increasing positive patient outcomes.

Girl Injected with HIV as a Cure – Fire with Fire Video

This is a phenomenal video that characterizes so many things:

  • the passion that physicians should strive to have towards their field and their patients.
  • the medical miracles that can occur through innovation.
  • the lengths that people can go when all hope seems lost.
  • the courage that even the most fragile-looking people in the world can possess.

And I’m sure you can come up with more as well.

Watch this short video for a mind-blowing story of a phenomenal little girl who beat the odds with the help of some inspirational people.

New Drug-Delivery Systems… Nano-Volcanoes!

Light-carved ‘nano-volcanoes’ hold promise for drug delivery.

Researchers have developed a process in which that can create “nano-volcanoes” from a synthetic polymer. The process is relatively low cost and the product could serve as a drug delivery system using the hollow cores of the volcanoes. By changing their size and shape, the nano-volcanoes could deliver varying amounts of drugs. For instance, a larger core would constitute a larger dose & the size of the mouth of the nano-volcano would mediate the rate of drug release. This could be a pretty interesting way to regulate drug delivery. Maybe it could even get kids more willing to take their medicine…. just tell them it’s a tiny volcano!

 

Motorola Is Working On a Password Pill for Once-Daily Authentication — Oh, and a Tattoo, Too

This is like those crazy, futuristic sci-fi movies you watch and imagine what’d be like to have the technology used by the characters…. except in this case, it’s real life!

Tech

Let’s get real: We have a password problem.

People generally don’t use unique passwords for each site they visit. Some people just use plain awful passwords. Even if you use strong passwords, as recommended, sites still get hacked (over and over and over again).

Getting rid of passwords altogether has been heralded as a possible solution, whether by fingerprint authentication, eyeball scanning, facial recognition or any number of tactics that use your body as a unique identifier.

Former DARPA head Regina Dugan is now in charge of advanced research at Motorola. In an interview at the D11 conference this week, Dugan showed off two things her team has been working on: a digital tattoo and a once-daily pill, both of which would be used to authenticate you in some manner or another.

tattoo
All Things D

She first showed off the tattoo, saying, “This is…

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mHealth App-of-the-Month: Sense.ly

This is a very interesting article! I definitely think medicine will continue to develop technological healthcare applications at an exponential rate. As mentioned in the article, with the increasing demands of healthcare, these type of innovations could be extremely beneficial to healthcare works, as well as increase patient compliance.

For the Health of IT

What is the big “a-ha” moment with your end users when you first demo your mHealth application for them?

Sense.lyprovides the patient with an easy-to-use interface that can deliverremote assessments, tailored rehabilitation exercises, and dailycheck-ins at their home or on a mobile phone or tablet using natural user interfaces including a virtual avatar, speech recognition, body recognition, and augmented reality. The big “a-ha” moment comes when people realize how easy Sense.ly is to interact with and how simple it  is to express themselves in a meaningful manner, similar to how they talk to their doctors in the office. They’re not confused by the interface and feel like the system is actually listening to them and responding with understanding and empathy. Sense.ly.jpg

What problems does your app solve in healthcare?

  • Lack of patient compliance in between office and therapy visits.
  • New demand for health services due to 50…

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Cheap Diagnostic Devices Using Paper

Paper could be basis for inexpensive diagnostic devices.

This is a great article about paper capable of repelling liquids and the future use of such material in biomedical diagnostics. 

Baby’s life saved with groundbreaking 3-D printed device that restored his breathing

Baby’s life saved with groundbreaking 3-D printed device that restored his breathing.

 

Excellent article that demonstrates life saving innovations made possible with the use of 3D printing.  I personally think 3D printing will lead to a wave of revolutionary medical (and non-medical) developments over the next few years. 

Non-wetting fabric that drains sweat invented

Non-wetting fabric that drains sweat invented.

 

A new fabric that functions the same as human skin!

Article: Touching the Future: Artificial Skin Isn’t Sci-Fi

This is a very interesting article and could lead to some revolutionary innovations in medicine. Once they determine a way to connect it to the brain, I wonder what it will actually feel like. Can it distinguish between pain/pleasure? If it does correlate excessive pressure as pain, I hope they make a safety threshold so any electrical malfunctions don’t lead to excruciating pain for the wearer! The increased sensitivity as compared to human skin could lead to some profound advances in cardiology.

Why so cereus?

Article: Touching the Future: Artificial Skin Isn’t Sci-Fi

I’m all about new medical innovations and using technology to help people with medical problems. The idea is that robots require special sensors to be able to be able to navigate around the world. I thought the short little article was fascinating, because the sensors and the “artifical” skin that is used for them could potentially lead to more life-like skin for prostetics and could lead to improvements in skin grafting. I think it’s pretty nifty, if ya ask me.

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