Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Potential new treatment for back pain

Here is a potential new treatment for back pain.


- Posted using from my iPad HD

Location:Georgetown,United States

Sunday, April 21, 2013

From the Georgetown Advocate- The Tech Savvy Patient A Real Example

The Tech Savvy Patient A Real Example
The Georgetown Advocate
Webster Russell

Even in this era of rapidly changing personal technology, healthcare's customer, us, are ill informed and therefore being led to places we may not want to go. We have been led to believe that our health and the processes that impact it are just to complex for us to understand, in English we are not smart enough. Technology and the Internet has and will change all that.

Allow me to stumble back into the weeds for a moment. Neurophysiologically, intelligence is a function of neural connectivity. Placing this in non human terms, the internet is the evolving nervous system of civilization. To that end, if you are not at least minimally computer literate, you are rapidly becoming obsolete. In that sense, the ultimate power you as an individual have over any thing in the realm of your life is knowledge, and that knowledge base changes not by the day but by the minute. Knowledge is power, power is choice, and choice takes you from being a follower to being your life's leader.

Believe it or not, this segways into the earlier question, how did a priest, the Internet, and Alzheimer's create a tech savvy patient?

If you think about healthcare from an individual's stand point, you’re putting your or a loved ones life into the hands of a physician. His or her knowledge will form the basis of what you should do to change the outcome of a disease or ailment and that requires a lot of trust. To build that trust, you need to seek additional information so you can ask better questions, and therefore make better decisions. My contention is that the expansion of information via the internet combined with computer literacy may well lead to new “experts” in healthcare and other fields.
A case in point revolves around an Episcopal priest, his wife, and their physician. As fate would have it, the clergyman’s wife was diagnosed with a chronically debilitating disease, Alzheimer's. From the day of her diagnosis, using the internet, this man started an in depth investigation of his wife’s disease and the therapies used, both present and future. Within six months, he became the titular expert in the therapeutics of his wife’s disease. Up until the day he died he continued to assist her physicians by providing them with new and proposed treatment methodologies, thereby being an active participant in his wife's care. Two points to note. When this story started, in 1996, home wifi would not be commercially available for three more years. Secondly and as importantly the gentleman in question was in his mid 70s when her diagnosis was made.

Did his efforts help his wife? Let me repeat myself, Knowledge is power, power is choice, and choice takes you from being a follower to being your life's leader, and a follower he wasn't.

- Posted using from my iPad HD

Location:Georgetown TX,United States

Sunday, April 14, 2013

5 Technologies That Will Change Medicine in the Next 5 Years

5 Technologies That Will Change Medicine in the Next 5 Years
by TERA TUTEN on MARCH 12, 2013

Advances in medical technology over the past 5 years have been impressive. But even more impressive: the widespread adoption of a scant few of those technologies.

While we could list dozens of future healthcare game-changers, the picks below are five we think actually stand a chance of being adopted soon, dramatically changing the way medicine is practiced:
3D printing (prosthetics, and possibly real body parts)

Just 10 years ago, 3D printing was the stuff of just the most forward-looking science fiction views of the future. Now in widespread industry use (and even limited consumer use), 3D printers can build replacement knee joints and even prosthetic legs. But soon, 3D printers may be able to build prosthetics with biological material, including a patient’s own stem cells. By doing this, scientists can build prosthetics using biodegradable material that stem-cell-grown tissue (cartilage, etc…) can grow on top of.

Biodegradable electronic medical implants

As with 3D body part “printing”, this is another aspect of medicine where foreign implants with lifespans less than a human life, might soon be able to “uninstall” themselves by simply being absorbed into your body after a set period of time.

Researchers are working on creating electronic human implants out of super-thin circuits encased in biodegradable silk proteins.

Micro, mobile healthcare

While a number of restrictions have kept wider-spread use of mobile medical technology (especially smartphone-based) from fully flourishing in the U.S., a lot of innovation in using mobile phones for health care is happening in Africa and India. Part of the reason mobile health and telemedicine are taking off there is the relative lack of physicians in many areas of these countries.

Meanwhile, in Canada, microfluidic-based systems are allowing researchers to do clinic-level biodiagnostics with a device the size of a toaster, with results delivered in minutes, for dollars-to-pennies per test.

One example of this is Microflow, a tiny device that passes samples through a fiber-optic sheath to analyse the cause of sickness in remote communities. The Quebec-based innovation was approved for testing in orbit during 2013 on the International Space Station.

Speaking of medicine in space, there’s even a $10 million X Prize for the inventor of the first functional “tricorder” style device to drive innovation in mobile, micro healthcare forward.

A 2012 report on electronic medical records pegged U.S. spending on such systems at $18 billion – up more than 14% – a significant increase from the previous year. Good news, as two similarly-recent U.S. studies noted that “computerised physician order entry” reduced error rates by 55% and 88% for rates of serious medication errors. A separate study demonstrated a 70% reduction in antibiotic-related avoidable drug errors.

NASA’s real-life “Ironman” suit could be the standard for limb rehabilitation

The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) and NASA are looking to use their X1 exoskeleton suit as an assistive walking device.

By combining the technology and complex walking algorithms, the suit has the potential to produce high enough torques to allow patients with limb degeneration or damage to get help walking over a variety of terrain, and possibly even up stairs.

- Posted using from my iPad HD

Location:Georgetown TX, United States

Friday, April 5, 2013

Labor and spicy food

The Wall Street Journal by ANN LUKITS

• Labor and spicy food: Some women eat spicy foods at the end of pregnancy, hoping it will bring on labor, though there is no scientific proof that it works. But a pilot study published in the journal Anesthesiology suggests that applying an extract of red chili peppers called capsaicin directly to the cervix may help shorten the time to delivery and reduce the pain of laboring.

Experiments at Columbia University were conducted on four groups of pregnant mice three days before they were due to deliver.

Two groups received either a low or high dose of morphine by injection, plus lidocaine applied to the cervix.

One group received saline injections, plus cervical lidocaine and 0.1% capsaicin cream. Lidocaine was used to limit any acute discomfort related to capsaicin, researchers said. A control group received a saline solution and lidocaine.

The mice were videotaped during labor and four behaviors associated with labor pain in rodents were assessed. Both capsaicin and morphine significantly reduced the incidence of all four pain-related behaviors compared with controls, the results showed.

On average, laboring mice treated with high and low doses of morphine exhibited 34.6 and 46.4 pain behaviors per hour respectively while 38.9 behaviors were recorded per hour in capsaicin-treated mice. Pain behaviors in control mice averaged 55 per hour.

Capsaicin-treated mice delivered each pup in under 15 minutes, compared with over 16 minutes in controls. Capsaicin had no negative effects on the offspring.

Capsaicin may desensitize pain receptors on the cervix and trigger the release of protein-like molecules that orchestrate a series of biological events that lead to the start of labor, researchers said.

Caveat: The optimum dose of capsaicin isn’t known, researchers said. The research hasn’t been tested on pregnant women.

- Posted using from my iPad HD

Location:Georgetown, TX,United States