Robots vs. Physicians?

The Economist reports that adverse events occur relatively frequently when physicians insert catheters: placing needles inside veins deep in the body is notoriously difficult. Some 15-30% of attempts suffer complications, mainly punctured arteries that can lead to infection (around 250,000 cases in America annually), but also bleeding, collapsed lungs and even cardiac arrest. Failure rates in…

The end of wearables?

Wearable technology is all the rage.  There was even a recent paper in JAMA about wearable technology.  However, will wearables soon to be old news?  What is the future?  Joe Kvedar gives his thoughts on the topic: Thus, we have plentiful pedometer apps…We’ve also solved how to run these apps in the background without disrupting the…

The Future of Medicine

The next decades of medicine and health care will be about using technologies and keeping the human touch in practicing medicine. Everyone’s genomes will be sequenced to access personalized treatments. We’ll measure almost any health parameters at home with diagnostic devices and smartphones. The 3-D printing revolution will produce affordable exoskeletons and prosthetic devices. Bertalan…

Wearables

PwC just released a report on wearable technology. Some findings from the health field include: More than 80% of consumers said an important benefit of wearable technology is its potential to make health care more convenient. Consumers have not yet embraced wearable health technology in large numbers, but they’re interested. More than 80 percent of…

Has the future arrived?

Is Google going into the optometry business?  You’ve probably heard of Google Glass, but recently Google has built a contact lens.  The contact lens would not only improve your vision, but it could also monitor your diabetes levels. From the Google Blog: We’re now testing a smart contact lens that’s built to measure glucose levels…

Open Source Surgery

Currently, robot-assisted surgery today is dominated by the da Vinci Surgical System.  The device is highly regarded, but is heavy (weighs half a ton) and expensive ($1.8m).  Plus it uses proprietary software, which means that physicians and engineers not associated with da Vinci cannot alter its operating system. Change is on the horizon, however. “None…

Medical Advances

The Economist‘s Technology Quarterly reveals some recent advances in medical technology: Cockroachs: A model for artificial hearts. A laser that would make Dr. Evil proud: one that fights malaria. Mobile phones used to monitor Tb compliance. No more MRIs?  The advent of photoacoustic imaging.

Will technology kill health care?

Information technology has the possibility of greatly increasing the efficiency of health care.  EMRs can reduce the cost of accessing patient information.  New technologies can make medical devices more effective.   But is there a cost to increased medical technology?  GigaOM wonders “…will widespread diagnostics increase the burden on healthcare? Somewhere between 10 and 50…

Checking in on my 96-year old grandmother

My grandmother is 96 years old and incredibly lives on her own.  My mother drops off packages of food she prepares for my grandmother and gets her mail, but my grandmother still does her laundry and gets herself ready in the morning. Bringing in some help for her or moving her to an assisted living…