This year we’ve witnessed amazing innovations in technology with everything from wearable tech like Google Glass or Nike+ to the recent introduction of Coin, one card that stores all your credit cards, debit cards, personal accounts, business accounts and other cards typically filling your wallet. The healthcare industry was no exception to the rise in disruptive technology changing the way people are impacted. What are some of the most influential healthcare technologies you’ve seen appear this year?
Without a doubt the pace at which new technology is impacting our everyday lives is increasing at lightning speeds. As of today, 29% of Americans say their phone is the first thing and last thing they look at everyday which is a telling sign of how connected we are becoming to technology.
Small, robust and extremely non-magnetic! These are the qualities of the new micro-D connectors developed by Axon’ Cable. These miniature connectors are designed for devices, which rely on magnetism when operating. This is the case, for example, for MRI scanners where the magnetic field generated must remain constant and stable to obtain reliable and high quality 3D images.
The non-magnetic connectors developed by Axon’ Cable have not only a very low residual magnetic field (less than 1 nT – about 50,000 times lower than the earth’s magnetic field), but it is also almost impossible to magnetize them. They cannot, therefore, interfere with the magnetic fields produced by the magnets of medical imaging
devices or particle accelerators
used by scientists.
For people age 65 and older, falling is a leading cause of injury and death. Most fall-detection devices monitor a person’s posture or require a person to push a button to call for help. However, these devices must be worn at all times. A 2008 study showed 80 percent of elderly adults who owned call buttons didn’t use the device when they had a serious fall, largely because they hadn’t worn it at the time of the fall.
Now, University of Utah electrical engineers Brad Mager and Neal Patwari have constructed a fall-detection system using a two-level array of radio-frequency sensors placed around the perimeter of a room at two heights that correspond to someone standing or lying down. These sensors are similar to those used in home wireless networks. As each sensor in the array transmits to another, anyone standing — or falling — inside the network alters the path of signals sent between each pair of sensors.
Mager is presenting the new fall-detection system Tuesday, Sept. 10 in London at the 24th Annual Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications.
EPFL scientists have developed a tiny, portable personal blood testing laboratory that sends data through mobile phone network. This is a tiny device that can analyse the concentration of these substances in the blood. Implanted just beneath the skin, it can detect up to five proteins and organic acids simultaneously, and then transmit the results directly to a doctor’s computer. This method will allow a much more personalized level of care than traditional blood tests can provide. Health care providers will be better able to monitor patients, particularly those with chronic illness or those undergoing chemotherapy. The prototype, still in the experimental stages, has demonstrated that it can reliably detect several commonly traced substances.
Hospital rooms beep and flash with many devices that are increasingly getting infected with malware (see “Computer Viruses Are ‘Rampant’ on Medical Devices in Hospitals”). But for several reasons, these gadgets are often incompatible with commercial security software.
Now, new technology developed by academic researchers could catch most malware on the devices just by noting subtle changes in their power consumption. This could give hospitals a quick way to spot equipment with dangerous vulnerabilities and take the machines offline. The technology could also apply to computer workstations used in industrial control settings such as power plants.
Proteus Digital Health became the first company to receive Food and Drug Administration approval for an ingestible biomedical sensor that monitors the patient’s compliance to medication.
This ‘sensor-enabled tablet’ called Helius comes with an ingestible event marker. It can be administered with pills or incorporated into medicines by the manufacturers. Once swallowed, the sensor is activated by stomach acid. Then, it transmits a signal through the body to the skin patch attached to the skin of a patient, indicating that the patient has ingested medication.