Medical Gadgets

The Vitality GlowCap

The Vitality GlowCap

Taking your pills can be difficult to remember and frankly not everyone needs a day sorter. Really, those things are even inconvenient for the people that are stuck using them. This pill cap might be a great alternative.

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Soldiers get new robot arms

Soldiers get new robot arms

Better known, perhaps, for titting about on a Segway, Dean Kamen occasionally reminds us all that he's an inventor not to be underestimated.  For every two-wheeled steed in Steve Wozniak's stable there's an equivalent "let's do some good" development like the IBOT balancing wheelchair.  Latest on the list is a robotic prosthetic arm for members of the armed services who have lost limbs through various kinds of explosives; Dean showed the prototype in action during TED, with a video of a soldier using the arm to write.

The video is yet to appear on his site, but apparently shows the solider using it to scratch his nose, pick up a pen and perform other delicate actions.  Of equal importance on a mental level is the fact that it can be covered with a perfect, mirror-image cast of the individual's other arm.

InfoWorld [via BoingBoing]

Doctors get more choice in tablets

Doctors get more choice in tablets

First off I ignored this Philips medical tablet, thinking I was seeing stories about Motion's C5 Mobile Clinical Assistant.  But it turns out that the high-tech medic has a choice of touchscreens for their virtual practice.  This one, excitingly, not only has a 10.4-inch display, digital camera, WiFi and Bluetooth, it can read barcodes and RFID tags and - according to Philips - has a "ground breaking" hand grip.

 

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Emergency Medical Information in your wallet

Emergency Medical Information in your wallet

Given the current climate of litigation, it's actually statistically more dangerous to attempt to resuscitate an unconscious person in the street than it is to dance naked in a pit of angry, poisonous snakes.  Get one thing wrong and before you know it, you're up in the dock trying to explain why jabbing someone in the throat with the barrel of a biro seemed like a great idea at the time.  Luckily, impromptu medical calamity should soon be a thing of the bleary eyed past, as we all get our hands on EMI's 911 rCard.

As is obvious from the picture and the name, it's a credit card sized slab of medical-documentation goodness.  Scroll keys allow for navigating multiple pages of allergies, current medication and charts from recent scans and tests.  Should the USB-rechargeable battery go dead, the toll-free number on the back links to the subscription-based EMI service, who for $20 a year will keep your information updated and available should you fall to the ground after drinking far too many carbonated beverages.

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VR limbs help alleviate Phantom Limb Pain

VR limbs help alleviate Phantom Limb Pain

Phantom Limb Pain (PLP) is something difficult to conceptualise if you've not experienced it.  People who haven't had to have parts of their body amputated don't immediately understand that, when injury is experienced somewhere on them, it's the brain that registers what we know of as "pain".  Yet for amputees it can be a debilitating problem, with incredible episodes of chronic discomfort that cannot be treated due to the limb not actually being present.  Until now it's been almost impossible to deal with; however, researchers at the University of Manchester, UK, have given sufferers a fake limb - not made of rubber or plastic, but experienced through virtual reality.

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Sonic Bed hides hifi under the duvet

Sonic Bed hides hifi under the duvet

If I told you that I knew about a new gizmo for your bedroom that vibrates in a pleasing and relaxing way and requires mains electricity to work its magic, would you slap me? 

Before my cheeks get beaten red raw, I'll explain that it's Kaffe Matthew's deeply curious Sonic Bed, which apparently lulls occupants with a complex and endless loop of soothing sounds.  Personally I just like the idea of a bed that you step up to and then drop down into, but I don't think there's room in my hovel for one.

Interactive Architecture [via Ubergizmo]

Outer Space Zero-G Surgery

Outer Space Zero-G Surgery

The world’s first surgery in zero-gravity on a human patient will be performed this Wednesday by a team of French doctors. The surgery will be performed on the European aircraft, Zero-G, which has been designed to simulate gravity-free conditions by flying up and down in a parabolic pattern. This creates between 20 to 22 seconds of weightlessness at the top of each curve, a process they will repeat around 30 times for the three-hour inflight surgery. The doctors are only allowed to work during these zero-g intervals. From looking at the diagram below, I would think anti-motion-sickness pills and barf bags are a must.

Zero-G Surgery [Via: MedGadget]

AI Wheelchair watches out for danger

AI Wheelchair watches out for danger

During a senior citizen's charity barn dance last year, my grandmother was the victim of a very slow hit-and-run incident when one of the other participant's wheelchairs ran over her foot.  With tragedy like this lacing our streets on an almost bi-daily basis, it's a corn-fed shock to the system that wheelchair users are not required to pass some sort of pavement safety testing scheme.  Thankfully, Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) are doing something about it.

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