medical

This ultra-thin electronic skin puts a digital display on your body

This ultra-thin electronic skin puts a digital display on your body

Smartwatches and fitness device may be the wearables of today, but in the not-too-distant future we be using super-thin skin-like membranes that can put a digital display right on the surface of our bodies. University of Tokyo researchers are bringing us closer to such a future, as they've been developing a new type of electronic skin, or e-skin, that is nearly as flexible and stretchy as the real stuff, but has the benefit of putting polymer light emitting diodes (PLEDs) on your hand or anywhere it's applied.

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DARPA wants ‘shape-shifting’ vaccines that evolve with viruses

DARPA wants ‘shape-shifting’ vaccines that evolve with viruses

Vaccines are great, but they’re no match for most viruses in play at any given time. This is due largely in part to the ever-changing nature of viruses and the expense and difficulty in developing new vaccines to target them. DARPA wants that reality to change, citing the numerous concerning viruses, past and present, that affect humanity. Under the “INTERCEPT” program, DARPA seeks “shape-shifting” vaccines that adapt to kill off viruses as they evolve.

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Fitbit Charge HR helped a doctor make a life-saving decision

Fitbit Charge HR helped a doctor make a life-saving decision

Remember the Apple Watch that helped save a teenage athlete's life? Well, now it's the Fitbit's turn to make such a sensational news. A Fitbit Charge HR's heart rate monitor data was used by a doctor to determine it was safe, in fact critical, to reset a man's heart rate using electrical cardioversion. While it still remains pretty much the exception rather than the norm, it does show the growing sophistication of such fitness-equipped wearables to the point that they can provide essential information that could help save people's lives.

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Study finds robotic Paro seal is therapeutic for dementia patients

Study finds robotic Paro seal is therapeutic for dementia patients

A study conducted by Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing has found that therapeutic robots — in this case, Paro the robotic seal — can help calm and comfort elderly individuals afflicted with dementia. The study observed 920 instances where Paro provided some type of therapeutic effect for dementia patients, “improving the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia and reducing the usage of psychotropic medications,” said Paro designer Dr. Takanori Shibata.

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Drones will deliver meds in Rwanda starting this summer

Drones will deliver meds in Rwanda starting this summer

Zipline, a California startup, will soon start supplying remote areas of Rwanda with medical supplies via drone-based drop shipments. The shipments will begin in July, and will be made possible using fixed-wing drones able to travel many miles. Zipline will operate the service for the nation’s government, and will be able to get much-needed supplies, like emergency medication, to remote regions within a single day rather than the weeks or months other methods can take.

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NASA sending fungi into space to study drug development

NASA sending fungi into space to study drug development

A team of researchers from NASA and the University of Southern California will be the first in the world send fungi into space with the goal of developing medical drugs. The fungi, which are known to produce molecules called secondary metabolites, will hitch a ride to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX rocket scheduled to launch on April 8th. Secondary metabolites can be used to create beneficial medicine for humans, such as the antibiotic penicillin.

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New blood test detects concussions days after they happen

New blood test detects concussions days after they happen

Concussions are a serious problem in the world of sports, particularly when it comes to youth sports — concussion symptoms are sometimes delayed in children (less commonly in adults, as well), meaning an evaluation immediately after an incident may not accurately reflect the nature of the injury. Researchers have discovered a way to deal with this, developing a new type of blood test that can identify whether someone has suffered a concussion up to a week after it happened.

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Samsung brainBAND tracks concussions in athletes

Samsung brainBAND tracks concussions in athletes

Samsung Electronics Australia has rolled out a new bit of tech called the brainBAND that is designed to help coaches and medics keep up with concussion injuries in athletes. The brainBAND is a wearable device and the prototype was developed via the Samsung Launching People program that puts a pair of researchers from different backgrounds together to see how tech can help solve challenges in society.

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Patch monitors glucose levels and delivers meds to control glucose

Patch monitors glucose levels and delivers meds to control glucose

Anyone who has been around a diabetic that has to prick their fingers multiple times a day to check their blood glucose levels can understand in an instant just how difficult and annoying the disease can be. Factor in the need for some diabetics to not only prick fingers to check glucose levels, but to give themselves shots of insulin to control the blood sugar and things only get worse for diabetics. Scientists have developed an innovative medical device that might make diabetes less of a prick.

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Apple Watch gets built-in ECG monitor with Kardia Band

Apple Watch gets built-in ECG monitor with Kardia Band

The Apple Watch's heart rate monitor has been praised before about how accurate it is for a smartwatch, but now it's about to get even more advanced with a medical-grade ECG (electrocardiogram) monitor built into the new Kardia Band from accessory maker AliveCor. The watch band features a small metal sensor on the side that communicates with an accompanying app on the device itself, monitoring and alerting wearers of abnormal heart rates.

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NY’s digital prescriptions use tech to battle addiction

NY’s digital prescriptions use tech to battle addiction

Paper prescriptions: they're hard to read, easy to lose, and, for those particularly desperate, not terribly difficult to modify. Starting March 27, New York will be the first state to require all doctors to submit prescriptions digitally rather than writing them out on a sheet of paper. Doing so presents some minor downsides for patients — namely, they’re stuck with whatever pharmacy receives it rather than being able to take it wherever is cheapest at that moment — but there are several upsides as well.

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Designer (successfully) 3D prints his own invisible braces

Designer (successfully) 3D prints his own invisible braces

While you're patting yourself on the back for 3D printing a replacement battery cover for your TV remote, one design has proudly shown off his new smile, one made straight via a series of teeth-straightening invisible braces he created himself using a 3D printer. The end result is as successful as anyone could hope for, which is to say he's now the proud owner of perfectly aligned teeth. The orthodontic world shudders.

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