medical

Smart-Drive MX2 turns normal wheelchairs into power chairs

Smart-Drive MX2 turns normal wheelchairs into power chairs

In the world of medical equipment, there is a huge gulf between the price and portability of a normal standard wheelchair and a powered wheelchair designed to help people get around with less effort. Many people can't afford to pay for a normal power wheelchair and insurance doesn't always help and they are hard to transport. A new device has debuted called the Smart-Drive MX2 and it is an electric drive unit to attach to a normal wheelchair.

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DARPA shows off robotic prosthetic arm that can feel

DARPA shows off robotic prosthetic arm that can feel

DARPA is at the leading edge of many different research fields and makes some incredible breakthroughs that have a way of becoming common products over the years. One of DARPA's latest breakthroughs is a prosthetic limb that allows the wearer to feel what they are holding or touching. The ability to feel was added to a mind-controlled robotic prosthetic arm that was first announced back in July.

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DARPA’s new prosthetic limb lets paralyzed man feel objects

DARPA’s new prosthetic limb lets paralyzed man feel objects

Prosthetic limbs have become nearly science fiction-like in their sophistication, allowing the human mind to control robotic arms and hands in a way similar to how one controls their own limbs. DARPA is counted among the research entities developing this technology, and it has recently taken it a step further, using neurotechnology to enable a paralyzed individual to "feel" objects through a prosthesis. The prosthetic is sensitive enough that sensations touching each finger could be discerned individually.

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Scientists test algae for potential cure for blindness

Scientists test algae for potential cure for blindness

It may sound far out, but tests are about begin to see if a protein from algae could help cure blindness in humans. Found in dirt and water, the single-cell green algae is known as Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and its eyespot, used to find sunlight for photosynthesis, contains the protein channelrhodopsin-2. This protein is sensitive to light in a way similar to the human eye, and scientists as the company RetroSense have been given FDA approval for clinical trials to inject it into the retina of the blind, with the hope it could one day lead to a cure.

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Scientists plan to reanimate 30,000 year old Siberian virus

Scientists plan to reanimate 30,000 year old Siberian virus

Scientist have announced a plan to reanimate an ancient giant virus that was discovered in the frozen wastes of Siberia. The virus is called Mollivirus sibericum and is the fourth pre-historic virus to be discovered since 2003. It is the second ancient virus to be discovered by this team. The scientists say that they plan to determine if the virus could cause harm animals or humans before waking it.

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Google to work with Sanofi on diabetes research

Google to work with Sanofi on diabetes research

Leading diabetes medication makers Sanofi will be working with Google in the near future on the monitoring and treatment of the condition. In the near future this Google Live Sciences division will be split off into its own company under Alphabet. For now, it's still inside Google. Google Live Sciences is currently led by Andrew Conrad who suggests that this Sanofi partnership is just one of many made in the recent past to grow Google Life Science's involvement in medication, software, medical devices, and computing infrastructure.

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9-year-old gets ‘awesome’ gesture-controlled bionic arm

9-year-old gets ‘awesome’ gesture-controlled bionic arm

Josh Cathcart is a nine-year-old boy who was born missing a portion of his right arm, something that resulted in bullying and made life harder for him. Those troubles have been greatly minimized thanks to a new bionic arm from Touch Bionics, making him the first kid in the United Kingdom to get one of the company’s i-limb quantum prosthetics. The arm is functional, allowing him to grip items as small as LEGOs and do things for himself that he previously had trouble doing. This is said to be the first prosthetic hand able to alter its grip using gestures.

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Digital pen might one day help detect brain conditions

Digital pen might one day help detect brain conditions

Brain diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's can have a severe impact on people later in their life, and one of the biggest problems is detecting them early enough for effective treatments to begin. One way that doctors check for early signs is through patient's drawing irregularities, i.e. distortions in shapes and how long it takes to finish a drawing. Unfortunately, these irregularities, like signs of brain diseases, can be easily overlooked due to a doctor's opinion. But MIT researchers think a digital pen with tracking software could help improve detection.

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Research suggests music might one day help with epilepsy treatments

Research suggests music might one day help with epilepsy treatments

A group of researchers from Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have made a new discovery about those with epilepsy and how the brain processes music. The team, led by neurologist Christine Charyton, based their research on the fact that 80% of epileptic seizures begin in the temporal lobes, the same region of the brain as the auditory cortex, the part that processes sound and music. The discovery is that the brainwaves of those with the disorder tend to synchronize with music.

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Yelp and ProPublica give health care stats for medical facilities

Yelp and ProPublica give health care stats for medical facilities

Yelp has announced that it has teamed with ProPublica to bring consumers information about their health care provider and medical facilities. The information bring statistics, consumer opinions, and more on 25,000 treatment facilities around the country including information on 4,600 hospitals, 15,000 nursing homes, and 6,300 dialysis clinics in the US.

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3D printed medicine gets FDA stamp of approval

3D printed medicine gets FDA stamp of approval

Is there anything 3D printing can't do these days? From toys, to chocolate, to dog legs, to house parts. And now we even have 3D printed drugs. Now that in itself isn't really a novel feat, considering 3D printed food. The success that Aprecia Pharmaceuticals achieved is in actually getting the US Food and Drug Administration to approve it. This makes its SPRITRAM seizure drug to be the first 3D printed medication to receive FDA approval, perhaps opening the doors to even more such products in the future.

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ReWalk exoskeleton allows paraplegic to walk the streets and stairs

ReWalk exoskeleton allows paraplegic to walk the streets and stairs

ReWalk Robotics has an exoskeleton that is designed to allow paraplegics to walk again. That exoskeleton is called the ReWalk Personal 6.0. The man strapped on the exoskeleton and used it to walk up and down the streets of New York City. ReWalk says that it always intended the exoskeleton to be used in the community and that it didn't want to create a device only usable in physical therapy settings.

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