medicine

Oculus Rift creates outdoor VR experience for a dying woman

Oculus Rift creates outdoor VR experience for a dying woman

"It is reality!" this very jubilant expression is what cancer patient Roberta Firstenberg had to say about her first Oculus Rift experience. Grandmother of game artist Priscilla Firstenberg, Roberta was confined indoors due to her health condition. She was able to enjoy the surreal experience of climbing stairs – something she found painful – and reach out to butterflies and simply 'fly' thanks to the VR Company.

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Tissue engineering: Scientist grow body parts to implant in patients

Tissue engineering: Scientist grow body parts to implant in patients

It is pretty obvious that the chances of a body accepting a tissue or part from its own are greater, than a donation. There have been two cases reported where scientists grew reproductive organs and nasal cartilage in labs, and were able to successfully implant them in patients. So far no complications have been reported, which is always a cause of concern in such cases, indicating a very positive step in tissue engineering.

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Smart pills near launch as Proteus inks production plans

Smart pills near launch as Proteus inks production plans

Digital pills pinging wireless signals from inside your body and powered by stomach acid are another step closer to the pharmacy, with manufacturer Proteus set to open a production facility in the UK to make the tech-meds. Proteus' digital medicines - shown off as "smart pills" by former-Motorola skunkworks lead and now Google Advanced Technology and Products Group chief Regina Duggan last year - will go into trials with various health organizations around the UK.

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Glass hits operating theater as wearable tech boosts cancer surgery

Glass hits operating theater as wearable tech boosts cancer surgery

"OK Glass, show me an X-ray." Surgeons at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital are turning to Glass to summon patient records and more, with the hospital the first to use Google's wearable during abdominal surgery. Two physicians, Dr. Szotek and Dr. Jeff Browne, each sported Glass during the four-hour procedure, relying on Google's voice control to access medical information as they sliced out a tumor.

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Self-control enhanced by tiny electrical charge to the brain: study

Self-control enhanced by tiny electrical charge to the brain: study

A small study has shown with some certainty that self-control can be enhanced by applying electrical stimulation to the brain. Scientists applied electrodes to the prefrontal cortex of each participant via invasive surgery. The participants performed tasks that involved ceasing what they were doing or switching to a new task. When certain areas of the prefrontal cortex were given an imperceptible electric shock at that point, the participants performed better.

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Xbox Kinect helps stroke patients regain freedom of movement

Xbox Kinect helps stroke patients regain freedom of movement

Physical therapy researchers at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center are developing a home therapy program for stroke patients, and the Xbox Kinect plays a central role. It involves a home-brewed game called Canyon Adventure, in which patients paddle a canoe down a river, swat bats in a cave, snag litter out of the water, go fishing, navigate the rapids, and catch objects like medical supplies and treasure chests. The program helps patients regain motor control from the comfort of their own homes.

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Obama’s Brain Activity Map project expected to receive billions in budget

Obama’s Brain Activity Map project expected to receive billions in budget

A ten year project, the Brain Activity Map, that attempts to fathom the deepest workings of the human brain at a cost of billions of dollars is expected to feature in President Obama's budget proposal next month, scientists have revealed. The collaborative research effort, hoping to do for our understanding of neurology and brain activity what the Human Genome Project did for genetic discovery, will see federal agencies along with private institutions receive a huge boost in funding, sources told the NYTimes, with potential applications in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's treatment, in the development of artificial intelligence, and other avenues.

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FDA approves ‘ingestible sensor’ for use as a medical device

FDA approves ‘ingestible sensor’ for use as a medical device

Here's one that the conspiracy theorists among us will love: the FDA has approved an "ingestible sensor" made by Proteus Digital Health for marketing as a medical device. Though such a device sounds like it can't be anything other than devious, the idea behind it is quite simple, as it will be used to make sure that patients are taking their pills when they're supposed to. Apparently Proteus has been working with the FDA since 2008 to get this thing approved, so this could prove to be a pretty big breakthrough for the company.

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Roomba makers iRobot trialling RP-VITA medical robot

Roomba makers iRobot trialling RP-VITA medical robot

iRobot, the creators of the popular Roomba cleaning robot, have created a medical assistant dubbed RP-VITA (Remote Presence Virtual + Independent Telemedicine Assistant) aimed at being used in hospitals. RP-VITA is the result of a $6 million investment in InTouch, with the robot able to navigate hospitals using a myriad of sensors, such as sonar, a laser range finder, and two cameras. The robot is also able to intelligently create a map of the designated hospital, although it’s primarily navigated using a joystick by a remote doctor.

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