From the category archives:

Healthcare Information Technology

Medical Technology that Used to be Science-Fiction

by Tera Tuten on March 10, 2014

A few weeks before Star Trek: Into Darkness hit theatres, we looked at “23rd Century health technologies that already exist.”

At the time, it was amazing to see how many futuristic devices we see in the movies (and not just that saga, but in the Marvel universe, Star Wars, and others) that are quickly becoming reality.

For medical professionals and aspiring super-heroes, here’s a look at some more medical sci-fi that’s here today

3D printing of prosthetics and bone/joint replacements (The Fifth Element)

Ever see that beautifully-crafted sci-fi action movie in which Bruce Willis has to find-and-assemble people/stuff from different planets to save the Earth?

…Let’s try this again: Ever see that pre-Resident-Evil movie where Milla Jovovich jumps off a futuristic 900-floor building wearing nothing but a bandage designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier? (OK, awesome.)

Before that scene in The Fifth Element, said actress’ character is “resurrected” from a tiny bit of ancient DNA that gets re-built in seconds in a robotic chamber that can build anything, including people. Sound far-fetched?

Not only can 3D printing technology already create objects that stand-in for missing body parts (like prosthetics) but it can even “print” objects that could be used inside humans, such as replacement bones, joints, and other pieces of us, and perhaps soon, even living replacements using human stem cells as the “ink.” [click to continue…]

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Ever since America at large discovered the convenience of the Internet, people have been using it to research everything from recipes to real estate listings. Add to that, we’re a society that leans a bit paranoid when it comes to our aches and pains–and it certainly comes as no surprise that health concerns are one of the more popular search topics on the Web.

A 2013 survey from the Pew Internet and American Life Project revealed that “Dr. Google” seems to have a thriving practice indeed, with 59% of U.S. adults surveyed stating they’ve used the Internet to look for health information. Of that 59%, a full 35% admit they’ve gone online specifically to try and diagnose a condition they themselves or someone else has. [click to continue…]

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Through The Google Glass

by Tera Tuten on August 13, 2013

google glass health

The era of wearable technology has arrived and with it came something right out of a sci-fi movie — the Google Glass. This eyeglass-esque computer device was released for trial earlier this year. Participants, called “explorers,” were able to snag a pair for a hefty price of $1,500. During this trial, Google aims to make improvements to the Glass and to finalize a product eligible for mass production. Recent reports say the Google Glass could retail approximately $300 when it finally becomes available to the public.¹ [click to continue…]

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9 People Who Have Turned Medical Imaging Into Art

by Tera Tuten on July 23, 2013

About 5 years ago, I looked at the rainbow strands of light below and wondered if I was seeing some sort of digital art.

What I was actually seeing was a map of someone’s brain, made with a Siemens Magnetom Allegra 3-Tesla scanner at Massachusetts General Hospital.

By imaging the mobility of water molecules, the brilliant strands here showed nerve pathways – essentially a wiring diagram of a thought…maybe even a feeling. [click to continue…]

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four promising new surgical robots It’s been years since the Da Vinci surgical robot unwittingly morphed from a great hope for telesurgery to a semi-common tool for doctors to do ultra-precise surgeries with their hands on the controls in the next room. In the last 5 years, we’ve seen such robots perform prostate surgery, lace a footballmake a paper airplane and even peeling a grape.

Here are eight promising robots that may soon be commonplace thanks to the amazing benefits they offer: [click to continue…]

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automated-pharmacies-never-replace-pharmacists-soliantWould you want a robot dispensing drugs for you and your patients? Odds are, that’s long since been the case, to one extent or another:

Robotics have been used to help dispense medication in some pharmacies since the 1990s and robots for delivering medication have been used in hospitals for a decade.

And even before that, machines have been used for decades to count pills for dispensing – Such technology is now the standard in more than 30,000 pharmacies worldwide.

But will technology ever replace pharmacists completely? [click to continue…]

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