Medical Sensors Could Phone for Help

seA man struggling with drug addiction feels a craving coming on, but his next therapy appointment is not for another week. Right away, his cell phone buzzes, offering breathing exercise, a motivational message, or even just a distracting game. And his doctor can check on him remotely and alter the messages, if his stress is not alleviated.

For now, this telemedicine scenario is in the future. But in a small pilot program, Continue reading

Discharged ER Patients often Miss Instructions

People who are discharged from emergency departments are often unable to tell what symptoms should raise alarms and make them return to the hospital, a review suggests.

Dr. Stephen Porter, head of emergency medicine at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, led a review of more than 50 studies on the subject. The papers examined the content, delivery and comprehension of discharge instructions for both adults and children.

In the hectic and distracting environment of an emergency department, key instructions to patients can be lost. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

It’s important Continue reading

Artificial Pancreas Could Revolutionize Diabetes Care Should FDA Approve It

A November 26 CNN article on the development of an artificial pancreas is noteworthy because it highlights the nexus between medical device enabling technologies, end-use medical products, clinical trials, and the much-criticized FDA approval process.

Based on a sensor placed under the skin for measuring blood sugar, an artificial pancreas mimics the glucose-regulating function of a healthy organ, the article explains. After the sensor measures the blood sugar level, information is sent to a receiver, prompting a pump to deliver insulin in controlled doses. A glucose meter calibrates the sensor, and software checks the body’s blood sugar so that the correct amount of insulin can be automatically dispensed at the right time.

The trouble is, Continue reading

Developing Technologies to Improve the Treatment of Craniosynostosis in Children

Engineers and surgeons are working together to improve the treatment of babies born with craniosynostosis, a condition that causes the bone plates in the skull to fuse too soon. Treating this condition typically requires surgery after birth to remove portions of the fused skull bones, and in some cases the bones grow together again too quickly — requiring additional surgeries.

Researchers in the Atlanta-based Center for Pediatric Healthcare Technology Innovation are developing imaging techniques designed to predict whether a child’s skull bones are likely to grow back together too quickly after surgery. They are also developing technologies that may delay a repeat of the premature fusion process. Continue reading

Study Reveals the Molecular Mechanism that Promotes Cancer Development

Jerusalem scientists identify molecular basis for DNA breakage, which results in the development of cancer.

The molecular basis for the breakage of DNA – the hallmark of cancer cells – has been identified by Hebrew University of Jerusalem scientists. The important discovery will be published on Friday in the prestigious journal Molecular Cell.

The DNA encodes all the genetic information needed to build the cell’s proteins. Thus, breaks in the DNA disrupt the proteins and lead to changes in cell function. These changes can lead to defects in the control of cellular proliferation, which results in the development of cancer.

Using cutting-edge technologies, researchers Prof. Batsheva Kerem and doctoral student Efrat Ozeri-Galai, of the Alexander Silverman Institute of Life Sciences in the HU’s Faculty of Science, were able to characterize for the first time the DNA regions that are the most sensitive to breakage in early stages of cancer development.

This is a breakthrough in our understanding of the effect of the DNA sequence and structure on its replication and stability, they said on Thursday. Continue reading

Telemedicine Market Expected to Grow 18.6% Annually Through 2015

MarketResearch.com has announced the addition of BCC Research’s new report “Telemedicine: Opportunities for Medical and Electronic Providers” to their collection of Information Technology market reports

Companies require clarity regarding the main markets for telemedicine technologies and services. BCC is interested in providing a comprehensive market forecast for multiple market segments (e.g., technologies, services, applications, geographical).

There has been a global focus on the use of telemedicine as a tool to cut down healthcare costs and bring about mammoth savings. BCC is interested in studying the ways in which collaborative healthcare can be better and more economically implemented through telemedicine. Recently announced best practices to cut down global healthcare costs, including outsourced medical services, home-based treatment, intervention as opposed to post treatment, integrated information technology (IT) environments, increased efficiency of healthcare resources, and reducing billing gaps, all point toward the increasing use of telemedicine.

BCC aims to identify the key success factors in the telemedicine market and to gauge the ways in which this market can significantly affect larger markets such as healthcare, health insurance, home care, telecommunications (telecom), networking, disease management, e-health, and healthcare IT. The report is well-timed, as major Tier I stakeholders are entering the telemedicine market.

The global telemedicine market is expected to grow from $9.8 billion in 2010 to $23 billion in 2015, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.6% over the next 5 years.

The global telehospitals/clinics market in 2009 was $5.6 billion and accounted for 71% of the total Telemedicine market. This sector is worth $6.9 billion in 2010 and is expected to reach $15 billion in 2015, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.8%.

The telehome market, which represented 28.5% of the market in 2009, is expected to capture nearly 35% by 2015. This sector is valued at nearly $2.9 billion in 2010 and is expected to increase at a 22.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to reach $7.9 billion in 2015.