Each year, engineers, medical researchers and other gifted individuals develop technologies designed to improve the level of care that patients receive. Some of the innovations also enable physicians to more effectively perform their jobs. There have been a number of advancements that have made headlines in healthcare technology news.
One of the interesting devices impressing members of the health care profession recently made healthcare technology news is total body 3D scanner. Scientists from the UC Davis Department of Biomedical Engineering recently shared some of the capabilities of the latest medical imaging scanner that they dubbed “Explorer.” The complex device combines positron emission tomography and computerized X-ray technology in order to have the ability to scan the entire human body simultaneously. The desired images are created in as little as one second. The scanner also has the ability to create videos in order for physicians to more accurately view physiological processes occurring throughout many anatomical systems. Explorer will prove helpful for tracking blood flow or medications as they circulate in the blood.
Applications for the new scanner are broad secondary to the ability of the device. Using the 3D scanner, physicians and technicians have the chance to achieve a clearer picture of many different disease processes and disorders and their effect on the body. Some of the applications might include assessing infectious processes, inflammation and malignancies. The scanner will also provide physicians with a unique view as to the effectiveness of treatments. Explorer is additionally reported as being safer, as the scanner produces images and videos while requiring 40 times less radiation, which makes the scanner a potentially useful tool in pediatric medicine.
A team of researchers from Israel’s Calit Health System combined efforts with Zebra Medical Vision to combine artificial intelligence with CT scans in order to achieve higher degrees of diagnostic accuracy. The team was particularly interested in determining the potential for coronary vascular anomalies and osteoporotic fractures.
In each test, AI was used in conjunction with existing technology and demonstrated the ability to more accurately and specifically make predictions related to the future health of patients. The study also revealed that of the many adults who are at risk of suffering a fracture secondary to osteoporosis, a mere 20 percent ever undergo screening assessments. By administering intelligent scanning procedures, physicians have the ability to delay or prevent disease progression.
Similar systems are being evaluated to compile the data of individual patients. In this way, physicians are alerted to the risks patients might experience during a hospital stay. The information gained helps the medical team in facilities enhance the care provided to patients by reducing the number of nosocomial infections or improve surgical outcomes. High-risk patients are more closely monitored for potential complications. In the event that the condition of a patient declines, they receive medical intervention quicker.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services plans on providing accessible and affordable health care for individuals by encouraging telehealth services. In this way, individuals have the opportunity to save money on traveling to healthcare providers. Telehealth services also eliminate the time waiting to consult with a health care provider. From the comfort and privacy of their home, patients would be able to engage in virtual medical visits.
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Virtual technology will assist physicians in caring for patients living with chronic conditions. The systems might also be equipped with the ability to send text messages or emails as reminders for having followup consultations, medication needs or lifestyle recommendations. The technology would also help home-health nursing staff more closely monitor patients without the need to make in-person visits. Overall, the technology has the potential to save money and time for patients and health care providers.
Every emotion, thought or physical action takes place with the assistance of signals that travel to and from the brain. Measuring brain signals of the central nervous system formerly meant having sensors and wires attached to the various parts of the body. However, advancements in sensory technology enable technicians to monitor activity 24 hours each day without the individual being monitored having to wear restrictive electronic gadgetry.
Today, emotion sensors perform the same task. The Q Sensor is another example of healthcare technology news. The tech was manufactured by Affectiva and tells researchers, neuroscientists and psychologists when someone is on the threshold of experiencing a significant mood altering state. The technology has proven especially useful for evaluating children living with autism.
One such situation involved a student who was preparing to speak publicly. Prior to speaking, the individual paced back and forth as a form of self-soothing. Upon assessing the student’s electrodermal readings, a physician determined that the technique was effective.
The advanced technology does not require an individual to wear the sensors. One type of monitoring device known as the “Cardiocam” has the ability to evaluate emotions by assessing heart and respiratory rates via a webcam. Others evaluate skin temperature and moisture. Emotion sensors are another form of telemedicine that enables physicians to monitor patients remotely.