Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

Digital Body Monitoring Devices

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Tech giants such as Apple, Samsung and Google are all developing amazingly innovative health monitoring products. This is no surprise as it has been forecast that the global fitness and health monitoring market will be worth around $2.8 Billion by 2018.

Health tracking technology could really change and improve the way that we manage and monitor our health and wellbeing. Here are just a few recent examples.

Diabetes Monitoring

Last week Google and Novartis revealed that they are teaming up to develop contact lenses that monitor glucose levels.

One of the prototypes contains a device about the size of a speck of glitter that measures glucose in tears. A wireless antenna then transmits the measurement to an external device. This design would ease the burden of diabetics who have to prick their fingers to test blood sugar levels.

“I have many patients that are managing diabetes, and they described it as having a part-time job. It’s so arduous to monitor,” says Thomas Quinn, the head of the American Optometric Association’s contact lens and cornea section. “To have a way that patients can do that more easily and get some of their life back is really exciting.”

Quinn stated that tears also contain a chemical called lacryglobin that serves as measurable indicator for breast, colon, lung, prostate and ovarian cancers. Monitoring lacryglobin levels would be especially useful for cancer patients in remission.

Health & Wellbeing Tracking

Samsung have presented their prototype for Simband at a press event in San Francisco. Simband is a wristband that can be fitted with third party sensors to present a range of health information about the wearers body such as precise heart rate, blood flow, respiration, galvanic skin response, hydration and gas and glucose concentrations in the blood as well as data about substances present in the air.

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They suggested that to help users interpret the data they would present them with a “wellness score” that would evidence how well the wearer was looking after his body.

Total Health Tracking

Apple, working with a team of fitness, nutrition, sleep and medical experts, are currently developing what is expected to be the most advanced body monitor yet.

“If Apple delivers, this could be to health tracking what the iPod was to music,” says Mark Gurman, a Senior Editor with website 9to5Mac.

Just some of the features that iWatch is most likely to feature include:

  • Monitoring Blood Sugar – enabling you to see how what you eat affects you both immediately and over time

  • Read Body Temperature

  • Measure O2 Levels – allowing you to know when you are fully recovered from exercise which is crucial for optimum workout results.

  • Detect Muscle Engagement – measuring how hard you are working when doing a specific exercise.

  • Get Hydration Levels – confirming how much more water you need to drink for optimum health.

These monitoring devices could allow us to understand our own bodies better and in turn help us stay healthier as well as unidentified health problems.

Moreover they provide an amazing opportunity for users to share this data with healthcare practitioners and eventually the possibility of real-time guidance based on highly accurate data.

 

Kinect Helps Stroke Victims With Rehab Process

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Kinect, Microsoft’s motion-sensing technology could make stroke rehabilitation more successful and more fun.

Researchers have been working in partnerships 7,000 miles apart in order to help stroke victims recover their motor skills faster by using Microsoft’s Kinect motion-sensing system.

A partnership between Seoul National University and Microsoft Research Asia revealed their laboratory project Stroke Recovery with Kinect. Almost at the same time Jintronix a startup medical technology company based in Montreal and Seattle announced a closed beta program for the Jintronix Rehabilitation System, which they have been developing for three years.

Both research teams built their systems upon the idea that using games can make the rehabilitation process less tedious and more fun. If the long and repetitive exercises that are required to rewire the brain after a stroke are more fun then people are more likely to stick with them in the long run.

Surprisingly the two teams who were working on the development of two similar systems had no knowledge of each others existence. Microsoft Research’s Miran Lee said to Information Week that it is “a great example of how a grand societal challenge can find the greatest minds working on a similar solution,”.

Rehabilitation for stroke In the East

The academic project by Microsoft started after a researcher from Seoul National University, Nam-Jong Paik came up with the idea to create a rehabilitation system for stroke victims which would be used at home.

Product Demo from Daniel Schacter on Vimeo.

The professor and his colleagues visited Microsoft Research in Beijing to see how motion-sensing technology was used in a broad range of applications for healthcare.

He teamed up with Microsoft’s Miran Lee and her team of researchers to develop Stroke Recovery with Kinect.

Their project is currently at the research stage and the creators say that it is too early to set a date for commercial availability as the team are still refining and enhancing the prototype. Lee has said that the system will be ready for clinical trials in the next couple of years with acute hemiparetic stroke patients which leaves people paralysed on one side of their body. The clinical trials will take place at the Seoul National Bundang Hospital.

The trials will “investigate the impact and cost effectiveness of Stroke Recovery with Kinect in a hospital setting and the feasibility and efficacy in a real home setting,” Lee said to InformationWeek.

In the future the team will develop social features which will allow patients to connect with each other for emotional support and encouragement during their rehabilitation. It will also be a way for doctors to communicate with the patients and monitor their progress.

 Rehabilitation for stroke in the West

Justin Tan, CEO of Jintronix came up with the idea for the Rehabilitation System when his father suffered a stroke in 2003. Tan helped his father in his long rehab which made him determined him to find a technology that could improve this slow process.

The Jintronix Rehabilitation System is made up of two pieces of software: JRS Wave, which in conjunction with Microsoft Kinect is run on patient’s personal computer, and JRS Portal which is a web application that allows doctors to monitor the progress.

Jintronix’s system is further along in the development process than Microsoft’s. It is already being beta tested in 5 countries with 150 patients participating at 60 hospitals and clinics.

Other medical uses

The Kinect technology has many other potential medical uses. Microsoft Research are currently working on two projects one to improve diagnostics for brain tumors and a real-time translation between signal language and spoken language.

News source

About Pathway Software

Pathway Software (www.pathwaysoftware.com) specialises in the design and development of patient information systems for Allied Health professionals.

Its flagship product, Therapy Manager, is an Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system specifically designed for Therapy Services to provide decision makers with the ability to track and manage clinical activity and analyse cost of care by patient, episode or service. The system also demonstrably reduces administration time and the costs of managing Therapy Services.

£260m Tech Fund Allocations Delayed by ROI Demands

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

tech-fund

An announcement of initial allocations from the £260 million “Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards” Technology Fund is thought to be being delayed by demands on the Return on Investment (ROI)  trusts must deliver.

An email was sent to NHS trusts that applied for funding last month by NHS England urging them to “bear with us a little longer”, but offering no update on when to expect an announcement, which was originally due by the end of October. Whilst the formal assessment process for successful applicants was concluded at the start of November, the email states there have been “unforeseen delays with Treasury approval of the overall funding envelope”.

 

“We are aware of the impact of this on your local decision making processes and are doing everything within our powers to remedy the situation” the email states.

 

The growing delays mean that Trusts will encounter significant difficulties in being able to spend the first £90m of technology fund money by April next year.

 

It is thought that the Treasury is insisting that NHS trusts show they will achieve a 1.5 x ROI for central monies in the current year. The demand will rise to 2.5 x ROI on investment for the next financial year.

 

Several NHS IT directors said these ROI levels will be challenging to evidence and deliver. Trusts much commit to match any funds allocated from the £260m central pot.

 

Original Source EHI

About Pathway Software

Pathway Software (www.pathwaysoftware.com) specialises in the design and development of patient information systems for Allied Health professionals.

Its flagship product, Therapy Manager, is an Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system specifically designed for Therapy Services to provide decision makers with the ability to track and manage clinical activity and analyse cost of care by patient, episode or service. The system also demonstrably reduces administration time and the costs of managing Therapy Services.

Intelesant win Tech Innovation Award for end-of-life Tool

Monday, October 28th, 2013

An end-of-life monitoring tool has won the Technology Innovation accolade at The Guardian Healthcare Innovation Awards 2013.

The End of Life Monitoring and Assessment (Elma) tool was developed by Intelesant, Trafford clinical commissioning group and local hospices in Trafford, Greater Manchester. It has already been used by one local care home and is in the process of being rolled out to another nine.

Elma allows care homes to electronically send a resident’s advanced plan – a statement of their end of life wishes – via a handheld device direct to the individual’s GP computer system. The plan, which is Read-coded and compatible with the practice system, can then be accessed around the clock by other NHS staff from ambulance teams to A&E doctors and community nurses.

Using the tool, care home staff are now able to directly share their knowledge about a resident with the wider NHS. It also allows GPs and other NHS staff to be kept up-to-date with the advanced plan of an older person living in the residential care system with whom they do not have regular contact.

Additional coded data about the resident, which has been added by the care home staff can also be accessed via Elma by healthcare professionals, if necessary. That data includes latest information about a resident’s usual level of consciousness, mobility, diet and weight.

Louise Rogerson, Director of Service Development at Intelesant, said: “Any of us who have an advanced plan can use this system; it’s not just for people in the last years of their life, it’s for anybody who wants an advanced plan.”

Original Source The Guardian

About Pathway Software

Pathway Software (www.pathwaysoftware.com) specialises in the design and development of patient information systems for Allied Health professionals.

Its flagship product, Therapy Manager, is an Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system specifically designed for Therapy Services to provide decision makers with the ability to track and manage clinical activity and analyse cost of care by patient, episode or service. The system also demonstrably reduces administration time and the costs of managing Therapy Services.

NHS Western Isles trial Giraff robots for Dementia care

Friday, July 5th, 2013

Robots are being used to assist patients in the Western Isles suffering from dementia as part of a pilot scheme aiming to explore independent living.

The scheme involved “Giraff” robots, standing at 1.5m tall with wheels and a TV screen instead of a head. A relative or carer can call up the Giraff with a computer from any location. Their face will appear on the screen allowing them to chat to the other person.

As a result, relatives and carers can check on patients even from a geographically remote location, monitoring whether medication is being taken or food is being eaten. It is hoped that as a result, individuals will be able to live more independently and with a reduced physical input from other individuals.

NHS Western Isles will be piloting the Giraff for the first time in Scotland, as part of the European Union project Remodem, which aims to investigate ways to support people with dementia living in remote communities.

Earlier trials of the devices run in Australia found that people suffering from dementia did not fear the machines, and that they helped to reduce loneliness.

Chief executive Gordon Jamieson said: “We are absolutely delighted to have the Giraff here with us to trial and we have high hopes for how it may improve the quality of life for some dementia patients. As a new technology for us, the robot could also potentially be used in many other areas of healthcare to improve quality of care, live access to specialists, and speed up consultations, regardless of location.”

Original Source BBC News

About Pathway Software

Pathway Software (www.pathwaysoftware.com) specialises in the design and development of patient information systems for Allied Health professionals.

Its flagship product, Therapy Manager, is an Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system specifically designed for Therapy Services to provide decision makers with the ability to track and manage clinical activity and analyse cost of care by patient, episode or service. The system also demonstrably reduces administration time and the costs of managing Therapy Services.