Medical Technology

What’s new in medical technology related to living forever?

See sub-sections covering diagnostics, laboratory automation, personalised medicine and self monitoring.

I’ll also be adding in a section for new treatments – i.e. those using technology rather than drugs (which are still a bit of an art form).

 

Resources

Telecare Services Association (TSA) is the UK industry body for telecare and telehealth – https://www.tsa-voice.org.uk/

Latest News

Smartphone ‘orders’ body to treat diabetes using optogenetics – BBC News – 29-Apr-2017
Smartphone used to control blood sugar levels in mice with diabetes.
Mice were genetically engineered to manufacture drugs that control blood sugar levels in response to light
Could be applied to a wide range of diseases and drug treatments.

DARPA Has Huge Things Planned in Biotech – Futurism – 10-Jan-2016
In April 2014, DARPA established the Biological Technologies Office.
BTO have been doing work in areas such as memory improvement, human-machine symbiosis, and how to speed up disease detection and response.
Living Foundries project aims to develop programmable microbes able to produce compounds needed to develop medications on the fly.

Doctors use deep-brain ultrasound therapy to treat tremors – BBC – 9-Dec-2016
Patient suffered from uncontrollable tremors in his right hand.
Used MRI guided focused ultrasound to destroy tissue causing mistimed electrical signals.
Machine at St Mary’s uses 1,024 high-intensity, focused ultrasound beams.
Performed in the imaging department and did not involve surgeons.
Treatment is completely non-invasive and doesn’t require unpleasant drugs.
Around one million people in the UK suffer from tremors.

German Robot Controlled From Russia With an Exoskeleton (VIDEO) – Motherboard – 12-Nov-2016
German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) designed AILA in 2010.
AILA has been adapted to be controlled by CAPIO, its new passive exoskeleton system.
CAPIO uses 8 different contact points on a complex exoskeleton to manipulate AILA in real time.
Series of advanced sensors in its hands allow it to feel its way around the environment.
COMMENT: A general purpose robot in the house that could be controlled by a doctor in a medical emergency

A century of medical advances in a decade – Singularity Hub – 26-Oct-2016
We’re going to see more medical advances in the next decade than happened in the past century.
We already have 3D-printed prosthetics, bionics and applications to keep track of our vitals and gauge our emotional and psychological states.
AI systems understanding how genes affect our health; and how the environment, food we eat, and medicines we take affect the interplay between our genes and our organisms.
By 2022, genome sequencing may be cheaper than a blood test.
Within a few years, our genome, microbiome, behavior and environment will all be mapped and measured.
CRISPR has the potential to eliminate some debilitating diseases and to create a species of superhumans.
Tech industry builds its value by democratizing technology, reducing its cost and enabling it to reach billions.

Sound wave technology to blast plaque in arteries – MedCity News – 16-Sep-2016
Combines lithotripsy (used to break up kidney stones) with the commonly used angioplasty balloon catheter.
Spares soft tissue in arteries that are severely calcified.
FDA has cleared Shockwave Medical’s Lithoplasty System for use in peripheral artery disease (PAD).
One in 20 Americans over the age of 50 has PAD.

GlaxoSmithKline and Google to develop bioelectronic medicines – Wall Street Journal – 1-Aug-2016
Glaxo and Verily Life Sciences LLC, formerly Google Life Sciences, create Galvani Bioelectronics with $714 million budget.
Many biological processes are controlled by electrical signals transmitted from the nervous system to the body’s organs.
Distortions of signaling pathways involved in long-term diseases including diabetes, asthma and arthritis.
Treatments would work by attaching miniature electronic devices to individual nerves.

Smart outfit to diagnose epilepsy – New Scientist – 1-Jun-2016
BioSerenity has developed Neuronaute – a shirt and cap embedded with biometric sensors.
Records the electrical activity of the wearer’s brain, heart and muscles.
Also records movements to help determine what activities trigger someone’s seizures.
Approved for use by European health services.
Epilepsy is difficult to diagnose as seizures rarely coincide with hospital appointments.
30 per cent of people with epilepsy in Europe are misdiagnosed

Turning hospitals into factories – Manufacturers Monthly – 6-Apr-2016
New hardware and software will empower hospitals to fabricate many of their solutions.
Interview with Dr Paul D’Urso – neurosurgeon, inventor and founder of Anatomics.
Growing use of 3D printing in hospitals for patient-specific applications.
Anatomics have already produced a titanium heel bone and a sternum-and-ribcage combo.

3D models aid kidney transplant toddler – BBC News – 26-Jan-2016
Even before we can print organs 3D printing is helping surgeons.
3D replicas of three-year-old abdomen and donor’s kidney were made before surgery.
Printed models helped surgeons plan how to put an adult-sized kidney into the body of a toddler.
3D models added an “additional layer of safety” for a complex type of surgery.

Nanoscale devices making big strides in surgery – The Guardian – 17-Jan-2016
Not nanobots but tiny surgical instruments.
Imperial College used nanoscale 3D printing to develop a clasping hand that fits on top of a minute piece of fibre.
Device thinner than a human hair.
Enables surgeons to carry out procedures at human cell level.
Precise drug delivery.

Welsh government digital health plan – BBC News – 11-Dec-2015
Welsh government five-year NHS strategy includes:
virtual appointments and consultations
Access their health records online
Feed in details gathered from apps and wearable devices
Sensors in patients’ homes to help people live independently for longer.

Doctors and the Google Threat – 33 Charts – 2-Dec-2015
Most patients seem to recognize that information can’t be equated with knowledge or wisdom.
Access to information represents one of the earliest and most powerful forces redefining doctors and patients.

Translating medical breakthroughs into lifesaving technologies – Today’s Medical Developments – 20-Nov-2015
3D-printed tracheal splint almost completely reabsorbed by body of first child to receive one.
Boy’s own tissues have successfully taken over the job of the implant
Can now generate an individualized splint design and print it in about two days.
University of Michigan group also developing craniofacial, spine, long bone, ear and nose scaffolds and implants.
On-site patient-specific additive manufacturing using EOSINT P 100 system.

Superhuman Health – IEET – 20-Nov-2015
David Orban sumarises his recent Frontiers of Interaction conference talk.
What if your x-rays were analyzed by computers?
What if your phone’s camera could examine moles on your skin?
And an AI-based psychologist via a mobile phone already being trialled at a Dutch hospital.

Exponential Medicine conference day 4 summary – medGadget – 13-Nov-2015
CEO of own health management
Ray Kurzweil announces plans to write a sequel “The Singularity is Nearer”
Medical identity theft & cybercrime
System Demonstrator Project – world’s largest trial of telehealth
Health data card under the control of the patient

Exponential Medicine conference day 3 summary – medGadget – 13-Nov-2015
Practice of medicine needs to become the science of medicine
Regenerative and Rejuvenative Medicine
Mesenchymal stem cells – an opportunity to regain natural regeneration responses
Muse – brain sensing headband that captures EEG in a consumer-accessible form
science of medical mushrooms and ecology

Exponential Medicine conference day 2 summary – Medgadget – 13-Nov-2015
Summary of all the day 2 speakers, including:
Omics, Biotech, and Beyond
Genomes to People (G2P) Research Program
Incorporating digital health into clinical practice
Update on the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE Competition
Update on IBM Watson – now the size of a kitchen sink
Enabling the Disabled and the Future of Brain Computer Interface (BCI)

Exponential Medicine conference day 1 summary – Medgadget – 12-Nov-2015
Talks from leading medical technology companies and researchers, including:
– open genetic engineering
– “insideables” – technologies that monitor from within our bodies
– could not using AI in the clinic be considered malpractice?
– exponential of mRNA in the pharmaceutical industry
– open genetic engineering

Prescriptions: Automation comes to medication – BBC News – 11-Nov-2015
St Mary’s hospital, Isle of Wight trialling UK first automated pharmacy
1. Ward doctor prescribes drug
2. Nurse retrieves from fingerprint activated secure cabinet
3. Lights indicate correct location – reducing mistakes
4. Reordered automatically from robotic pharmacy
Reduces drug costs by 10%.
Also cuts drug misdosage rates from 6% to 1%,
System pays for itself in 3 years.

New medical robot unveiled in Regina – CBC News – 10-Sep-2015
Telepresence robot – PeTir – has video screen, speaker and a high-definition camera to allows doctors to visit patients remotely.
It can connect to ultrasound scanners and stethoscope for diagnosis.
Looks a bit basic now – but wait until its equipped with a tricorder scanner.

Instant personalised tests printed on site – Cambridge Consultants – 17-Jul-2015
Cambridge Consultants have developed XylemDx – a diagnostic test cartridge that can be customised and printed on site using inkjet printer technology to lay down layers of microfluidic channels, electronics and reagents. The cartridges can handle a range of samples – such as blood, urine, saliva or mucus – and test for anything from the latest strain of the flu virus to specific biomarkers for genetic heart conditions.

Wireless device delivers drugs to brain – Kurzweil AI – 16-Jul-2015
Tiny “wireless optofluidic neural probe” the width of a human hair implanted in mouse brain and triggered by remote control to deliver drugs. Could be used throughout the body to continuously deliver medications using printer style cartridges of drugs.

How New Technologies Will Transform Old Medical Practices – Singularity University – 5-Jul-2015
Great 3 minute video explaining how technology will allow us to detect disease earlier and reduce size of interventions even down to the cellular level.

Wirelessly programmed implantable drug delivery device can release hundreds of single doses over 16 years – Phys.org – 29-Jun-15
Iimplantable, microchip-based device may soon replace the injections and pills now needed to treat chronic diseases.
Microchips Biotech partnering with Teva Pharmaceutical to fund clinical trials.

Human Longevity Inc aiming for 1 million genome study – Nextbigfuture – 16-Jun-2015
Purchased two Illumina HiSeq X Ten Sequencing Systems to study integrated health records and microbiome.
Will be largest human genome sequencing center in the world.

Experimental device lowers blood pressure without drugs – AL.com – 9-Jun-15
Vessix Renal Denervation System uses electrical pulses to disable nerves between kidneys and brain to reduce blood pressure.
Reduces need for lifelong drug treatment.

Emergency health record system trialled in schools – Auxilium Systems – 13-May-2015

Unique number allows paramedics to access critical information faster

Child becomes first patient to be cured of potentially fatal illness using 3D-printed biodegradable implant – The Independent – 29-Apr-15
3D printed splints into their throats. These were designed to keep their windpipes open while allowing the infants to grow normally.

Osiris Biomed 3D’s Winning Idea for Printing 3D Implants During Surgery – 3DPrint.com – 21-Apr-15
Company won MecklerMedia’s Startup Competition during their New York Inside 3D Printing Conference

Drug-delivery pioneer wins £1m engineering prize – BBC News – 3-Feb-2015

Chip simulates human circulatory system – Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft – 2-Feb-2015
Multi-organ chip replicates complex metabolic processes in the human body. Authentic blood flow through various cells in 1:100,000 scale microfluidic chip.

Fully degradable, remotely controlled, implantable therapeutic electronic device – PNAS – 20-Oct-14

Here’s Looking at You: How Personal Health Information Is Being Tracked and Used – California HealthCare Foundation – Jul-2014
Pros:
Improving clinical trials.
Managing chronic disease
Forecasting and tracking epidemics
Cons:
You can buy from any number of data brokers, by malady, the lists of individuals in America who are afflicted with a particular disease or condition
the top 20 health and wellness apps were transmitting information to as many as 70 third-party organizations

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering launch Bionic Man interactive web tool – NIBIB – 23-May-14

Lung-on-a-chip (video) – Harvard Wyss Institute – 29-Jan-2013
Mechanical and biochemical behaviors of a human lung including separated air and blood channels. Video shows white blood cells migrating to air channel to fight infections. Some effects only happen when chip simulates expansion/contraction of breathing.

 

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