From the people that brought you the crops that farm you, scientists in Russia were able to surgically implant a temporary device that allowed a patient to operate a computer- with the mind. This news comes to us from the aptly-named Singularity Hub, reminding us that one day, whether we like it or not, robots will take over the world. Also, something's telling me they're going to be able to override the Prime Directive.
The operation was overseen by Dr. Eric Leuthardt, a man previously responsible for developing another Brain-Computer Interface that allowed patients to control video-games with their minds. Clearly, the good doctor's philosophy has taken a turn from "Let's play Space Invaders with our minds!" to "Let's invade Space with Cyborgs". This particular BCI is a net of ECoG (electrocorticographic) electrodes that was temporarily placed beneath the dura, a layer of connective tissue in the brain. Scary? Scarier is that it took some of the patients a mere 4 minutes to get used to the interface and operate a computer with ease. Leuthardt believes this will be instrumental in the operation of bionic prosthetics- I'll be damned if this doesn't get creepier by the word.
Here's a promotional video with more details. Hit the link above to read more about the technical stuff.
In a radical move, patients will finally be able to see just how long the list of people are in hospital emergency departments ahead of time before they arrive. The overhaul of the health system is being lead by Health Minister Jillian Skinner who as her first move is also giving power back to the doctors and nurses to run their hospitals.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph yesterday, Skinner said she would not rule out job cuts and wanted bureaucrats in "ivory towers" to get back to working in hospitals.
Anyone that has kids knows that you have to sit on them a lot of the time if you need to check their temperature. I know my kids don't want to sit still that long and even when they do they end up talking and it takes twice as long as it should to see if they have a fever or not. NEC has unveiled a new mirror that parents will really like called the Thermo Mirror.
The device is a normal mirror that you can look at to see your reflection. It also has tech inside that shoots uses an IR sensor to check how hot you are. If it detects a fever, the mirror will sound an alarm. The other big upside to this design is that you won't have to cram a thermometer up an infant's bum and there will be no cross contamination between users.
The big downside to the tech at this point is that the thing is very expensive. Two versions are offered in Japan with one selling for $1200 and the other selling for $1460. The difference between the two is unknown and apparently, they aren't shipping outside of Japan at this point.
CES 2011, Las Vegas - Withings has been making some health related gear for a while now that interfaces with the iPhone. The first thing that we saw from the company was a scale that worked with an iPhone app for tracking weight loss and the scale could tweet your weight if you wanted. Withings has unveiled its latest iPhone using medical gadget at CES today and the new product is a blood pressure monitor.
The system has a white blood pressure cuff and a pump that will inflate the cuff that attaches to the sync port on the iPhone. An app running on the iPhone records the blood pressure and shows the current reading for the user to see. The readings can be stored for comparison and sharing with a caregiver that is monitoring the blood pressure of the user.
The Withings Blood Pressure monitor will also work with the iPad and the iPod touch. The app on the iOS device runs the Withings API that allows the sharing of the readings with Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault services. The blood pressure system will ship this month for $129.
I can tell you from experience that it can be very hard to find time to get to the gym for some exercise. My gym is only about a mile from the house and some weeks I am just too busy to make it. If you have no desire to go to a gym, but you need to keep yourself in tiptop shape for all those hard-core COD gaming sessions, we have the perfect office chair for you.
The chair is called the GymyGym and the thing is billed as the world's first ergonomic exercise chair. The chair comes in several colors and appears to have stretch exercise bands to hold you up. The chair has a couple elastic resistance bands that have handles on it and you can grab them and get your workout in.
The world just can't get enough Steve Jobs. Despite taking a leave of absence for health reasons the press has gone mad with speculation over his health.
The Sydney Morning Herald has an extremely speculative two page article on what may (or may not be) happening to Jobs now that he is out of the office.
To be honest with you I think he did the right thing be stepping out for a while. I hope the time off does him some good and he is able to get past his current health issues whatever they really are.
Read more here.
Doctors who have not treated Jobs say they can only speculate without hard information, but they said the tumor he was treated for in 2004 could have spread to another organ or resurfaced in the pancreas, requiring surgery or other treatment.
Jobs could also be coping with side effects of that surgery that can be treated easily, they said.
In 2004, Jobs was treated for a rare type of pancreatic cancer called an islet-cell, or neuroendocrine, tumor. Such tumors can be benign or malignant, but they usually grow slowly and are far less deadly than most pancreatic tumors.
The American Cancer Society estimates that 37,680 Americans get pancreatic cancer each year, but few get islet-cell tumors of the kind Jobs had. The tumors are easily removed surgically but recur in roughly half of patients, said Dr. Roderich Schwarz, a cancer surgeon at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
It looks like quite a few Apple Shareholders are upset at not being better informed about Steve Jobs' health. In fact some are considering legal action.
Apple has always been notoriously tight lipped about the goings on at the main cult office. However, the withholding of health information on the one person linked to the company's success might be going too far.
Over the years we have watched Apple's stocks go up and down with each new rumor about Steve's health, as of Wednesday the cat was fully out of the bag. Jobs admitted that his health problem was more complex and serious that he originally thought (or disclosed) and would be taking a six-month medical leave. Once that announcement was out Apple's stock value dropped nearly $10 Billion US Dollars.
The question now is did Apple have an obligation to disclose this information to the shareholders earlier.
Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald
Since last June, when an unusually thin Jobs addressed a gathering of software developers, rumours or disclosures about the charismatic CEO's health have sent the stock surging or falling. On the December day after Apple disclosed Jobs would not appear at the Macworld trade show as he normally does, $US5.5 billion in shareholder wealth vanished.
Most of those losses were restored when Jobs said on January 5 that he had a treatable hormone imbalance. But then came Jobs' announcement yesterday that his medical issues were "more complex" than he believed the previous week. Jobs, 53, said he was taking leave until the end of June - and nearly $US10 billion in market value was wiped out.
The key question facing Apple's legal team now will be whether Jobs' and Apple's disclosures revealed enough at each step.
"This is just the nightmare scenario" for Apple lawyers, said Sean O'Connor, an associate professor at the University of Washington School of Law.
The reason is that Apple - like any publicly traded company - is required by law to disclose all sorts of details.
Much of that information is formulaic and issued regularly, like quarterly earnings and top executives' salaries. But there's also something of a wild-card category - "material" information - which lumps together everything a reasonable investor would want to know because it could affect a decision to buy or sell a company's stock. (There are exceptions, such as for trade secrets.)
CEO of Apple Steve Jobs sent out a first today. It was a letter directly to the Apple community discussing his health problems.
This is the first time Steve has commented publicly on this and I felt that this needed to get out past the PR letter that was sent around to the MDS service.
I am going to withhold any comments and instead simple post the rather honest letter from Steve Jobs below:
Letter From Apple CEO Steve Jobs
Dear Apple Community,
For the first time in a decade, I'm getting to spend the holiday season with my family, rather than intensely preparing for a Macworld keynote.
Unfortunately, my decision to have Phil deliver the Macworld keynote set off another flurry of rumors about my health, with some even publishing stories of me on my deathbed.
I've decided to share something very personal with the Apple community so that we can all relax and enjoy the show tomorrow.
As many of you know, I have been losing weight throughout 2008. The reason has been a mystery to me and my doctors. A few weeks ago, I decided that getting to the root cause of this and reversing it needed to become my #1 priority.
Fortunately, after further testing, my doctors think they have found the cause -- a hormone imbalance that has been "robbing" me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy. Sophisticated blood tests have confirmed this diagnosis.
The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and
straightforward, and I've already begun treatment. But, just like I didn't lose this much weight and body mass in a week or a month, my doctors expect it will take me until late this Spring to regain it. I will continue as Apple's CEO during my recovery.
I have given more than my all to Apple for the past 11 years now. I will be the first one to step up and tell our Board of Directors if I can no longer continue to fulfill my duties as Apple's CEO. I hope the Apple community will support me in my recovery and know that I will always put what is best for Apple first.
So now I've said more than I wanted to say, and all that I am going to say, about this.
Rumors about Steve Jobs' (The Patron Saint of Apple) having poor health have been a topic of discussion for a long time. Of course every time there is a rumbling about his health, Apple stocks take a dive.
But now with Jobs no longer speaking at MacWorld and Apple formally announcing that they will not attend after 2009, any rumors about Jobs' health seem to take on a more true tone.
The guys over at Gizmodo have an article up that cites a previously reliable source stating the real reason behind Apple's departure from MacWorld and why Sr. Saint of Jobs will not be speaking.
Yep you guessed it; they claim the real reason is Steve's failing health. To cover up the company decided to pull out of MacWorld completely. "No more Steve means no more hype"
Read more at Gizmodo.
This source has repeatedly been 100% correct before. Those times, however, were always related to news and images of unreleased Apple products. I can only hope that, in this more personal matter, it is absolutely wrong. And that if he is not, that sentence just means that Steve Jobs is retiring according to his plan.
While Steve Jobs' health is nobody's business-not the press, not investors, not the public-we believe that there's a line between saying "no-comment" and plainly misleading-once again-the public.
Steve Jobs have been giving Macworld Expo keynotes since he came back as interim CEO of the company in 1997. Since then he has never failed once, always introducing notable products both at Macworld San Francisco and Macworld New York. During his latest Macworld keynote, in 2008, he introduced the MacBook Air. Later this year, he used his WWDC presentation to announce the new iPhone 3G. In his last two show-n-tells, for the new iPods and the new MacBooks, he used less time on stage, giving more limelight to key members of Apple's executive team.
Intel is looking to enter another area of the tech market. After gaining a go-ahead from the US FDA Intel is going to dive into its new Intel Health Guide and is currently working with with Aetna, Scan Health Plan, Erickson Retirement Communities, and the Providence Medical Group in Oregon to setup pilot programs for the new technology.
Read more here
According to Planetary Gear, a blog at CNET, Intel has announced a number of pilot programs to test the company's recently approved Health Guide PHS6000 device (see our previous post: At-Home Monitoring Solution from Intel ). The unit, coupled with enterprise software, allows patients to communicate via video and voice with their health care providers, manage data from at-home diagnostic devices, and receive relevant information about their conditions. The company is partnering with Aetna, Scan Health Plan, Erickson Retirement Communities, and the Providence Medical Group in Oregon to enroll patients and physicians to assess the benefits and challenges of the telehealth system.
Playing computer games can be good for your health, according to a British boffin. Mark Griffiths, professor of gambling studies at Nottingham Trent University, reckons that research into the effects of playing computer games "is often trivialised".
Yet, he believes it should be taken more seriously especially since it can help aid the recovery of people who are ill. His article in the British Medical journal (BMJ) found that playing games "can distract the player from the sensation of pain, a strategy that has been reported and evaluated among paediatric patients".
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