Health Technology News - Page 2
Ras Labs has created a unique synthetic material that mimics human muscles under an electric current, which could lead to a new generation of comfortable prosthesis solutions...and lifelike skin for robots.
"Luke Skywalker's prosthetic arm in Star Wars is somewhat the ultimate goal of prosthetics," Ras Labs CEO Eric Sandberg said to TechCrunch. "It provides that lifelike motion, control, and dexterity."
The material, dubbed as Syntethic Muscle, expands and contracts just like living muscle tissue under an electric current. The "electroactive" substance can directly convert energy into motion with a highly adaptable form factor; it can be hard and firm when it needs to be, or soft to conform to various curves and shapes of body parts. While Ras Labs wants to first revolutionize prosthetic limbs, the material has infinite potential: it could even be used to give lifelike flesh to robots and pave the way for synthetic androids straight out of the Alien canon.
The Arena Football League (AFL) will continue to use Brain Sentry wearable sensors located inside of player helmets, able to collect vital information about physical impacts. As part of a subscription package, sports teams and leagues are able to receive new sensors each season, with Brain Sentry engineers improving injury prediction technologies.
The sensor is able to estimate direction, peak acceleration and duration of impacts, while also being able to track head acceleration from any point. The integrated sensor battery doesn't need to be recharged and can last an entire season, able to turn on and off after motion is detected.
"The health and safety of our players is our highest priority," said Scott Butera, AFL Commissioner. "Our partnership with Brain Sentry allows the League to be on the cutting edge of concussion research, protocol, and management."
An estimated 1.1 billion people across the world are at risk of hearing loss because of increased listening volume from smartphones, other personal audio devices, and speaker systems at entertainment venues.
Almost half of teenagers and young adults between 12 and 35 years old are "exposed to unsafe levels of sound," with 40 percent exposed to "potentially damaging" levels, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
"As they go about their daily lives doing what they enjoy, more and more young people are placing themselves at risk of hearing loss," said Dr. Etienne Krug, director for the department for management of noncommunicable diseases, violence and injury prevention at WHO. "They should be aware that once you lose your hearing, it won't come back. Taking simple preventive actions will allow people to continue to enjoy themselves without putting their hearing at risk."
Millions of Americans are at risk of digital eye strain, with 30 percent of adults using a digital device for nine or more hours per day, according to the Vision Council. Due to increased PC, smartphone, tablet, and other electronics usage, 61 percent of Americans suffer from dryness, blurred vision, irritation, and other vision-related problems, according to the Vision Council study.
Almost seventy percent of Millennials suffer from some type of digital eye strain, which is higher than Gen Xers (63 percent) and Baby Boomers (57 percent).
Study authors recommend tech users create a more ergonomic workspace, that reinforces proper posture, centering digital displays in front of the chair, keeping arms-length away from the screen, and minimizing screen glare. Also, it's recommended to take a 20-second break every 20 minutes, while looking at something at least 20 feet away from the screen.
The city of Shenyang, the largest city in Northeast China with more than 6 million residents, could have been home base for the North Korean government's secretive Bureau 121 hacker group, according to defector Kim Heung-Kwang.
Kim left North Korea in 2004 and previously served as a computer science professor in Pyongyang, saying some of his students graduated and began hacking for the North Korean government.
"Bureau 121 began its large-scale operation in China in 2005," Kim recently said in an interview published by CNN. It was established in the late 90s. Team members entered China separately - in smaller groups - 20 members at a time. When they entered China, they came under different titles. For example an office worker, an official with a trade company or even as a diplomatic staffer."
Health experts have shown concern over eye strain and fatigue from excessive smartphone and tablet usage, but researchers hope to use mobile devices as a way to help correct vision flaws. Stanford University, MIT and Cal researchers have created a new vision-correcting display that turn regular smartphone or tablet screens into devices that can help fix astigmatisms and other vision problems.
A pinhole-covered printed transparency covers the screen and a custom algorithm is able to fix on viewer position, with projected image distortions altering reading angles. When the image filters through the pinhole, the screen can is able to project an image specific to a user's prescription - and initial testing indicates the solution is effective. Designers hope to provide a slider able to adjust screen focus, but it's unknown when the slider will be implemented.
"As we get older, refractive errors play more significant roles in our lives," said Gordon Wetzstein, Stanford University assistant professor of electrical engineering.
The Ebola outbreak has largely lost popularity in the press, but the war wages on in Africa, and over 6,800 people have died in the recent scourge. Unfortunately, the death toll continues to climb. One of the keys to combating Ebola is quick detection. Isolating patients away from the general population reduces risk of that infected person spreading the disease. The World Health Organization has set a goal of have 70% of Ebola victims quarantined, and 70% of the dead safely buried, in order to begin to turn the tide back. To achieve this goal a fast and reliable test is needed to streamline the process. Even the sad task of ensuring proper burial protocols is simply impossible if there isn't a confirmed Ebola diagnosis.
Enter technology. An IC developed by STMicroelectronics and Clonit, in collaboration with Italy's National Institute for Infectious Diseases, has led to development of a portable analyzer that can identify an Ebola infection in under 75 minutes. The portable analyzer is based on the Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) molecular biology technique and utilizes a stamp-sized silicon microchip. The device only requires a few microliters of human blood, and can even detect Ebola in samples that have been diluted up to a million times. The key is to get this device through regulatory agencies and in the field as soon as possible.
It seems more people are suffering from "Text Neck," a medical condition when people suffer from pain and damage due to the head and neck position of people texting on smartphones and using tablets. A mix of the angle - and gravity - is the equivalent of carrying 60 pounds, and with more people looking down, the problem only seems to be escalating.
"Everyone is heads down," said Kenneth Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at the New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine. "It's in every mall and in every city. It's my opinion that this kind of heads down position is the cause of pain and suffering on the planet and a contributor to spinal surgery."
Previous reports recommend users take breaks, let their eyes adjust on their natural environment, and stretch before continuing to use PCs, smartphones or tablets.
Gaming company Nintendo announced a new health and fatigue technology from its health care division, manufactured with the assistance of the ResMed medical equipment company, to help better treat sleep disorders. The QOL Sensor will roughly be the size of an average human hand, and should be available on the consumer market before April 2016.
Here is what Nintendo head Satoru Iwata said regarding the new technology: "All you have to do is place the QOL Sensor on your bedside. Inside the QOL Sensor is a non-contact radio frequency sensor, which measures such things as the movements of your body, breathing and heartbeat, all without physically touching your body. This automatically gathered data will be transmitted to the QOL cloud servers, which will then analyze the data measured by the sensor and visually represent sleep and fatigue results."
Iwata hopes the new Nintendo division will be profitable within the next two years, but didn't say what else Nintendo has in the pipeline. It isn't a secret that Nintendo wants to ensure its customers are as healthy as possible, hoping to visualize sleep and fatigue things.
We've all been there, there's something wrong with you, you Google for symptoms, worrying that you're going to die, but don't want to call the doctor out of a variety of reasons.
But Google looks like it might be going down an interesting, and why-hasn't-it-happened-sooner path, trialing direct video chat with doctors after you Google your symptoms. Google confirmed the news with Engadget, telling the site that it is trialing a Helpouts-style feature that offers people video chats with doctors when they search for their symptoms.
There aren't many details on how exactly this works, but a search card mentions that Google is covering the costs of any video chats with doctors while in its trial phase. Virtual appointments would be the next step, but there would most likely be costs involved. I think this could be a great step for the company, who is investing and researching into health technology, allowing doctors from all corners to talk to patients who otherwise might not have contacted a doctor about their issues.