May 28, 2010

The Boon of Wireless Health

Like all other devices, medical and health devices are all going WireLess.A new cloud based wireless device for Health/Medical monitoring seems to be launched every week!

Eric Topol highlights several of the most important wireless devices in medicine's future - all helping to keep more of us out of hospital beds.

Eric J. Topol, M.D. is a noted American cardiologist, geneticist and innovator. In this talk, he shares his views on Top 10 targets for Wireless medicine.

Topol was selected as one of the 12 “Rock Stars of Science” by GQ and the Geoffrey Bean Foundation in 2009

Also see-

May 27, 2010

Parceling the Operating Room

Very often, in developing countries, access to quality healthcare can be a big problem. 

No doctors, old instruments, unhygienic environments. The problems are aplenty. 

But there can be innovative solutions to them.

Dr. Seyi Oyesola points out that common, survivable ailments and injuries -- burns, trauma, heart attacks -- kill thousands of Africans each year because basic medical care can be so hard to get. 

To help bring surgical care to every region of the continent, Oyesola co-developed CompactOR, or the "Hospital in a Box": a portable medical system that contains anesthetic and surgical equipment. It consists of a pop-up, portable, solar-powered OR for off-grid medicine in Africa and elsewhere.It contains anaesthetic equipment, a defibrillator, a burns unit, plaster-making facilities, surgical equipment and a built-in operating table. It even comes with its own tent to create an ad hoc field hospital..The operating suite is light enough to be dropped into inaccessible zones by helicopter, and can be powered by solar panels.The system is powered by a truck battery, and is made to be readily recharged via solar panel. The basic kit, minus battery, costs about £14,000, or roughly US$25,000; additional modules provide support for an extensive selection of drugs and more specialized medical treatments (including orthopedic surgery).

Related article

Games for Health information in Cancer

Games can be a serious source of health information.Especially for the younger age group. Re-Mission is a game designed to engage young cancer patients through entertaining game play while impacting specific psychological and behavioral outcomes associated with successful cancer treatment.

The Re-Mission video game for teens and young adults with cancer was released by the nonprofit HopeLab on April 3, 2006. The game is a Microsoft Windows based third-person shooter based in the serious games genre. The game was conceived by Pam Omidyar and designed based on HopeLab research, direct input from young cancer patients and oncology doctors and nurses, and game developer Realtime Associates, among others.

The game addresses the importance of:
• Compliance with oral chemotherapy regimens and prescribed medications
• Prompt symptom reporting, even if the symptoms appear unrelated to cancer
• Proper nutrition to increase the body’s ability to fight cancer
• Anxiety, nausea and pain management through breathing and muscle relaxation exercise

Re-Mission takes the player on a journey through the body of young patients with different kinds of cancer. . Re-Mission is designed to be fun and challenging, while helping players stick to their prescribed treatments and giving them a sense of power and control over their disease.In Re-Mission, the player controls an RX5-E ("Roxxi") nanobot who is designed to be injected into the human body and fight particular types of cancer and related infections such as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and leukemia, at a cellular level. The player must also monitor patient health and report any symptoms back to Dr. West (the in-game doctor and project leader). Each of the 20 levels is designed to inform the patient on a variety of treatments, how they function, and the importance of maintaining strict adherence to those treatments. Various "weapons" are used, such as the Chemoblaster, Radiation Gun, and antibiotic rocket.

HopeLab makes Re-Mission available at no charge to young people with cancer and their families, as well as oncology healthcare workers and institutions around the world. Copies are also distributed at no charge to others, though donations are accepted

May 20, 2010

Using Computer assisted health risk assessment tools

Describing a Computer-assisted Health-risk assessment tool-

In a computer-assisted health-risk assessment (HRA), patients complete a computer survey before seeing their clinician. The interactive program then prints an individualized risk report for the clinician and a recommendation sheet for the patient just before the medical consultation. The intention of such computer-assisted health-risk assessment is to facilitate face-to-face consultation with the provider and not to substitute for patient self-care

This is a small study to enhance understanding about computer-assisted health-risk assessments from physicians’ perspectives. Ten Physicians were interviewed on their experience with  Computer assisted health-risk assessment, after completion of a trial at a Canadian, urban, multi-doctor, hospital-affiliated family practice clinic.

The key benefits identified include-
  • Tool to open dialogue
  • Improved time efficiency, by asking questions on health risks prior to the
    consultation and triggering patients’ self-reflections on the risks
However, they were unconvinced about the suitability of such risk assessment for all visits to detect new risk information. In terms of feasibility,  physicians displayed general acceptance of the risk assessment tool but  considered it most feasible for periodic health exams and follow-up visits.

Participants perceived computer-assisted  health-risk assessment as a useful tool in family practice, particularly for identifying psychosocial issues. Physicians displayed a general acceptance of the computer tool and indicated its greater feasibility for periodic health exams and follow-up visits than all visits. Future physician training on psychosocial issues should address physicians’ concerns by emphasizing the varying forms of “clinical success” for the management of chronic psychosocial issues. Future research is needed to examine the best ways to implement this program in diverse clinical settings and patient populations.

Trial Registration: NCT00385034; (Archived by WebCite at

Read the study here.


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