After a seven-month wait for a bone marrow transplant, 16-year-old Maga Barzalla Sockemtickem endured a lengthy post-transplant treatment at Seattle Children's Hospital. Maga's compromised immune system meant periods of isolation from the outside world. She hadn't seen her cat Merry for more than a month. … Read more
I like to think I'm no germaphobe, but when I was recently handed an iPad whose screen was littered with smudgy fingerprints, a little voice inside my head stopped talking and started choking. I couldn't help but imagine what pathogens were thriving on that surface.
Enter the AirStrap Med, an iPad case designed by and for health care workers but well-suited to the germ-wary as well.
A fair number of consumers in the United States are relying on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to help them with medical and health care issues.
Polling 1,060 U.S. adults in February, PricewaterhouseCoopers found that a third use social media to find medical information, research and share symptoms, and offer their opinions about doctors, drugs, treatments, and heath plans.
One in four of those surveyed said they've used social-media services to track down reviews from other consumers about treatments and doctors, while one in three have searched for information about medical ailments related by other … Read more
They say you can find inspiration anywhere, so why not a crab dinner?
Inspired by our crustacean friends, researchers in Singapore have created a mini robot that can be used to remove early-stage stomach cancer in a far less invasive way than other procedures. The robot has the ability to crawl down a patient's throat and features a pincer and hook that can remove cancerous tissue.
The idea first came up in 2004 when Lawrence Ho, an enterologist at Singapore's National University Hospital, and Louis Phee, an associate professor at Nanyang Technological Institute's School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, had dinner with Hong Kong surgeon Sydney Chung, who is well-known for his fight against SARS.
While dining on Singapore's signature chili crab dish, Chung suggested the two use the crab as a prototype, making note of the strength of a crab's pincers and its ability to pick up sand. … Read more
Tossing clothes into the wash when dirty is so last year, thanks to a discovery by chemists out of the University of California at Davis. Near-ordinary cotton may simply need be exposed to light to get busy killing bacteria and breaking down toxic chemicals such as pesticide residues.
Ning Liu, a doctoral student at UC Davis, worked with textile chemists Gang Sun and Jing Zhu to develop a method that incorporates a compound (2-AQC) into cotton fabrics. When exposed to light, it produces reactive oxygen species such as hydrogen peroxide that kill bacteria and break down toxins.
While Liu says 2-AQC is more expensive than other compounds, it is difficult to remove from cotton due to strong bonding, and cheaper equivalents should work, too.
"The new fabric has potential applications in biological and chemical protective clothing for health care, food processing, and farm workers, as well as military personnel," she says.
The team reported on its findings in the Journal of Materials Chemistry last month, shortly before another study out of the University of Iowa chronicled the vast presence of even drug-resistant disease-causing bacteria on hospital curtains.… Read more
St. Peter's University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J., announced today it's beginning construction this October to install 10,000 solar panels throughout its campus.
The 2.1-megawatt project will be the largest solar installation of any hospital in New Jersey to date, and be distributed across six different locations within the hospital's campus.
The solar system will include two rooftop installations, three parking lots with solar carports, and a solar carport on the roof of an existing parking garage.
The solar system will be constructed by Sun Farm Network, and the 10,000 solar cells will … Read more
Engineers at the University of Utah predict that, in about five years, a network of wireless transceivers around a bed will be able to measure breathing rates without a single tube or wire being connected to the patient.
The uses of the system, which the team has dubbed BreathTaking, are obvious: patients in post-op, infants at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or even people with sleep apnea.
And because the technology uses off-the-shelf transceivers similar to ones used in home computer networks, the system could cost less than current breathing monitors, said electrical engineer Neal Patwari, senior author of … Read more
Too busy to keep up with the tech news? Here are some of the more interesting stories from CNET for Friday, September 9.
Stanford Hospital confirms that patient data was online for almost a year.
Apple iPads, iPhones get Flash video via HTTP Live Streaming.
Google, Apple, Microsoft are the top global brands, according to a new study by Brand Finance.
The FBI raids Solyndra and calls the company's CEO on the phone.
If recent hacking episodes--not to mention the casual attitude toward privacy displayed by some social networks--have made you a little queasy about our hyperdigitized, hypernetworked society, recent news from Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif., isn't likely to make you feel much better.
The New York Times' Kevin Sack reports that the hospital has confirmed a rather bizarre episode. A spreadsheet listing the names; diagnosis codes; account numbers; admission and discharge dates; and billing charges for 20,000 emergency room patients wound up on a Web site that enables students to pay people for help with their homework--as … Read more
Germaphobes may want to navigate away from this page, lest they find themselves tempted to scrub their cell phones as often as their hands. Because cell phones are not only dirty, some of them even play host to what researchers are calling "worrisome" drug-resistant bacteria.
A team from the Department of Medical Microbiology at Inonu University in Malatya, Turkey, set out to answer the question that serves as the title of their report: Do mobile phones of patients, companions, and visitors carry multidrug-resistant hospital pathogens?
They cultured 200 mobile phones, collecting swab samples from three parts of each … Read more