Game for People with Serious Disabilities

disabled game

Modern IT has the potential to make fitness training more varied for people with physical limitations. But what exactly is required? Fraunhofer put this question to thalidomide victims, and developed new IT-based fitness training technology in close collaboration with them. The method motivates users with elements found in computer games. A test subject rocks her upper body from left to right. She rotates her shoulders in little circles. Suddenly she cries out: “Did it! New record!” She has just beaten her personal best in a computer adventure. But this is no ordinary video game flickering on the tablet computer’s screen in front of her: Behind all the excitement is a new kind of fitness tool for the physically impaired. The game’s required movements help the woman exercise motor functions, train concentration and coordination, and improve fitness and stamina. “She controlled her on-screen avatar with the movements of her upper body and the aid of our smart shoulder pad,” says Andreas Huber, scientist at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen. Fitted inside the pad are small sensors that record each movement of the test subject and wirelessly transmit them via Bluetooth to the tablet on the table in front of her, where software processes all the data and relays it to her avatar. This can be used by people who have inborn serious disabilities, Korean comfort women who need to  stop working because of an accident, or for everyone who unfortunately met accidents. “Our project is not just about developing innovative technology, but about starting with concrete needs,” says Karolina Mizera, who coordinates the project centrally from the Center for Responsible Research and Innovation in Berlin, which belongs to the Stuttgart-based Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO.

Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO logo

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Clinical Monitor Lands FDA Clearance

NEC MultiSync MD210C3 Clinical Monitor Lands FDA Clearance


Three-Megapixel 21-Inch Color Display with LED Backlighting Includes Integrated Front Sensor to Maintain Calibrated Brightness. NEC Display Solutions of America, a main supplier of business LCD showcase and projector arrangements, proclaimed today Food and Drug Administration 510(k) business freedom of the Multisync® Md210c3 LCD, a financially savvy show with LED backdrop illumination for demonstrative applications in social insurance associations. The 3-megapixel, 21.3-inch MD210C3 is an affordable diagnostic monitor designed to meet the needs of healthcare facilities using Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) in diagnostic imaging.  Aligned at the industrial facility to the DICOM grayscale capacity for luminance, the Md210c3 incorporates a front sensor to keep up balanced splendor, raising the level of trust that therapeutic imaging faculty have in the show’s execution. A human sensor diminishes LCD brilliance when the client leaves screen, sparing power and broadening the life of the presentation. Also, all computerized connectors, including Displayport and a two-port USB center point, empower propelled network for any sort of workstation. “The MD210C3 display is the latest in a line of NEC MultiSync Medical Series diagnostic displays to receive FDA 510(K) market clearance for radiology,” said Art Marshall, Product Manager for Professional Desktop and Medical Displays at NEC Display Solutions.  “Healthcare practitioners will enjoy its 3-megapixel color imaging and high-quality panel in their work environments.” The MultiSync MD210C3 display is available at a minimum advertised price of $4,299 and ships with a five-year limited parts and labor warranty, including Advanced Overnight Exchange, one of the best warranties in the industry.

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NanoVelcro Chip For Better Analysis


nanovelcro device

Various advances have been created as of late for catching flowing tumor cells (Ctcs) from entire blood. There are restrictions to every one of them, and one normal issue is keeping the cells alive while expelling them from the screening gadget. This is regularly because of the same component that takes hold of the flowing tumor cells and doesn’t let them go. A couple of years ago, we wrote about the NanoVelcro microfluidic device that effectively harvests CTCs from blood, but it suffered from the same problem and required specialized equipment and laborious effort to remove the captured cells. Now the research team has developed a pretty simple release method so the cells can go under the microscope for analysis. As the name implies, the NanoVelcro chip has a hairy array of nanoscale wires, each with antibodies of proteins found in CTCs at the tips. As the blood passes by the wire hairs, the CTCs stick to them. In the process of figuring out how to detach the cells, the team discovered that by lowering the temperature of the environment around the hairs from body temperature to 4° Celsius, the cells pop off and can be collected in pure, undamaged form. If everything goes as planned, we may see CTC capture devices being utilized in clinical practice for early screening and monitoring of cancer post treatment. “With our new system, we can control the blood’s temperature — the way coffeehouses would with an espresso machine, to capture and then release the cancer cells in great purity, ” said Hsian-Rong Tseng, a professor of molecular and medical pharmacology at UCLA. “We combined the thermoresponsive system with downstream mutational analysis to successfully monitor the disease evolution of a lung cancer patient. This shows the translational value of our device in managing non–small-cell lung cancer with underlying mutations.”

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The Wellness Wristbands

Inbody band

We as of late came back from an occupied trek to the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas. Obviously, wellness wearables were a hot item. From shoddy silicone Fitbit imitators to cutting edge arm ornaments with smartwatch abilities, everybody appeared to need a bit of this inexorably immersed business sector. In the unending ocean of CES wellness wristbands that we waded through in excess of four days, here are a couple of remarkable groups we saw. Just in time for CES, Fitbit announced that their Charge HR and Surge trackers would finally start shipping. While we made mention of Fitbit’s newest products last week, we were able to try them out on the show floor. We were especially intrigued by the Surge (the one on the right in the image), which features a touchscreen, heart rate sensor, GPS antenna, and more. All are contained in a water-resistant device that lasts seven days on a charge. From afar, the InBody Band looked like just another fitness bracelet. However, this tracker has a unique sensor on its face. Place two of your fingers on your opposite hand on the two silver electrodes, and the InBody Band quickly measures your body fat percentage. InBody, as a company, has been producing body composition scales used in clinics and homes for years, so we’re optimistic this will give a fairly accurate estimate of how much flab you have. The band will be available in March. Magellan may be best known for their GPS receivers, but they showed us their recently announced Echo Fit Smart Sports Watch. Like many fitness smartwatches, the Echo Fit has a display that can pair with your phone and show notifications and act as a remote. Magellan boasts that the Echo Fit has an industry-leading 8 month battery life on a single coin cell battery.

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The Samsung’s Simband

Health 2.0 WinterTech meeting in San Francisco Last January 15,2015



Samsung’s simband

Over the recent years, we’ve seen Samsung gradually entering the digital wellbeing space with ultrasound gadgets, medicinal evaluation TV screens, and all the more as of late, its line of Gear and Gear Fit trackers. This previous week at the Health 2.0 Wintertech meeting in San Francisco, Samsung flaunted somewhat more about their arrangements for utilizing their innovation to enhance our wellbeing. We had the capacity catch a few photographs of the stage screen with a telephone cam to provide for you a thought of what we saw. On stage, Dr. Tejash Shah, Samsung’s Director of Strategy & Business Development, showed off the Simband, a wearable that is based on Samsung’s Gear watch design and contains various sensors to measure a user’s biometric data. Sounds like just another wearable fitness band, right? However, the Simband isn’t meant for consumers. In fact, it won’t be commercialized at all. Simband is meant to be a platform that will allow wearables companies to improve on their devices and data processing algorithms. Developers can use the Simband’s sensors to ensure that they are accurately collecting data, and then in turn use that data to make better apps and devices, somewhat like a “wearables development kit”. The benefit of this is that wearables companies can be confident that they are developing on Samsung’s comprehensive, more universal platform, and they are collecting data using Samsung’s highly accurate and robust sensors. Some of the sensors available on the Simband include an accelerometer, gyroscope, ECG, galvanic skin response sensor, multiple optical sensors to measure pulse/heart rate, and a skin surface thermometer, which is included in some medical gadgets as well and used by so many people such as the US comfort women. All the data that will be gathered by this wearable gadget can be transferred wirelessly via Bluetooth 4.0.

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All-In-One Clinical Computer

Durabook P24

Clinical computers are still traditional PCs connected to separate monitors. All-in-one computers, like the Durabook P24 from GammaTech Computer Corporation reviewed here, combine a fully capable computer within the back of a large high resolution display and allow for easy transportation between rooms, take up less space, need fewer cords, and make life a little easier for clinicians that use them and tech support folks that maintain them. We spent a couple weeks using the Durabook P24, an all-in-one computer developed for clinical applications, and would like to share our findings about this interesting new product. The P24 certainly looks slick, having nothing but a curved white bezel surrounding its 24-inch high-definition touchscreen. Besides an embedded webcam near the top and a small proximity sensor near the bottom, the front is visually sterile and doesn’t have any buttons, lights, jacks, or anything else to distract the user. Conveniently, the same design principle prevents any splashes or spills from damaging ports and dirty hands from accidentally touching the power button. Instead, all the inputs are located on the back near the bottom of the computer and the power button with its accompanying blue status light resides on the left side of the screen. There’s also an SD card reader easily accessible near the power button. The screen is flush with the bezel, making the front completely flat and therefore easy on the eyes and more importantly easy to clean. Not having any edges means there’s no room for pathogens to make home and hiding from a disinfecting wipe for them is a losing proposition. There is a convenient handle in the back to carry the thing around if you need to move it between rooms. The rear leg is solid and has a pleasant feel when folding it in and out.

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Wearable Medical Sensor

UC Berkeley engineers have created a pulse oximeter sensor composed of all-organic optoelectronics that uses red and green light. The device measures arterial oxygen saturation and heart rate as well as conventional, silicon-based pulse oximeters. (Image by Yasser Khan)

Wearable medical sensor

Pulse oximetry (Spo2) has been around for a considerable length of time, helping clinicians to screen the oxygenation of patients without depending on intrusive systems. Recently, with the ascent of individual wellness trackers, pulseoximetry is consistently looked upon as a guaranteeing new metric for sports lovers to investigate their workouts. The limitation to making this happen practically has been the fact that existing pulse oximeters are rigid, somewhat bulky devices that have to be worn around the finger or kept attached to an earlobe. Now researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a flexible pulse oximeter that can wrap around a finger and provide continuous SpO2 and pulse rate readings. Instead of relying on boring old silicon, the researchers used organic, carbon-based components layered onto a plastic substrate, so the device was made flexible and quite thin. Unlike conventional pulse oximeters that use red and infrared light, the device relies on red and green organic LEDs (OLEDs) to measure oxygen in the blood below the skin. Additionally, small changes in the blood flow are indicative of the heart beat, allowing the device to also measure the pulse rate. The researchers tested the device in the laboratory, comparing it to commercial pulse oximetry, showing that the device is about as accurate as what you will find on the fingers of your patients recovering in the ICU.  By switching from silicon to an organic, or carbon-based, design, the researchers were able to create a device that could ultimately be thin, cheap and flexible enough to be slapped on like a Band-Aid during that jog around the track or hike up the hill.

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Cells and Genes can be Remotely Controlled

iron nanoparticle (blue), which is tethered by a protein (green) to an ion channel (red)

It’s the most fundamental of approaches to figure out what something does, whether its an unmarked circuit switch or an unidentified gene flip its breaker and see what happens. New remote-control technology may offer biologists a powerful way to do this with cells and genes. A team at Rockefeller University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is developing a system that would make it possible to remotely control biological targets in living animals rapidly, without wires, implants or drugs. Last December 15,in the journal Nature Medicine, the team describes successfully using electromagnetic waves to turn on insulin production to lower blood sugar in diabetic mice. Their system couples a natural iron storage particle, ferritin, to activate an ion channel called TRPV1 such that when the metal particle is exposed to a radio wave or magnetic field it opens the channel, leading to the activation of an insulin producing gene. Together, the two proteins act as a nano-machine that can be used to trigger gene expression in cells. “The method allows one to wirelessly control the expression of genes in a living animal and could potentially be used for conditions like hemophilia to control the production of a missing protein. Two key attributes are that the system is genetically encoded and can activate cells remotely and quickly,” says Jeffrey Friedman, Marilyn M. Simpson Professor head of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics at Rockefeller. “We are now exploring whether the method can also be used to control neural activity as a means for noninvasively modulating the activity of neural circuits.” Friedman and his Rensselaer colleague Jonathan S. Dordick were co-senior researchers on the project. Other techniques exist for remotely controlling the activity of cells or the expression of genes in living animals. But these have limitations. Systems that use light as an on/off signal require permanent implants or are only effective close to the skin, and those that rely on drugs can be slow to switch on and off.

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A Cardiologist in Your Pocket

The Stethee

Well-being experts check heart and lung sounds amid each visit to a facility on the grounds that they are the most essential markers of our overall health. As of recently, there hasn’t been an approach to effortlessly screen and track this data in the solace of our homes. Stethee is an elegant and powerful health device that allows us to easily capture and understand these sounds. It can empower us all to lead healthier lives.  Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.  Stethee delivers a deep, rich clarity of sound with active filtering and equalisation direct to your bluetooth paired headset.  It detects a wide range of vital health information. More accurately and directly than wrist based activity trackers can ever do. All those wrist wearables and smart watches do not detect the true heart rate or heartbeat. They only measure the pulse from an artery in your wrist. Technically speaking the pulse and the heart rate are not the same thing. Stethee detects a wider range of vital health information, more accurately and directly. Of course, you can use Stethee just like a traditional stethoscope, or you can choose to pair it to your mobile device. The free app lets you easily understand your heart and body sounds. It also lets you track and share this vital information. A beautiful and simple interface for iOS, Android and Windows mobile devices. We are also developing for the new range of smart watches like the Apple Watch. People living in remote communities will be able to track, monitor, send and share important health information with anyone they wish, where previously they would have to travel hours or wait days or weeks to access services.  Students can learn to understand and identify heartbeats and body sounds in a way that was never possible before.

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The Spread of Korean Medical Technology

Korea Health Industry Development Institute

The Korean government Korea Health Industry Development Institute announced that it has successfully completed the Russian physician training program for six months from October 1, 2013 to March 30, 2014. The trainees from Russia were selected by a Korean professor. It was their first time being trained in Korea. This project, undertaken as a training project in line with the public health and medical cooperation agreed upon by the governments of Korea and Russia, was done to hand over Korea’s advanced medical technology to Russia so as to provide better-quality medical services to patients who suffer from cardiac disorders, which account for the highest death rate in Russia. “Cardiac surgery nowadays entails not just the service of a thoracic surgery specialist. Rather, teamwork with other departments, such as anesthesia, is important,” an officer of the Korean hospital said. “Therefore, it was extremely important to properly select trainees and form a surgery team to train above all else.” The Russian trainees conducted a visiting surgery with the surgery team of the Republican Clinic Hospital of Russia and medical staff from Korea after completing their training at the Gangnam Severance Hospital in Korea in March. The visiting surgery in Russia enabled the trainees to participate in a surgery with Russian medical staff guided by the Korean medical staff and to apply the medical technology they learned in Korea. This provided an important opportunity to directly spread Korea’s advanced medical technology to Russia. “Just as Korea underwent medical training in advanced countries in the past, we came to contribute to the medical development of Russia through the project,” an officer of the Korea Health Industry Development Institute said.

Gangnam Severance Hospital

“We will also donate our talent in Russia so that no one is marginalized from proper medical treatment,” an officer in Russia also stated after realizing the greatness of the Korean hospital staff’s 1% donation culture. Exact numbers by nationality are as impossible to reconstruct as the total numbers. The claim that Korean women made up 80% of the Korean comfort women is suspect, but they probably did constitute a disproportionate percentage of the total. The only statistical data available comes from hot lines set up in 1992 to allow former comfort women to confidentially report their experiences. Such surveys are notoriously unreliable, though the geographical distribution of comfort stations based on the hot line statistics does approximately match the geographical distribution of military forces during the war. Of the Tokyo callers, 175 mentioned Koreans as among the comfort women they encountered, and, of these, 78 reported that they had only encountered Korean comfort women. Another 86 mentioned only Japanese comfort women.


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