Endoscope Camera Can See Through Human Body

Technology is painting a bright and promising future for the medical industry. If smart brain implants and advanced computer systems are no longer just ideas, other new discoveries could be well within our reach. This includes an endoscope camera  that can see through the human body better than an x-ray.

Thanks to thousands of integrated photon detectors inside the camera, the device can detect individual particles of light being beamed through human tissue.

By reconciling light signals that come directly to the camera with scattered photons… the device is able to determine where the light-emitting endoscope is placed inside the body.

The technique, called ballistic imaging, is highly accurate and cheaper than resorting to a conventional x-ray. The device is also low-risk and a lot less scary than it sounds.

“The ability to see a device’s location is crucial for many applications in healthcare, as we move forwards with minimally invasive approaches to treating disease.”

There isn’t yet word on when the device will be available to use commercially. However, considering the pace of current technological developments, I can’t assume it’ll take much longer.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

Stay-at-Home Female Doctors Serve the Poor Online

Women have been slowly but surely breaking the barriers that have been set for them in the past centuries. A beauty queen with Down’s syndrome made history, single mothers run startup companies, more women are fighting back against sexual harassment and even lead hundreds of people to resuscitate a dead river.

Here’s to another amazing woman. A female Pakistani doctor recognized the odds stacked against physicians in her context, and acted to provide more flexible options for women in the medical industry. Dr. Iffat Aga founded a platform to connect home-based female doctors to poor communities.

Sehat Kahani is a revolutionary tele-health platform that connects at-home, out-of-work doctors who can provide quality health care to underprivileged patients in low and middle-income markets.

The organization currently constitutes a network of 14 facilities across Pakistan which have served more than 550,000 patients. When a patient visits the clinic, a nurse logs their basic medical history, and then doctors are called in to continue the consultation through a video conferencing system.

The percentage of women in local medical schools are higher than those of men, but less than half of these women eventually end up as practitioners because they believe they need to nurture their families first. Because of the responsibility weighing down on them, female doctors stop pursuing their careers.  Dr. Iffat knew this problem needed a solution, so she partnered up with women who similarly understood — and perhaps personally experienced — the crisis, and together they built Sehat Kehani.

With a vision to create an all-female health provider network, Sehat Kahani simultaneously promotes women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship, and the basic need for affordable, quality healthcare in rural and urban communities – all without the doctors ever having to leave their homes.

It is truly an inspirational balancing act to target both the issues of gender inequality and poverty at the same time. Women are not only fighting for their own rights; they are doing so in order to join larger fights.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

Disney Commits $100 Million To Kids’ Hospitals

When it comes to health, hospitals are necessary but hardly ever enjoyable. Despite the rise of surgical robots, many prefer to self-diagnose. Still, Google remains a breeding ground for hypochondriacs, in spite of Apple’s efforts to create health-centered mobiles. To make pediatric wards a little less daunting, Disney is donating $100 million to institutes around the globe.

“Disney’s timeless stories have touched hearts and lifted spirits for generations, and we believe they can bring comfort to children and families going through a very difficult time,” [said] Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company.

Disney will be bringing games, entertainment, and movie magic into infirmaries. Familiar characters will likely put children at greater ease and perhaps even pull some laughs. Patient rooms will be laden with murals (Disney-themed, of course), and staff will undergo extra training.

“The renowned Disney Institute, a part of The Walt Disney Company that provides professional development training focused on leadership, employee engagement and high quality service, will create a customized program for healthcare professionals designed to foster a less stressful, patient and family-centric hospital experience,”

Truth be told, I’d be slightly less nervous getting my blood drawn by Mickey Mouse. Or, if not, who doesn’t love Pluto?

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

Bill Gates Pledges $100 Million To Alzheimer’s Research

If anyone can advance universal healthcare by means of a check, it’s Bill Gates. Following up a $4.6 billion donation to undisclosed charities, the Microsoft CEO pledged $100 million to the fight against Alzheimer’s.

“I know how awful it is to watch people you love struggle as the disease robs them of their mental capacity, and there is nothing you can do about it,” [Gates] wrote. “It feels a lot like you’re experiencing a gradual death of the person that you knew.”

Gates’ contribution will support both mainstream and experimental research. With roughly 5 million Alzheimer’s patients in the U.S. alone, the donation can at least stunt the growing number.

“This is a frontier where we can dramatically improve human life,” Mr. Gates wrote. “It’s a miracle that people are living so much longer, but longer life expectancies alone are not enough. People should be able to enjoy their later years — and we need a breakthrough in Alzheimer’s to fulfill that.”

While $100 million may be a drop in the ocean of the Alzheimer’s Association’s $259 billion annual spend, Gates has proven to us time and again that every effort counts.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

Rare Genetic Condition Keeps Amish From Aging

Since “you only live once” became every millennial’s official mantra, people have been on the hunt for the next health craze. Billionaires are sponsoring lab-grown meat experiments, while schools are encouraging students to try vegan lunch menus. Though diet and exercise are key to long living, an Amish community with anti-aging genes may give us some insight.

“For the first time we are seeing a molecular marker of aging (telomere length), a metabolic marker of aging (fasting insulin levels) and a cardiovascular marker of aging (blood pressure and blood vessel stiffness) all tracking in the same direction in that these individuals were generally protected from age-related changes.” [said researcher Douglas Vaughan.]

In short, members of the Amish kindred lacked a protein called PAI-1. Due to Amish locals’ genetic isolation, acquiring the mutation is almost always likely. Scientists are now testing a copycat drug on a control group.

“That was the gateway that could allow us to investigate the impact of a partial PAI-1 deficiency over a lifetime,” says Vaughan.

If the trials are successful, it may see improvements in diabetes research. Sufferers of chronic balding may even grow their hair back.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

Ambulance Caters To Mental Illness Emergencies

As it becomes less of a stigma, mental health is finally receiving the attention it deserves. People are embracing their conditions thanks to online tools like DIY therapy and help hotlines. Notwithstanding, feeling vulnerable and ashamed remains a looming issue — one that Sweden is tackling firsthand. Countering rising suicide rates, Stockholm has introduced the world’s first mental health ambulance.

Inside the ambulance is a warm, inviting area equipped with comfortable seats instead of medical equipment, two mental health nurses and one paramedic.

The Psychiatric Emergency Response Team attends to roughly 130 calls monthly, countering 15,000 attempts annually. So far, the ambulance’s success rate has risen steadily.

“I can’t see any reason as to why the project shouldn’t continue,” [Mental Health Emergency head Fredrik] Bengtsson said. “It has been considered a huge success by police, nurses, healthcare officials, as well as by the patients.”

It sounds as though Sweden is the first to get things right. If mental illness is as urgent as physical trauma, why not treat it as such?

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

Uber Delivers Life-Saving Medication To Rwandans

In September of 2017, tech company Zipline began testing drone deliveries for blood transfusions. Now, its collaboration with ride service Uber has become a reality. Since its launch, “Uber for blood” has delivered 5,500 units of blood to rural Rwanda, saving hundreds of lives.

“The work in Rwanda has shown the world what’s possible when you make a national commitment to expand healthcare access with drones and help save lives.” [said Zipline co-founder Keller Rinaudo.]

What initially took some 4 hours of delivery time from major cities now takes only 30 minutes. Simultaneously, hospitals are able to store less blood, lessening waste from spoilt containers. Considering Zipline’s success, the company hopes to begin delivering various other supplies such as sutures and tubes.

“We know who needs medicine, when and where. And now, we can get them that medicine as quickly as possible.” [said Rinaudo.]

With the exponential rise of traffic jams and continued accessibility of drones, Zipline and Uber may have just hit the jackpot.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

Scientists Rewrite Man’s DNA To Cure Genetic Disease

Gene editing in healthcare isn’t a novel procedure, but has been seeing fairly recent breakthroughs. The technique has brought us closer to curing paralysis and “butterfly” disease. But in an ambitious first, scientists at Benioff Children’s Hospital have attempted to rewrite DNA in a live patient to cure a rare genetic disorder.

“This is opening up a whole new field of medicine,” said Sandy Macrae, president of Sangamo Therapeutics, which funded the trial. “You can imagine all the diseases that now become possible to treat when you can put in a new copy of the gene, or turn it up or turn it down.”

The experimental patient suffered from Hunter syndrome, which damages organs due to lack of a particular enzyme. Researchers have yet to report on the new method’s success. With only some 12 gene editing trials in progress, the study has a lot to prove but, on the whole, seems promising.

Eric Topol, a geneticist and cardiologist at the Scripps Translational Science Institute, called the new trial “a very important milestone.”

“I’ve been following medicine over 30 years. I’ve never seen anything move at this velocity,”

Thanks to an abundance of brand new technology, gene therapy is getting the boost it deserves. Hopefully it’ll see its patients through to a happy ending.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

How Technology Isn’t Killing Us

I remember when 3D glasses and Game Boys were the future. Little did I know that the likes of Snapchat and Alexa would steal the technological spotlight. Most science fiction in film and literature see an ugly demise. More often than not, technology is evil, and if you’ve ever seen an episode of “Black Mirror”, you’d agree. While we place so much blame on smartphones and the Internet, we fail to realize that in some ways, they’re actually useful.

We owe our improved communication to SEs and Galaxy Notes. After all, snail mail is pretty much a thing of the past. People may perceive our constant tapping away as social isolation when, in fact, we are involving ourselves with others–just in another medium. Yes, social media is part of a vicious universe, but with it, we are able to build connections. 

Businesses now have platforms like Facebook and Twitter to thank for their growing successes. Spreading the word has never been easier. Through online advertising and connectivity, brands become more efficient and productive. Not to mention they manage to save an enormous amount of time and money. Promoting through billboards and magazines seem to be almost primitive–definitely a thing of the past.

The Internet is home to everything viral. Fake news is sometimes part of that sphere. However, with such easy access to information, fact-checking technology is always available. Details that previously would’ve required a trip to the library are now just a Google search away. While the facts we learn may be seemingly futile, everything has value to some extent.

Technology has also piloted improvements in healthcare and travel. Everything is convenient. With new features such as online travel agents and virtual therapy, most of our needs are attended to much quicker. Our movements become fleeting and gratification is met in the blink of an eye. We may grow impatient, but with technology evolving as fast as it is, virtually nothing will have to wait.

Additionally, online classes educate us anywhere at any time. We can now learn remotely, outside the four walls of a classroom. Even Ivy Leagues are jumping on the bandwagon, offering courses that are accessible through your laptop or smartphone. Perhaps the question is not, “what are parents feeding their kids that make them so smart?” but “what is on our kids’ smartphones that make them geniuses?” To be perfectly honest, it makes much more sense.

Of course, technology, whether we like to think so or not, also boosts creativity and imagination. Because the Internet makes sharing ideas so simple, we can create jobs in the comfort of our own homes. Design a bestselling app and you’re pretty much financially set for life. Fund-me websites also make concepts reality. With so many people willing to donate to different prototypes, bringing ideas to fruition is not that difficult. In fact, we, not the government, may be funding majority of our future.

We may have doubts about technology taking over the world (or the universe). We may see ourselves at the hands of robots and machines. But the human mind is powerful and together with technology, can pretty much conquer anything.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends: