Intelligent Bandage Detects Bed Sores Early [video]

UC Berkeley bed sore

Patients who are confined to a bed or wheelchair for extended lengths of time are susceptible of developing pressure ulcers, also known as bedsores. Pressure on one part of the body for too long can cut off blood flow to the skin, resulting in damaged tissue that eventually dies and results in wounds that can be difficult to treat and take a long time to heal. This problem affects about 2.5 million people in the U.S. every year, at a cost of about $11 billion.

Researchers at the University of California Berkeley have developed an electronic sensor that could turn a bandage into an intelligent wearable device that is able to detect bedsores before they happen. The matrix of electrodes send a pattern of electrical currents through the skin. The way these electrical charges are changed by the tissue makes it possible to map damaged areas before any visible symptoms appear. This makes it possible to take corrective action early, to avoid the wounds that are so difficult to heal.

The supporting electronics can be miniaturized, making it a practical system for healthcare workers and care givers. A pen-sized wand could obtain readings from the smart bandage. Eventually, the system could be a self-contained module that would wirelessly transmit data that could be analyzed and automatically trigger an alert if damage is detected. Clinical trials for the system are underway.

Open Source Robotic Hands [video]

OpenBionics

Losing a hand can have a devastating on a person’s independence and quality of life. A functional prosthesis can be an expensive proposition, however. A group of researchers and technology enthusiasts from Yale University and Cornell University in the U.S. and from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) in Greece have banded together to create […]

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U.S. Insulin Systems Get More Automated [video]

Medtronic CGM

Diabetes is treated by administering insulin to control blood sugar levels. In Europe, closed systems have been approved that constantly monitor blood glucose levels and adjust the insulin dosage. In the U.S., the FDA is taking a more cautious approach to this sort of automation. The agency still requires a traditional finger-stick blood sample and […]

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Remote Patient Monitoring Adds More Features

Honeywell Genesis Touch

When healthcare professionals can track a patient’s vital signs and biometric data outside of a hospital or other clinical setting, outcomes are improved and costs are lower. Honeywell Life Care Solutions has just released the latest version of their Genesis Touch system that makes remote tracking easier and more flexible. The key component of the […]

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About That New York Times Article…

Mind Control

Earlier this week, the New York Times chose to publish an article with the headline “Could wearable computers be as harmful as cigarettes?” (That was later toned down to “The Health Concerns in Wearable Tech,” apparently in response to the criticism generated by the article, though the original headline lives on in the article’s URL.) […]

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Glove Speeds Rehab for Stroke Victims [video]

Music Glove

The road to recovery for stroke victims and patients with spinal cord or brain injuries often includes the slow and difficult process of retraining the brain to perform simple and routine tasks that most of us take for granted, such as grasping and turning a doorknob. The MusicGlove from Flint Rehabilitation Devices is an FDA-approved […]

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Group Tackles Big Data for Healthcare

Pitt Health Data Alliance

Healthcare now generates mountains of data about each patient, and user-generated information from wearable Health Tech devices will only build those mountains even higher. Three important organizations announced this week that they are partnering to create the new Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance. The three groups involved in the project are Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), the University of […]

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Do-It-All Wearable Tracks Vitals [video]

Vitaliti sensor

The Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE is a competition to develop a portable, wireless device that can monitor and diagnose a person’s health. Named after the medical sensor device from the “Star Trek” series, the competition will choose three teams to share the $10 million in prize money. One of the ten finalists is Cloud DX, which […]

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Cloth Generates Electricity as You Move

Harvesting cloth

Digital electronic wearable Health Tech devices need electricity to work their magic. This generally requires the use of batteries that have to be recharged or replaced periodically. But what if you could do away with the batteries (or come up with a way to keep them charged all the time)? That’s what energy harvesting is […]

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New Battery is Half the Size [video]

Solid Energy Battery

Batteries pose a trade-off for mobile device designers. You can use a bigger batter to get a longer run between recharges, but it will result in a device that is larger and heavier. As a result, researchers are constantly working on new technologies that can store more energy in a given amount of space. (Another […]

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