BERT (Bedside Entertainment Theater) is a non-medical technique used at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital to reduce stress before surgery. It is meant to be a safer, entertaining alternative to anti-anxiety drugs, which are often given pre-anesthesia, and could affect the recovery process, or impact developing brains.
BERT is an immersive media experience, consisting of a mobile projector and large plastic screen, which attach to a bed. Patients can choose from a menu of entertainment options, from TV shows to movies to music videos.
The technology is not revolutionary. However, the drug-free approach is. ApplySci hopes that the philosophy spreads rapidly.
Click to listen to an NPR interview, with Stanford Hospital’s Jenny Gold, about BERT.
Profusa injectable sensors are designed for the simultaneous, continuous monitoring of multiple body chemistries including metabolic and dehydration status, ion panels, blood gases, and other biomarkers. The company will initially provide real-time monitoring of soldier’s health, but its sensors can be used to manage peripheral artery disease, diabetes or COPD, or enhance sport performance.
The small, flexible, fiber sensor is based on a “smart hydrogel” and is designed to be integrated into the body’s tissue to overcome the foreign body response for more than 1 year.
North Carolina State researchers are developing a multi-sensor wearable monitoring system meant to predict and prevent asthma attacks. A chest-worn patch track one’s respiratory rate, skin impedance and wheezing in the lungs. A wristband monitors volatile organic compounds and ozone in the air, ambient humidity, and temperature, as well as a a wearer’s movements, heart rate and blood oxygen level. Users must also breathe into a spirometer several times per day to measure lung function.
An algorithm identifies which environmental and physiological variables are effective at predicting asthma attacks. Wearers receive notifications suggesting a change in environment or activity to prevent an attack.
The sensor continuously monitors glucose. The data is sent to a phone, where an algorithm calculates insulin needed, and to a pump, which then delivers the correct amount of insulin.
So far, the system has only been tested on 21 patients for 1 month, where the results were promising. Obviously, much more research is needed. The next stage will involve 240 child and adult patients, who will use the device for 6 months.
Instead of being located on the skin’s surface, electronic components are integrated throughout the tissue, allowing the detection of early-stage cardiac instabilities and faster intervention. The device operates at lower, safer voltages than a traditional pacemaker.
The patch could also be used to monitor responses to cardiac drugs, or to help determine the effectiveness of drugs under development.
Apple’s Breathe meditation app follows the recent trend of using wearables to quantify mindfulness and improve mental health.
Every four hours (while wearing the Apple Watch) Breathe reminds one to inhale and exhale for one to five minutes. Concentric circles can be watched as they shift on the screen, or a wearer can respond to haptic touches. Heart rate changes are shown and tracked.
ApplySci’s recent NeuroTech San Francisco conference ended with a session called “Transformative Tech – Mindfulness, stress, anxiety.” With more accurate mobile EEG technology, these tools will soon be able to allow users to more reliably quantify their stress levels.
The software is designed to guide a medic with basic ultrasound training to produce as detailed a scan of the brain.
The ultrasound image of the brain is acquired with a movement sensor attached to a probe, used to scan the brain from points on the skull where the bone is thinnest. The probe captures 40 images per second, and the resulting 3-D image can be created from 2,000 individual photos.
Early diagnosis of brain injury could prevent long term damage. The technology could also be used for non-military remote care, to help paramedics diagnose brain hemorrhage as a result of stroke or other causes.
ApplySci was delighted to welcome academic, researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and humanitarian Vivek Wadhwa as a keynote speaker at our recent Wearable Tech + Digital Health San Francisco conference. Attached is an interview, by StartUp Health’s Unity Stoakes, were Vivek discussed advances in technology and urged entrepreneurs to focus on healthcare developments that can solve the world’s health problems. To make a difference. It was a true privilege to hear his talk live, and we are happy to share some of his wisdom with you here.
Pohang University’s Sae Kwang Han and Do Hee Keum have developed a contact lens/ eyeglass combination to monitor diabetes and dispense drugs as needed. The glasses wirelessly power and communicate with the drug-releasing lens, that monitors glucose concentration in tears. An LED alarm lights up when sugar levels are very high. The lens can be worn for one month.
A user can tell the eyeglasses to send a drug-releasing signal to the chip with voice commands. A control circuit is being created to automate the process, deciding independently when medicine is needed. To release drugs, the chip draws on one of ten drug reservoirs chambers that are carved into the hydrogel, and covered with a thin gold electrode membrane. The voltage dissolves the membrane and releases the drug.