Immersive media system reduces pre-surgery anxiety

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.

Injectable sensor continuously monitors multiple body chemistries

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.

Click to view Profusa video

Chest/wrist wearable system predicts, aims to prevent, asthma attacks

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.

“Artificial pancreas” uses sensor + app monitoring system

University Hospital of Montpellier researchers, led by Eric Renard, are developing a sensor/app “artificial pancreas” system for diabetics.

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.

Electronic scaffold replaces damaged tissue, stimulates heart

Charles Lieber and Harvard colleagues have designed nanoscale electronic scaffolds, seeded with cardiac cells to produce a “bionic” patch to replace damaged cardiac tissue.  The flexible electronics can also electrically stimulate the heart, and change the frequency and direction of signal propagation, as tissue feedback is continuously monitored.

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.

App + wearable to quantify mindfulness

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.

Mobile 3D ultrasound speeds brain injury diagnosis

University of Aberdeen researchers are developing software to create 3-D models of soldiers brains while on location, which is then sent to an expert for immediate diagnosis.

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.


Vivek Wadhwa interview at Wearable Tech + Digital Health SF 2016

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.

Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC – June 7, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

NeuroTech NYC – June 8, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

Contact lens/eyeglass system monitors blood sugar, dispenses drugs

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.

Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC – June 7, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

NeuroTech NYC – June 8, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences


Wearable detects cardiac arrest, notifies emergency services

 iBeat is a wearable emergency response system that continuously monitors the heart.  Meant for seniors, it detects cardiac arrest in real time, provides alerts, and sends regular updates to caregivers.

If cardiac arrest is detected, the wearer receives a call within 10 seconds.  If he/she cannot be reached, an emergency contact and emergency medical services are called.

A user can also activate the device manually in an emergency, such as a fall, car accident, or home invasion.

Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC – June 7, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

NeuroTech NYC – June 8, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences