Handheld microscope identifies cancer cells during surgery

University of Washington, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Stanford University and Barrow Neurological Institute researchers are developing a handheld, miniature microscope to allow surgeons to “see” at a cellular level in the operating room.  This can enable more precise brain tumor removal, as surgeons try not  to leave cancerous material behind, while protecting healthy brain matter.

According to lead author Jonathan Liu, “Surgeons don’t have a very good way of knowing when they’re done cutting out a tumor. They’re using their sense of sight, their sense of touch, pre-operative images of the brain — and oftentimes it’s pretty subjective. Being able to zoom and see at the cellular level during the surgery would really help them to accurately differentiate between tumor and normal tissues and improve patient outcomes,”

 

The microscope delivers high-quality images at faster speeds than existing devices. In addition to tumor surgery, researchers will begin testing it as a cancer-screening tool in  dental and dermatological clinics, in an effort to avoid invasive biopsies and waiting time at labs.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health San Francisco – April 5, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

NeuroTech San Francisco – April 6, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

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

 

Smart socks sense pain, pressure in diabetic neuropathy

SenseGo smart socks have multiple sensors that monitor  pressure from poor posture, over-exertion, or ill-fitting shoes, all which could lead to diabetic foot ulcers.  Pressure points are registered as electrical signals, and relayed to an app which  informs the patient of a developing risk.

The washable sensor socks, developed by Hebrew University professor Yaakov Nahmias, can compensate for damaged nerve sensations,  providing patients with data on pain that they are unable to feel.  Failure to treat these issues could  lead to foot ulcers, sores, or wounds that do not heal, hence the benefit of this “early warning” system.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health San Francisco – April 5, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

NeuroTech San Francisco – April 6, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

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

 

Flexible, sweat sensing, health wearable

Berkeley’s Ali Javey has developed a prototype band that uses sweat non-invasively assess medical conditions.  It could also spot drug abuse, or provide information to optimize sports performance.  The flexibility and computing power of the device build on the capabilities of earlier sweat sensors.

A flexible plastic band contains sensors that measure the concentrations of sodium and potassium ions, glucose and lactate, which provide insights into cell processes.  A temperature sensor calibrates the information.  A flexible circuit board with 11  computer interprets the data and transmits it wirelessly to a phone or computer.

Cincinnati professor Jason Heikenfeld developed sweat sensing technology for wearables in 2014, described by ApplySci here.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health San Francisco – April 5, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

NeuroTech San Francisco – April 6, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

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

 

 

Virtual clinic uses apps, VR, data, wearables in remote care

USC’s Center for Body Computing, led by Professor Leslie Saxon, has created the Virtual Care Clinic, featuring vetted, best of class partners providing integrated remote healthcare solutions.  The eight initial partners are Doctor Evidence, IMS Health, Karten Design, Medable, Planet Grande, Proteus Digital Health and VSP Global.

Mobile apps, virtual doctors, data collection and analysis systems,  and diagnostic and monitoring wearables  will provide on-demand access to care.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health San Francisco – April 5, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

NeuroTech San Francisco – April 6, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

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

 

Nanofiber sensor glove could detect breast cancer

Tokyo University’s Takao Someya and Harvard’s Zhigang Suo are developing thin, bendable, pressure sensitive, nanofiber sensors that could be be incorporated into gloves to detect breast tumors.

The 1.9 inch square sheet has 144  pressure measuring locations, and can detect pressure even when twisted.  Many researchers are developing flexible pressure sensors, but they are vulnerable when bent and twisted.

According to  Someya, “Sensitive human fingers of a veteran doctor may be able to find a small tumor, but such perceived sensation cannot be measured. The digitization of the sensations means that they could be shared with other doctors who could theoretically experience the same sensations as the physician who performed the examination.”


Wearable Tech + Digital Health San Francisco – April 5, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

NeuroTech San Francisco – April 6, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

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

Genetic disease patients identified via machine learning

Stanford’s Nigam Shah and Joshua Knowles are using machine learning to search for people with familial hypercholesterolemia, a genetic disorder that causes high levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood.

Only a 10 percent of people  with the disorder are aware of it, and it is often diagnosed after a cardiac event — the risk of which can be dramatically reduced with early treatment. (Men with the disorder have a 50 percent chance of having a heart attack by age 50; women have a 30 percent chance by age 60.)

Using electronic health records, the researchers identified 120 people known to have FH  from Stanford’s network,  and others with high LDL who don’t have the genetic disorder.

Algorithms then spotted people with FH by analyzing records and  identifying  cholesterol levels, age, and prescribed drugs. The algorithms then looked for and identified undiagnosed FH within the health record data.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health San Francisco – April 5, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

NeuroTech SanFrancisco – April 6, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

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

 

DARPA neural implant to enhance brain-computer connections

DARPA is leading the development of an improved  neural implant for connecting the brain to computers, using advances neuroscience, synthetic biology, low-power electronics, photonics and medical manufacturing.  Their goal is to to dramatically enhance  neurotechnology research capabilities and provide a foundation for new therapies.

The Neural Engineering System Design program aims to produce a miniaturized brain implant, smaller than one cubic centimeter in size, to improve data transfer. The  device would  translate between digital systems and the electrochemical “language” of the brain for more efficient communication.

NESD  is part of the BRAIN initiative and is led by Phillip Alvelda, who is “upgrading tools to really open the channel between the human brain and modern electronics.”

Current neural interfaces  use approximately 100 channels, each  aggregating signals from tens of thousands of neurons. The NESD program aims to develop technology to communicate directly with  one million individual neurons in a brain region.

Initial applications will include devices for those with sight or hearing impairments.  The system could feed digital auditory or visual information to the brain with  greater resolution and clarity than current technology.

Phillip Alveda will discuss this and other DARPA initiatives  at ApplySci’s NeuroTech San Francisco conference on April 6th.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health San Francisco – April 5, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

NeuroTech San Francisco – April 6, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

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

 

Sensor monitors, regulates IV fluid flow

The Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology‘s Ajay Kottapalli has developed a cheap IV drip sensor to monitor and regulate fluid flow.  A signal is sent to a control unit which can adjust the flow speed or alert staff.  This can reduce the amount of time nurses spend checking patient IVs — which is estimated at 30% of their time, according to the researchers.

More importantly, better monitoring can save lives.  Infusion of fluids into the body at the wrong rate can be fatal.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health San Francisco – April 5, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

NeuroTech San Francisco – April 6, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

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

 

 

Self-dissolving implanted brain temperature, pressure sensor

Wilson Ray and Washington University colleagues,  in partnership with John Rogers,  have developed a miniaturized wireless  device to monitor temperature and pressure when implanted into the brain following TBI.  The implant then dissolves, to be naturally reabsorbed into soft tissue, once  no longer needed.

Current methods involve an implanted sensor that must be hard-wired to an external monitoring instrument,  with risks of hemorrhage or infection, and requiring multiple rounds of surgery.

The technology has positive implications for various types of monitoring or therapeutic devices that are implanted or ingested.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health San Francisco – April 5, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

NeuroTech San Francisco – April 6, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

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

 

Glucose monitoring breath test

Applied Nanodetectors is in the early stages of developing a noninvasive breath sensor for diabetics to monitor daily glucose levels.  By measuring the levels of volatile organic compounds in breath, if accurate, this could replace finger pricking for disease sufferers, and create a simple diagnostic test.

The company has a related product that monitors the concentration of exhaled trace gas chemicals in an asthma patient’s breath, before symptoms develop, for early warning of attacks.

This, and similar technologies (see ApplySci, 1/11/16), could lead to the incorporation of medical grade sensors into smartphones, which could enable continuous monitoring of multiple conditions.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health San Francisco – April 5, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

NeuroTech San Francisco – April 6, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

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