Closed-loop glucose monitoring system

GlucoSitter by DreaMed Diabetes is an automated, closed loop, artificial pancreas system for controlling glucose levels. It links the glucose sensor with the insulin pump through control algorithms. Glucose sensor data is analyzed and the pump is directed to deliver the correct dose of insulin.

GlucoSitter has been tested  on 220 patients with 15,000 hours of day and night use.  Medtronic will now  incorporate the DreaMed  algorithm in its insulin pumps.

Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC 2015 – June 30 @ New York Academy of Sciences.  Register now and save $300.

Light therapy could improve brain function in TBI, PTSD

Boston University and VA Boston Healthcare System‘s Margaret Naeser  is testing the effects of light therapy on brain function in Veterans with Gulf War Illness.

Veterans in a recent study wore helmets lined with light-emitting diodes that apply red and near-infrared light to the scalp. Diodes were also placed nostrils, to deliver photons to the deeper parts of the brain. The light from the diodes  boosted nitric oxide output near the LEDs, which improved blood flow in that location. The treatment is painless,  generates no heat, and takes 30 minutes.

Brain damage caused by explosions, or exposure to pesticides or other neurotoxins could impair the mitochondria in cells.  Mitochondria was shown to be affected by light therapy in this study.   Nasser hopes this can be a valuable adjunct to standard cognitive rehabilitation.

Related forthcoming trials  include:

  • BU’s Jeffrey Knight is leading a trial for Veterans age 18 to 55 who have both traumatic brain injury and posttraumatic stress disorder.
  • Yelena Bogdanova will lead a  trial looking at the impact of LED therapy on sleep and cognition in Veterans with blast TBI.
  • Naeser is collaborating with Carole Palumbo on a study testing LED therapy, delivered via  helmets and nose diodes, for active-duty soldiers with blast TBI. The study will also test the feasibility and effectiveness of using only the nasal LED devices at home, as a self-administered treatment.

Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC 2015 – June 30 @ New York Academy of Sciences.  Register now and save $300.

Keystroke patterns to detect early Parkinson’s

Madrid-MIT M+Vision Consortium researchers used keystroke patterns to diagnose motor function impairing conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease.  In a Scientific Reports paper, they described their algorithm’s ability to distinguish keystroke patterns of sleep deprived typers, and rested typers.   A study of 24 Parkinson’s patients suggested that the keystroke algorithm can also distinguish people who have the disease from those who don’t.  A larger study of Parkinson’s patients is now being planned.

Keystroke patterns have been used as a biometric signature for security purposes, but this is the first time that diagnostic information has been extracted from typing. The primary feature analyzed was “key hold time” — how long a key is pressed before being released.

According to study lead Luca Giancardo, people are usually diagnosed five to 10 years after the beginning of the disease, after much damage has been done.   He hopes that this research could  lead to earlier Parkinson’s diagnosis and better treatments.  Giancardo believes that keystroke patterns could also be used to screen for other diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC 2015 – June 30 @ New York Academy of Sciences.  Register now and save $300.

Mobile hyperspectral “tri-corder”

Tel Aviv University‘s David Menlovic and Ariel Raz are turning smartphones into hyperspectral sensors, capable of identifying chemical components of objects from a distance.

The technology, being commercialized by Unispectral and Ramot, improves camera resolution and noise filtering, and is compatible with smartphone lenses.

The new lens and software allow in much more light than current smartphone camera filter arrays. The software keeps the image resolution clean as the camera zooms further in.  Once the camera has acquired the image, data is sent to a third party to process and analyze  material compounds and the amount of each component. The third-party analyzer then sends the information back to the smartphone.

Unispectral is in talks with smartphone makers, auto makers, and security organizations to be third party analyzers.  To analyze the data from  camera images, the partner will need a large  database of hyperspectral signatures.

Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC 2015 – June 30 @ New York Academy of Sciences.  Register now and save $300.

Wearable detects asthma triggers

North Carolina State University‘s Veena Misra is developing a wearable that detects asthma triggers.

The device monitors environmental factors, such as ozone, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide levels, as well as vital signs including heart rate and hydration. Sensor data is transmitted wirelessly to a phone or physician’s office.  The intention is to guide people away from environmental conditions that exacerbate asthma and related respiratory issues.

Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC 2015 – June 30 @ New York Academy of Sciences.  Register before April 24 and save $300.

App helps orthopedic surgeons plan procedures

Tel Aviv based Voyant Health‘s TraumaCad Mobile app helps orthopedic surgeons plan operations and create result simulations.  The system offers modules for  hip, knee, deformity, pediatric, upper limb, spine, foot and ankle, and trauma surgery.  The iPad app mobile version of this decade old system was recently approved by the FDA.

Surgeons can securely import medical images from the cloud or hospital imaging systems to perform measurements, fix prostheses, simulate osteotomies, and visualize fracture reductions. The app overlays prosthesis templates on radiological images and includes tools for performing measurements on the image and positioning the template.  In total hip replacement surgery, it automatically aligns implants and assembles components to calculate leg length discrepancy and offset.

Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC 2015 – June 30, 2015 @ New York Academy of Sciences.  Register before April 24 and save $300.

Robotic-assisted platform to improve surgical accuracy

Google and Johnson & Johnson have announced Ethicon, a robotic assisted surgical platform partnership.  Google’s machine vision and image analysis software will help surgeons see more clearly as they operate.

During an operation, surgeons rely on several screens for information such as medical images, test results or guidance on atypical condition procedures.  Google’s software could show this data on one screen by overlaying it on the interface that surgeons use to control the robots and delivering information when it’s needed.  The software could also highlight structures in the body that are difficult to view on a screen, such as blood vessels or nerves.

Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC 2015 – June 30 @ New York Academy of Sciences.  Register now and save $300.

Gold nanoparticles enable optogenetics with out genetic manipulation

University of Chicago‘s Francisco Bezanilla has published a study detailing the use of targeted gold nanoparticles to allow light to activate neurons.  He describes it as optogenetics with out genetic manipulation.

Optogenetics has  relied on genetic modification, limiting its use to few model organisms. Bezanilla previously demonstrated that normal, non-genetically modified neurons can be activated by heat generated by IR pulses. This method lacks specificity and can damage cells. To improve the technique, he used 20-nm gold particles that, when stimulated with green light, absorb and convert light energy into heat.

Two kinds of nanoparticles were tested : ones coupled with a synthetic molecule based on Ts1,  and ones coupled with antibodies that bind to ion channels.  Nanoparticle treated neurons were readily activated by photothermal stimulation. Untreated neurons were unresponsive.  Targeted neurons could be stimulated repeatedly with out cell damage. Some individual neurons produced more than 3,000 action potentials over 30 minutes with no reduction in efficacy.

Nanoparticles were  also tested on complex brain tissue using thin slices of mouse hippocampus.  Groups of neurons  were activated and their activity patterns observed. Treated neurons could still be stimulated after being continuously washed for 30 minutes, indicating that the nanoparticles were tightly bound to the cell surface. Excess nanoparticles wash away, minimizing potentially harmful elevated temperatures.

The ability of nanoparticles to be coupled to different antibodies and retain efficacy suggests flexibility for future applications, including human therapeutic development.

This could, one day, improve the treatment of retinal diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration, where photoreceptor cells that absorb light signals are damaged or dead. The retinal nerve cells that carry visual information to the brain often remain intact and healthy. Nanoparticles targeted to these cells could potentially absorb light and directly stimulate the neurons, bypassing defective photoreceptors.

Although no harmful effects were observed, the researchers said that toxicity is possible, and are now testing the technique in animal models to further evaluate its therapeutic potential.

Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC 2015 – June 30 @ New York Academy of Sciences.  Early registration rate ends today, March 27th.

Strong, elastic artificial “skin” mimics collagen structure

Jang Kyung-in, of the Rogers Research Group at the University of Illinois,  has developed artificial skin, intended for health monitoring,  that mimics the structure of collagen.  The strong and elastic platform is well suited for silicone-based electronic sensing systems.  It will attach to real skin like a band-aid.  Users can apply  and remove it multiple times without damage.

Jang  believes that the new “skin” also creates opportunities for tissue engineering and biomedical devices.   ApplySci described a related development in December.  Roozbeh Ghaffari’s pressure, moisture, heat and cold detecting artificial skin can revolutionize prosthetics, allowing a bionic hand’s fingers to stretch and move as real fingers would.

Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC 2015 – June 30 @ New York Academy of Sciences.  Early registration rate available until March 275h.

Google files patent for cancer targeting wearable

Following its patent application for a pill that “paints” cancer cells for scanner detection, Google has filed a new patent for a wearable to detect and destroy the painted cells.  It describes a Calico developed device that “can automatically modify or destroy one or more targets in the blood that have an adverse health effect”.  These could include proteins, enzymes, cells, hormones, or other molecules that may affect health when present in blood.

The wearable  can modify or destroy the cells by transmitting energy into blood vessels. This could be by radio frequency pulse, time-varying magnetic field, acoustic pulse, or infrared or visible light signal.  The energy provokes a physical or chemical change in the targets to fight illnesses, including cancer.

Google believes that the device could also help Parkinson’s patients, as certain proteins have been noted as a partial cause of the disease. If the wearable could destroy these proteins, disease progression might be slowed.

Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC 2015 – June 30 @ New York Academy of Sciences.  Early registration rate available until March 27th.