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Health News Results - 108

An injectable electrode could prove a better way to ease chronic nerve pain than opioid painkillers or bulky and expensive implants, animal research suggests.

It's called an "injectrode." It appears easier and cheaper than spinal implants for debilitating back pain, and safer than long-term use of opioids like OxyContin (oxycodone), a recent paper suggests.

A liquid silicone...

The latest addition to medical haute couture may be a necklace outfitted with a pendant that people can use to screen themselves for signs of an abnormal heart rhythm condition known as atrial fibrillation.

Fashioned by a team of Finnish researchers, the pendant houses a portable electrocardiogram (EKG) designed to transmit heart readings to a cellphone app and ultimately to a cloud-b...

Love to cuddle up? It might bring a 'mind meld,' too, new research shows.

People in close physical contact appear to have synchronized brain patterns, a revolutionary new MRI technique has revealed.

A functional MRI scan of two people cuddling under a blanket showed that their brains appeared to be falling into similar patterns of action and response, as they took turns gent...

For many COVID-19 patients battling for their lives in the ICU, a runaway immune system response -- known as a "cytokine storm" -- is their primary foe.

Doctors have few tools to help tame this hyperinflammatory condition, but early research is suggesting that nanotechnology might safely deliver drugs to affected tissues, quieting the storm.

It's so far only been tested in m...

Supplies of personal protective equipment remain scarce across the United States, especially the N95 respirator masks that health care workers use to protect themselves from the new coronavirus.

To help extend the useful life of available equipment, researchers and hospitals are turning to a long-known, if little-used, means of disinfection -- ultraviolet radiation.

"It's ge...

Testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus can be an unpleasant affair, with a doctor or nurse shoving a cotton swab deep into your nasal cavity to get a good sample.

But results that are just as accurate can be obtained from a more easily acquired saliva sample, a new Yale study reports.

Saliva samples taken from just inside the mouth were more accurate and consistent than deep n...

Contact lenses may someday do more than correct poor vision, with new, preliminary research in animals suggesting they could also monitor your diabetes and deliver medications.

The new lenses were designed to check blood sugar levels and to deliver drugs to the eye, possibly for the eye disease related to diabetes called diabetic retinopathy. After trying them out on rabbits, scienti...

Artificial intelligence may reduce the need for glioma brain cancer patients to have biopsies to determine the best treatment for their tumors, researchers report.

Currently, it's common to remove glioma samples from patients and analyze them to select appropriate therapy.

But scientists have been testing imaging techniques that might be used instead of biopsies to assess gl...

Next time you inspect your salad greens to make sure they look clean, consider this: Researchers are trying to determine if drying leafy greens using the spin cycle of a retrofitted washing machine is safe.

Some farmers use the method instead of expensive, commercial-grade spinners to dry leafy greens after they're washed. But it's not clear using a converted washing machine is safe.<...

Few think of the toilet as a font of valuable information, outside what you might read while you're sitting on the throne.

But a "smart toilet" is being developed that will help track your health by analyzing your excretions, researchers say.

The toilet would be fitted with technology that can detect a range of disease markers in stool and urine, said Seung-min Park, a senio...

Today's youngsters are as socially skilled as previous generations, despite concerns about their heavy use of technology, like smartphones and social media, new research shows.

The researchers compared teacher and parent evaluations of more than 19,000 U.S. children who started kindergarten in 1998 -- six years before Facebook appeared -- with more than 13,000 who began school in 2010...

Researchers have come up with a new twist on antibacterial technology.

By giving a metal surface a different texture, the team at Purdue University in Indiana said it may be possible to turn that surface into an immediate bacteria killer.

The technique won't kill viruses like the one responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, because they are much smaller than bacteria, the res...

THURSDAY, April 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- With protective gear in short supply, Duke University researchers say they've designed a much-needed respirator for health care workers battling COVID-19.

The respirator was created by a medical and engineering team at the university and is being used by Duke Health doctors treating patients with suspected cases of COVID-19.

The ...

Long periods of time in space may cause brain volume increases in astronauts, new research shows.

Extended periods in space have long been known to cause vision problems. And more than half of International Space Station crew members have reported vision changes.

Increased pressure inside the head might contribute to vision problems, scientists have suggested.

To l...

Your smartphone could help stem the spread of coronavirus, British researchers claim.

How? Their proposal for an app would record other app users who had recently been in close proximity. If a user became infected, he or she would update their status on their smartphone app, which would instantly and anonymously contact those app users who had been near the infected person.

...

In the best of times, it can be hard to get mental health treatment. But these definitely aren't the best of times, and even for people who have established relationships with mental health professionals, the coronavirus pandemic is making it harder to find the right care.

The good news is that insurance companies are often reimbursing for telehealth behavioral health services now (e...

Researchers are gathering data from thousands of Americans to create an "early warning system" that can identify people in the early stages of COVID-19.

More than 12,000 people -- including thousands of health care workers in California and West Virginia -- are already wearing specially designed Oura rings that track their temperature, breathing, heart and activity.

"Our fi...

Yet another potential vaccine against the new coronavirus is in early development -- one that researchers say could be rapidly made and distributed if it proves effective.

The vaccine has only been tested in lab mice, but it's able to spur the animals' immune systems to produce antibodies against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Researchers at the University of Pittsbur...

Rising prices have grabbed headlines as people struggle to afford their lifesaving insulin, but new research may have found an alternative for people with type 2 diabetes.

The study found that combining a wearable, patch-like insulin delivery device (called the V-Go) and an older, cheaper insulin could safely help people with type 2 diabetes achieve good blood sugar control.

...

Artificial intelligence (AI) may be able to identify people who will develop type 2 diabetes, researchers say.

For the study, the researchers used machine learning AI to analyze more than 509,000 annual health checkup records of more than 139,000 people in Japan from 2008 to 2018. They included more than 65,000 who did not have diabetes in 2008.

The data included information...

An international team has designed a computer program that predicts with up to 80% accuracy which COVID-19 patients will develop serious respiratory disease.

Developed by U.S. and Chinese researchers, the artificial intelligence (AI) program has been tested at two hospitals in China with 53 patients who were diagnosed in January with COVID-19. The new tool is considered experiment...

Imagine needing insulin to live but a natural disaster suddenly cuts off access to your medication. New drone technology may one day come to the rescue by making urgent deliveries to remote locations, researchers say.

The world's first documented drone delivery of medications to a diabetes patient in a difficult-to-reach community is described in a new paper.

The 16-minute...

Technology can help you maintain social connections if you're staying home during the coronavirus pandemic, an expert says.

"When using technology to stay connected, prioritize keeping deeper, meaningful connections with people," said Stephen Benning, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Benning suggests using Skype or other video mes...

A new study casts doubt on claims that artificial intelligence (AI) equals or surpasses the ability of human experts to interpret medical images.

Many previous studies were of poor quality and may have exaggerated the benefits of AI, which could pose a risk to the safety of millions of patients, the study authors claimed.

The investigators reviewed two randomized clinical tr...

As the coronavirus pandemic stresses the U.S. health care system, personal protective equipment -- including high-tech masks -- are in desperately short supply.

But a new study suggests an innovative solution: Reusable respirators typically used by construction or factory workers may be a viable alternative to disposable N95 respirators used by health care personnel.

The r...

Robots can provide significant help in the fight against coronavirus, experts say.

Their uses include: patient care such as telemedicine and decontamination; logistics such as delivery and handling contaminated waste; monitoring compliance with voluntary quarantines, and helping people maintain social connections, according to a paper published March 25 in the journal Science Robot...

As U.S. states and cities scramble to contain the new coronavirus by restricting public gatherings, hospitals are increasingly using remote medical care to battle the outbreak.

On Tuesday, Medicare administrator Seema Verma announced at a White House press briefing that the agency would greatly expand its coverage for telemedicine nationwide, the Associated Press reported.

...

A test that can detect the genetic "fingerprint" of prostate cancer in blood could improve diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of the disease, researchers say.

The test checks for prostate cancer DNA in blood in order to provide the earliest evidence that prostate cancer is active.

This could help doctors monitor tumor behavior, determine if cancer has spread ("metastasized"...

A brain-controlled robotic arm gives users precise hand control that enables them to do more complicated things intuitively than they could with a conventional prosthetic, researchers say.

"It's like you have a hand again," said study participant Joe Hamilton, who lost his arm in a fireworks accident in 2013. "You can pretty much do anything you can do with a real hand with that hand....

If you have raging headaches and you spend a lot of time on your smartphone, a new study suggests you might want to put your phone down whenever you can.

Researchers found that folks who use their smartphones frequently and have headaches or migraines also tend to need to take more medications than those with headaches who do not have smartphones.

Of course, this study can't...

Canadian doctors who conducted the first robotic surgery to treat a brain aneurysm say the approach could boost the availability and precision of lifesaving stroke care.

Use of the technology could also be a first step toward remote robotic surgery for stroke and other conditions affecting brain blood vessels.

"In the future, perhaps, a patient could end up in a small center...

A noninvasive magnetic brain stimulation device worn less than an hour a day can increase activity near stroke-injured areas of the brain, a small, preliminary study suggests.

Those improvements in brain activity might then lead to increased motor function in people who have had a stroke, the researchers said.

"We were excited to see a strong hint of improved motor functio...

For decades, artery-opening stents have helped prevent heart attacks, and new research suggests they might also help prevent strokes in the brain.

In a new study, the self-expanding, intracranial Wingspan brain stent seems effective over the long term in reducing stroke patients' risk of a subsequent stroke and death.

Intracranial stents are tiny mesh tubes that are permanen...

In what doctors call a breakthrough, a cancer patient in France gave birth to the first baby conceived from an immature egg that was matured in the laboratory, frozen, then later thawed and fertilized.

"We were delighted that the patient became pregnant without any difficulty and successfully delivered a healthy baby at term," said team leader Michaël Grynberg, head of reproduct...

Despite spending far more on health care than other wealthy nations, the United States has the lowest life expectancy and the highest suicide rate, new research shows.

For the study, researchers at The Commonwealth Fund compared the United States with 10 other high-income nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) -- Australia, Canada, France, Germany,...

Nesyamun, an Egyptian priest who chanted hymns at the grand temple of Karnak in Thebes 3,000 years ago, has been allowed to speak once more.

Well, maybe not speak in full sentences: A British team has re-created the mummified Nesyamun's throat using 3-D technology, allowing it to utter a vowel they believe mimics how the priest sounded.

Here it is:

Could a simple computer hack help make a dent in the opioid epidemic?

New research suggests that the number of painkillers prescribed to patients can be reduced just by lowering default computer settings that display a preset number of pills.

That simple change led doctors at two California hospitals to prescribe fewer opioids, and the approach could improve opioid prescribi...

The research is still in its early stages, but scientists say they've developed a low-intensity ultrasound technique that kills cancer cells without damaging healthy cells.

Focused ultrasound is already used to destroy tumors, with most approaches using either high-intensity beams to heat and destroy cells or injected contrast dyes. But both approaches can harm healthy cells and contr...

Machines can be trained to outperform humans when it comes to catching breast tumors on mammograms, a new study suggests.

Researchers at Google and several universities are working on an artificial intelligence (AI) model aimed at improving the accuracy of mammography screening. In the Jan. 1 issue of Nature, they describe the initial results: Computers, it seems, can beat radi...

"Space medicine" took another small step forward after an astronaut who developed a blood clot in a neck vein was diagnosed and treated while onboard the International Space Station (ISS), physicians at NASA and elsewhere report.

The research team didn't reveal the astronaut's name, age or gender, but said the ISS crew member developed an asymptomatic thrombosis -- blood clot -- in th...

Smartphones, tablets and laptops are everywhere, and young children are fascinated by them. Now, new research suggests that parents might be able to harness that curiosity and use apps on the devices to boost early learning.

The review found that apps could be particularly useful for teaching early math and language skills.

"Screen time is here,...

A special dye that's injected at the time of vaccination could become an alternative to paper or electronic vaccination records, researchers report.

"In areas where paper vaccination cards are often lost or do not exist at all, and electronic databases are unheard of, this technology could enable the rapid and anonymous detection of patient vaccination history to ensure that every chi...

Despite media stories about a "loneliness epidemic" plaguing the elderly, two new studies find that they feel no more lonely than their peers from past generations.

The studies -- one in the United States, one in the Netherlands -- reached the same basic conclusion: Yes, people tend to feel more lonely after age 75 or so. But today's older adults are no more likely to feel isolated or...

In two studies, artificial intelligence was used with electrocardiogram (ECG) results to identify patients who are at increased risk for a potentially dangerous irregular heartbeat, and those more likely to die within a year, researchers say.

Using more than 2 million ECG results gathered over three decades, the team created "deep neural networks" that predict future events from an EC...

Researchers have developed a skin patch that might one day give women the ability to self-administer long-acting birth control.

The patch, which contains "micro-needles" absorbed into the skin, is seen as a possible alternative to current long-acting contraceptives. Those methods -- intrauterine devices (IUDs) and contraceptive implants -- are highly effective at preventing pregnancy....

Parents of babies with type 1 diabetes have to prick their child's skin multiple times a day to check their blood sugar. But researchers may have developed a much easier way to check -- a sugar-sensing pacifier.

While baby sucks on the pacifier, it collects saliva, tests the sugar (glucose) levels and wirelessly sends results to a receiver that a parent/caregiver can see.

...

Double-sided tape that quickly binds tissues shows promise in animal tests and may eventually offer an alternative to surgical sutures, researchers report.

"There are over 230 million major surgeries all around the world per year, and many of them require sutures to close the wound, which can actually cause stress on the tissues and can cause infections, pain and scars," explained stu...

Computer-driven artificial intelligence (AI) can help protect human brains from the damage wrought by stroke, a new report suggests.

A computer program trained to look for bleeding in the brain outperformed two of four certified radiologists, finding abnormalities in brain scans quickly and efficiently, the researchers reported.

"This AI can evaluate the whole head in one se...

Daily exposure to blue light from sources such as smartphones, computers and household fixtures could speed your aging, even if it doesn't reach your eyes, research in animals suggests.

Blue wavelengths produced by light-emitting diodes (LEDs) may damage cells in your brain as well as your retinas, according to the Oregon State University researchers.

Their study of fruit fl...

After losing a lower leg, Savo Panic received a prosthetic limb that helped restore movement. But prostheses are imperfect, and he suffered tremendous "phantom" leg pain.

Now, European scientists say they've developed a technology that restores natural feeling and improves walking in patients who've had a lower leg amputation. The approach also eliminated phantom pain in Panic and red...