In this week’s platter, we look at what PCPs think of digital tech, we consider an innovative development in drug delivery; we look at wearables in the mouth; we consider a tele-ultrasound system; and, finally, we pay attention to stunning 3D insights of the human brain… Enjoy!
Everybody occasionally experiences pain. Generally, pain is manageable with over-the-counter medications, or no medication at all. But when pain is acute and severe, such as after an injury or surgery, stronger pain medication may be required. And for chronic pain, such as from neck and back disorders, the long-term use of opioids to subdue pain can become addictive.
In light of the above, three University of Virginia researchers are working toward an innovative solution for treating lower back pain after surgery and for chronic back pain. They are developing drug delivery patches that would be worn on the skin, like a bandage, to deliver non-addictive pain medicine directly to the site of pain, rather than systemically via pills or injections.
High-tech wearables are everywhere, from our wrists to our pets to our … mouths?
Engineers at Tufts University have created tiny sensors that attach to teeth. It’s not a fashion statement, though it could very well someday become one! Instead, the wireless sensors are designed to monitor health and dietary habits, relaying data about sugar, salt, and alcohol intake to a wearer’s mobile device. It’s like a little nutritionist in your mouth that keeps tabs on every time you cheat on your diet.
Healthcare is on the verge of a paradigm shift due to digital technologies. Trends and research suggest that in the next few years, medicine will shift from a reactive to a proactive discipline. With the help of digital technologies, such as portable diagnostics, wearables, sensors, the patient will become the point of care instead of hospitals, clinical labs or other medical facilities. Moreover, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, various targeted therapies and precision medicine place the individual in the center of care instead of large populations. But how does all this impact primary care?
Philips, in a partnership with Innovative Imaging Technologies, a company out of Canada, is releasing the first telemedicine system that transmits live ultrasound images during scans performed by a paramedic or nurse to a physician’s smartphone, tablet, or computer. Audio and video are shared as well, allowing physicians to have a clear sense of the context, how the ultrasound is positioned and used, and what the on-site person is seeing.
This is very useful development, but let’s hope that those transmitting live images have ready access to broadband…
Imperial researchers have helped develop a breakthrough imaging technique which reveals the ultra-fine structure of the brain in unprecedented detail. Enjoy!!!
Image Credit: EntrepreneurCountry Global