Since electronic cigarettes hit the market in 2007, yearly sales have reached $1 billion in the U.S. Although they’re popular, it’s still unclear how safe they are. Last year, a study from an international group of scientists showed that the toxins in e-cigarette vapor are 9 to 450 times lower than in tobacco smoke. The Food and Drug Administration is still determining its regulatory stance. It’s sponsoring more research while sorting out its position.
A strip of pressure-sensitive floor tiles made of plastic evaluates a walker’s health based on footstep patterns. (Tactonic Technologies) tile system’s cloud-based analytics can provide health updates via smartphone and assist caretakers for the elderly.
A German startup is offering a high-tech monitoring system for this problem, which is set to grow more urgent as the developed world begins dealing with a spike in senior citizens. The company has developed an advanced, conductive textile floor covering they call SensFloor that detects when people are walking or lying on it. The innovation is already alerting European nursing homes when a senior has fallen.
Their flooring is a polyester fleece textile measuring just eight-hundredths of an inch in thickness. They use an ordinary textile production process to laminate a thin, conductive piece of metal into the fleece to make patterns like those found on circuit boards. Some parts of the pattern become sensor fields and others become conductive lanes. These are connected to embedded radio modules that communicate real-time data to the system’s cigarette-box-sized controller.
SensFloor switches lights, controls automatic doors, and detects unauthorised intrusion. For high-security applications like access control in combination with RFID, SensFloor can count individual people.
Sure Chill (from Wales) is designed to keep vaccines at low temperatures in places prone to power outages. The refrigerator’s cooling system, which can work without electricity, uses a layer of ice to keep water around the chamber at a constant temperature.
With no sunlight to set day apart from night on a submarine, the U.S. Navy for decades has staggered sailors' working hours on schedules with little resemblance to life above the ocean's surface.
Research by a Navy laboratory in Groton is now leading to changes for the undersea fleet. Military scientists concluded submarine sailors, who traditionally begin a new workday every 18 hours, show less fatigue on a 24-hour schedule, and the Navy has endorsed the findings for any skippers who want to make the switch.
The first submarine to try the new schedule on a full deployment was the USS Scranton, led by Cmdr. Seth Burton, a cancer survivor. He said the illness he experienced as a junior officer helped convince him of the health benefits of keeping a sleep pattern in line with the body's natural rhythm.
You could see Paro as a very well-designed $5,000 pet that will never turn on the person holding it, and will never be hurt if its master flies into a rage. It is as happy in one lap as the next, needs no house-training, can be easily washed and will not die. This makes it a much more practical proposition to have in a nursing home or hospital than a live pet. It is used in such homes in Japan, in parts of Europe and in America. As well as simply making people happy—no mean goal—it can act as a source of reassurance and calm. People with Alzheimer’s often suffer from “sundowning”—a distressed urge to wander that comes on towards the end of the afternoon. Mr Shibata has found that a seal in the arms tends to reduce such wandering, which means fewer falls. Experience in Italy, Denmark and America indicates that care homes equipped with Paro need less medication for their residents. Larger trials now under way in Australia should establish whether this and other benefits can be provided simply by a soft toy, or whether Paro’s ability to interact with the world makes a clinical difference.
Regenokine is a patented procedure that involves drawing blood from a patient and then separating and treating it with heat to concentrate its healing properties. The incubation process takes up to 24 hours, and it stimulates the growth of immune-regulating substances from the body, like tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-1. Once the blood is ready, it's injected directly into the joint or other source of pain. Since the procedure is noninvasive, it carries little risk of side effects like infections and does not require months of physical rehabilitation. While no one knows exactly how long the relief will last, Wehling says he usually doesn't see patients for years afterward, and in some cases, such as when he treats slipped discs, he is confident the treatment can offer a permanent fix, especially when patients follow injections with Wehling's nutrition and training program. "This is a new, proven way of treating chronic pain," says Wehling. "We see a positive result in 80 to 90 percent of patients."
Hundreds of employers of all sizes are contracting directly or through their insurers with telehealth providers to cut medical costs and give workers 24-hour access to doctors and nurse practitioners. WellPoint teamed up with Boston-based American Well to offer telemed services to 3.5 million of its health-plan subscribers last year and intends to extend the service to another 32.5 million over the next 12 to 18 months. UnitedHealth Group began a pilot program in January, providing 310,000 subscribers in Nevada with virtual doctors’ visits.
“During my comprehensive three-day work-up (at BreakAway Performance in San Francisco), I’ll be put through a gamut of diagnostics that evaluate everything from strength and flexibility to ergonomics and biomechanics. Beyond the basic numbers -- my weight and body-fat percentage -- technicians will gather such geeky physiological data points as anaerobic threshold, watt threshold and power-to-weight ratio. (The latter is especially crucial for cyclists.)
I’ll be photographed shirtless in shorts, standing and squatting, to check my anatomical orientation and posture. I’ll be filmed swimming laps in a pool and subsequently taught how to boost the power and efficiency of my strokes. I’ll even have the arches of my feet measured; plastic shims will subsequently be affixed to my cycling shoes for a custom, precisely calibrated fit that decreases the stress on my knees, hips and back.”