The Smart Magazine About Medical Technology Innovations
Welcome to a New Medical World
Medica is back. The enormous Dusseldorf medical equipment tradeshow is again the place to discover what’s happening in the industry.
Direct from the aisles of the show, you’ll see how old friends like 4K and mobile apps are becoming more common in ORs and offices. But don’t miss the newcomers, like drones or Figure 1’s social network, which could have an even greater impact on how medical professionals do their jobs.
Watch our video report. Cell phones and their mobile applications are everywhere in the medical world. These devices have become so widespread that the American Society of Anesthesiologists recently issued a warning about their use in operating rooms. The aisles of the medical industry’s biggest trade show were...
Watch our video report. 4K Cameras, encoders, monitors, workflow systems, and more. All the pieces are now in place for hospitals to implement this unprecedented level of imaging quality.
Yet most of the industry players we met at Medica turned out to be surprisingly cautious about the rise of 4K. The slow evolution of hospital equipment makes the transition toward this new technology a long process, according to the likes of Panasonic, Alvo and FSN (*). However, with multiple products now available, it is time to take a closer look at 4K and to differentiate useful from less useful equipment.
(*) Article modified the 12/01/2015. The initial article was mentioning Sony, which is not appearing in the video.
Toronto-based startup Figure 1 enables healthcare professionals to digitally share and discuss medical cases by uploading real-life clinical pictures. The app, which is a free download on the App Store and on the Google Play Store, launched in North America in May 2013 and has since acquired over half a million users...
As far as CEO Dr. Dennis Göbel is concerned, the sound of ambulance sirens should soon be heard far less often in the Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region. Since September 2014, he and his team at Agaplesion Deaconry Clinics have been working on replacing emergency vehicles with drones. A first in Europe when it comes to transporting blood bottles, histological specimens, or medications.
One Blood Bank for All
Göbel is responsible for three hospitals in a busy urban area, only one of which has a blood bank. By deploying drones instead of vehicles, Göbel hopes to save time and costs, with a view to increasing safety for patients and staff. “Driving from one hospital to the other takes twenty minutes during rush hour – the drone makes it in about four”, he tells us. At the same time, siren-sounding ambulances are relatively more likely to get into an accident. Says Göbel, “we are also striving to reduce the risk of someone dying, while underway trying to help.”
Some aspects of German flight regulations are currently still keeping the drones from lifting off. Lest they could crash, drones are banned from flying over “groups of people” or out of the pilot’s “direct sight”. However, Göbel hopes these issues will soon be resolved. According to him “these drones are equipped with such safety features, that the likelihood of a crash is extremely low”.
Gait Up is a Switzerland-based wearable technology company specializing in movement analysis, particularly gait, with a mission to prevent falls and injuries, improve treatments, and enhance physical performances.
Patients and athletes who strap on a pair of Gait Up’s shoe-worn Physilog wearable devices can have 25 different parameters measured regarding the way they walk and run under real-life conditions. Alternatively, the Physilog device can also be worn on the chest, to record and analyze a person’s activity during the day, including complex outcome parameters such as gait variability and cadence.
From Injury Recovery to Risk of Falling
Such refined data about human movement can be highly relevant to physicians and sports-experts when it comes to diagnosing and treating a number of diseases, disabilities or athletic performance issues. “We can use these measurements to objectively evaluate patient health. For example, we can see how a patient is recovering from an injury, make predictions about a patient’s risk of falling, or evaluate patients with Parkinson’s disease”, Alexander Russell, VP of Business Development at Gait Up, tells us.
Physilog wearable devices are equipped with nine axis inertial sensors and a barometer as well as an optional GPS. In order to derive clinically meaningful information from Physilog signals, Gait Up uses advanced data fusion algorithms and supports visualization of results on tablet and desktop. Says Alexander Russell, “we specialize in signal processing and biomechanics and this allows us to take clinical grade measurements that have never before been available through wearable technology”.
Next to patients and runners, Gait Up is planning to make its advanced technology and ability to accurately quantify movement available to an even wider set of users, with swimming, ski-touring or team sports as potential future use cases.
Mobilmat freestanding baby change mat and bath has been designed for parents and carers with mobility problems or who cannot stand up for long periods. It is particularly suited to mothers recovering from caesarean sections.
Its adjustable height means the mat can not only be used sitting down, as it has enough space to fit a chair underneath, but it can also be raised for carers who wish to stand while changing a baby’s nappy or bathing. The Mobilmat’s integral bath enables the carer to move the baby from the mat to the bath in one easy movement.