The Smart Magazine About Medical Technology Innovations
3D Printing in Medicine
A 3D printed skull, jaw, ear, heart, kidney, hip, hand and more. The list is long. This new technology has become such a key trend in the medical sector that we soon may be able to print every single body part.
Beyond the ability to produce new prosthetics and implants with a 3D printer, the rise of this technology represents a huge advance in surgical planning by improving our understanding of anatomy and optimizing surgery. It also opens the door to a small revolution in dentistry, with the eventual goal of creating 3D printed permanent teeth.
The ability to produce highly detailed three-dimensional models from radiological scans is a huge advance, not only in prosthetics and implants but also in surgical preparation.
Hospitals generally use 3D printing to produce highly detailed models of patient-specific structures from CT and MRI scans. Images from...
INFOGRAPHICS. 3D printed medical equipment is no longer a fantasy. Medical professionals need to pay attention to what has become a key trend in the industry, with an almost continuous flow of announcements. From sternums to robotic hands and thyroid glands, we have selected some of the most stunning examples.
A revolution is underway in dentistry: 3D printing. Today, temporary crowns and bridges are already produced using 3D techniques. Important challenges remain before permanent teeth can be printed.
“It begins with the intraoral scanner that replaces the traditional dental impression,” explained Gil Lavi, Vice...
Tech4Life Enterprises launched eSteth at January’s ArabHealth in Dubai. This software-independent digital stethoscope costs only $100. Dr. Shariq Khoja is the CEO of the Canadian company.
MedicalExpo e-magazine: How does eSteth work?
Dr. Shariq Khoja: eSteth is a digital stethoscope which means that you can connect it to a computer, tablet or mobile phone and transfer the sound to a healthcare center via internet for a telemedicine consultation. If you don’t have internet access, you can just save that sound on your device and transfer it later.
At the same time, eSteth is equipped with amplifiers and filters to increase the sound quality and filter it to the level that the healthcare provider can very clearly listen to that sound and make his or her diagnosis. Conventional stethoscopes have a sound of very low intensity, and the healthcare provider needs a lot of diagnostic expertise. Here, the sound quality is much more enhanced, the healthcare provider needs less skill to identify the differences between the sounds and it can be used by midwives or nurses.
You can recharge eSteth like a mobile phone. It has a battery which can easily last 8 hours, even if you turn it on and off multiple times.
MedicalExpo e-magazine: What is the most innovative aspect of eSteth?
Dr. Shariq Khoja: Its plug-and-play part. Usually, digital stethoscopes require some particular software. That means you need this software installed on your computer or your tablet in order to filter the sound and transfer it to a healthcare center.
ESteth is a totally plug-and-play digital stethoscope: the sound quality is controlled by the hardware itself and the transfer is not controlled by any specific software.
So, if we are talking on Skype, for example, I can connect the stethoscope to my machine, send you the recorded sound and you will start hearing it on your own Skype without needing to install special software.
There are also a couple of other innovative features, like Bluetooth and the storage capacity that makes it easier for the user to transfer the sound or to use eSteth for telemedicine without any major training.
MedicalExpo e-magazine: What is the purpose of this new product?
Dr. Shariq Khoja: Tech4life is a social enterprise which works on improving access and quality of care in the developing world. Our focus is on improving telemedicine solutions using simple, low-cost, mobile technologies for the benefit of people who don’t have access to healthcare. Sometimes, even if you provide telemedicine solutions, the hardware is very expensive, making the use of telemedicine extremely difficult in parts of the world where resources are limited. Digital stethoscopes for telemedicine are usually in the $2,000 range. e-Steth only costs $100.
It starts with the hospital’s app through which a patient can find the most suitable doctor and make an appointment online. In a second, the patient receives a confirmation SMS and, within 24 hours, a call to confirm, cancel or postpone the appointment.
Courtesy of GE Healthcare
On the first visit, the hospital scans a patient’s ID and records his or her biometrics. Even the consent form is digitized. On subsequent visits, only a fingerprint scan is necessary for immediate access to the patient’s digital records. Another benefit of a paperless hospital is that patients can have access to their own medical records via their phone; doctors also canexamine their patients’ records anytime, even from home, and prescribe medication as needed.
In partnership with GE Healthcare, the hospital is equipped with a state-of-the-art radiology department. For example, patients can choose and manage an enhanced audiovisual experience during their MRI or CT scans. Designed for adults and children alike, a range of 11 “themes” can be selected on an iPad before entering the examination room. During the scan, patients see images representing the chosen theme on a large ceiling-mounted screen, while ambient lighting and music help put them at ease. They can even choose music from their own media library.
Courtesy of GE Healthcare
Ambulance with Google Glass
The hospital has one emergency ambulance equipped with Google Glass. The unit is worn like a pair of glasses by the emergency medical technician, enabling en-route communication with the hospital doctor. The technician also can send pictures and videos.
Modern Connected Rooms
Rooms are specially designed to help patients relax, providing them with WiFi access, a smart bedside tablet to view prescription and medical records, talk to family, watch movies or control room lights, curtains, AC, etc. The hospital also likes to keep a watchful eye on its patients. For example, a camera atop each nursery crib enables a new mother to watch her newborn from her own room.
Researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands have recently developed antimicrobial resins which enable them to 3D print teeth and other dental implants that kill Streptococcus mutans, the microbe that causes tooth decay.
To do this, chemistry professor Andreas Herrmann and his team combined antibacterial ammonium salts with standard dental resins. The positively charged salts disrupt the negatively charged bacterial membranes, killing the microbes.
They put the mix in a Formlabs Form 1 3D printer and printed a range of dental objects, from replacement teeth to orthodontic braces. To test the new material, they applied saliva and Streptococcus mutans to the samples.
They found that the material eliminated over 99 per cent of the bacteria, compared to less than 1 per cent for a control sample without the added salts. According to the researchers, such implants will not harm human cells.
Further tests still must be done, but this new technology could have a huge impact, especially for people in low-resource areas without access to dentists.