Body suit simulators are nothing new. Earlier this year the Kanagawa Institute of Technology in Japan unveiled Mommy Tummy 8.0, designed to help the partners of expecting moms--as well as teenagers thinking about getting it on--to understand the physical ramifications of, well, getting it on.
Now students at MIT's AgeLab are taking this empathy concept to another level with AGNES, the Age Gain Now Empathy System, a suit designed to help wearers understand the physical ramifications of neglecting our bodies for decades on end. (AGNES is meant to emulate a 75-year-old with arthritis and diabetes.)
The suit incorporates shoes that compromise one's sense of balance and shorten one's gait; knee and elbow braces that limit joint mobility; earplugs that tune out soft or high-pitched sounds; a helmet that compresses the spine; and gloves that reduce not only strength and mobility in one's hands and wrists but also tactile sensation.… Read more
A young man in a coma was unwittingly poised to give the ultimate this holiday season--his life, and with it, his organs. Instead, his mother became the recipient of the ultimate gift: his sudden recovery.
"Nobody could ever give me a better Christmas present than this--ever, ever, ever," his mother, Susan Regan, told ABC News this week.
Sam Schmid, a junior at the University of Arizona, suffered severe brain damage and broken femurs in a five-car accident in October that killed his friend and roommate.
If researchers at the University of Illinois have their say, bandages are about to get a whole lot cooler.
A team of engineers has created a bandage that in just one week not only encourages new blood vessel growth but helps guide that growth as well.
"The ability to pattern functional blood vessels at this scale in living tissue has not been demonstrated before," co-principal investigator and electrical and computing engineering professor Rashid Bashir says in a school news release.
It's often the case that a device or substance with a known benefit also comes with known risks--typically referred to as side effects and listed quickly at the ends of commercials. So it seems worth noting when a product's side effect may in fact be useful.
The Valkee, a portable headset launched in August of 2010, directs 8- to 12-minute doses of bright light through the ear canal and into the brain to improve seasonal affective disorder. It turns out that this concentration of bright light into the brain may also improve motoric reaction time, according to a study conducted by Verve Research in Finland.
The placebo-controlled study (meaning some were given the treatment and others a placebo in its place) tested the effects of the Valkee headset on Finnish national league ice hockey players and found that those exposed to 12 minutes of light via the headset sped up their already fast reaction times by 20 percent.
"The placebo-controlled study showed a significant improvement in motoric reaction times of top athletes using bright light via the ear canal," says lead researcher Mikko Tulppo in a news release.… Read more
Mobile health technology continues to prove itself. The latest example comes in the form of on-the-go diabetes management.
In a recent small trial, 30 patients with type 2 diabetes spent 12 months using a smartphone app that provided real-time feedback on their blood-sugar levels, prompted them when to eat or take other action, and sent digital logbooks of their readings back to their doctors.
The surprising result: these patients had 58 percent fewer ER and hospital visits over the year of the study than they'd had the previous year.
It's important not to overinterpret that result. Not only … Read more
Traditionally, doctors and midwives have used a technique called pelvimetry to measure the pelvis and try to determine its adequacy for giving birth. But pelvis size is just one factor in how smoothly labor will go, rendering the method largely insufficient.
Scientists in France have been working to take some of the guesswork out of labor predictions. Today, at the Radiological Society of North America's annual meeting, they are presenting results of a study showing that their newly developed software, called Predibirth, predicts birth outcomes quite accurately.
The researchers used their software to process magnetic resonance images of 24 … Read more
Let's face it. Some things are just plain easier for kids today. Want to ask someone to the school dance without feeling so awkward? Just use your thumbs. Need to do research for a school paper? Just pick your search engine.
But perhaps my biggest tech envy to date can be found in the newly FDA-cleared AcceleDent system, a device that, when worn just 20 minutes a day, can dramatically speed up orthodontic tooth movement.
Traditionally, dental braces reshape the positioning of one's teeth by applying force to them. The AcceleDent device, worn with braces, simply speeds up tooth movement by vibrating them 20 minutes a day. (Insert inappropriate middle school joke here.)… Read more
Over the years, speech therapists have typically used such simple tools such as tongue depressors, spoons, and drinking straws to help kids with speech impediments make the proper sound.
So perhaps it's not entirely surprising that a party favor served as the inspiration for one of the tools in Speech Buddies, a set of five devices created to help kids make specific sounds. They were created by a medical device engineer and a speech therapist, after two years and hundreds of prototypes. To find out more, check out this video from SmartPlanet.
This video first appeared at SmartPlanet under … Read more
You can't do push-ups with your eyeballs, but doctors are discovering there are exercises that can make eyesight stronger.
Professional athletes spend countless hours improving their physical strength, speed, and agility. Now, thanks to new gadgets developed by Nike and optical science company Acuvue, high-performance professionals are working to better their vision without the need for surgery, glasses, or goggles. … Read more