Sound Rather than Sight Can Activate ‘Seeing’ for the Blind -- MEDICA Trade Fair

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Medical devices: the road to the finished product is not easy

08/09/2017

These days, many groups make various demands of medical device developers: manufacturers, users, patients and government agencies. Given all of these interests and concerns, the developers face many challenges. In this interview, we put some of them under the microscope and examine how they can be sidestepped or entirely avoided.
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Playing with your brain

16/08/2017

Human-computer interactions, such as playing video games, can have a negative impact on the brain, says a new Canadian study published in Molecular Psychiatry. For over 10 years, scientists have told us that action video game players exhibit better visual attention, motor control abilities and short-term memory. But, could these benefits come at a cost?
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Image: A man is working at a laboratory bench, his screen is showing a program that recognizes his gestures; Copyright: Fraunhofer IPA/Heike Quosdorf

Laboratory automation: from note book to gesture recognition

08/08/2017

For centuries, scientific research has succeeded by chronicling experiments with pinpoint accuracy. Yet despite all the progress in the actual laboratory, recording is often still done manually, in notebooks, logs or computer systems for instance. In the future, a gesture recognition system could perform this task for scientists.
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Researchers: Too much information can be a good thing

08/08/2017

In the world of health care, the phrase "too much information" – or TMI – can be a serious problem. If you Google "How to prevent cancer," for example, you will find list after list of websites claiming to have the winning strategy, with some plans presenting 20-30 steps.
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Diabetes can be tracked with our Google searches

02/08/2017

The emergence of Type 2 Diabetes could be more effectively monitored using our Google searches – helping public health officials keep track of the disease and halt its spread - according to research by the University of Warwick.
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Digital communication improves young patient engagement, according to new study

17/07/2017

Using texts, emails, Skype and other digital communication methods can improve the health care experience of younger patients.That is the conclusion of new research, led by the University of Warwick and King's College London, which examined case studies from 20 NHS specialist clinical teams from across England and Wales.
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Modular Emergency Hospitals – Quick disaster response

08/06/2017

After earthquakes or other types of disasters, infrastructures are often damaged and local hospitals destroyed. A modular hospital, developed under the direction of the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department is designed to be ready for these types of disaster situations and support the emergency response.
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Technology: India offers potential for research and development

02/05/2017

When it comes to the production and development of tech products, many people immediately think of Germany, Japan, the U.S. or Taiwan. What’s often unknown is that an emerging market like India also offers great potential. After all, the country has a large number of experts and just as much technical knowledge at its disposal.
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Laboratory medicine: confronting infections with speed and foresight

03/04/2017

The laboratory is one of the most important and pivotal bastions in patient care. In the laboratory, acute, chronic and genetic diseases are diagnosed, the progression of diseases such as diabetes is regularly checked or specialists look for biomarkers to adapt cancer therapies.
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Collect Data? Utilize Data! – The Blessings of Big Data

01/03/2017

Genome data, MRI images, and blood test results – data collected in the medical sector is not only very heterogeneous but also extremely extensive. However, it is important to not only collect this data but to also utilize it. After all, processed, linked and analyzed data provides many opportunities in research, hospital management and ultimately also for the individual patient.
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Smart versus big: how data can assist in the OR

01/03/2017

The OR is the centerpiece of every hospital and also the most expensive resource that should be used efficiently. Yet in reality, there are often delays when interventions are not intelligently scheduled and take place back-to-back. This is why the InnOPlan Research Consortium wants to make surgical device data usable and useful to improve the operating room planning process.
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Image: Graphic of the generic architectur of the clinical data intelligence;  FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg Medizinische Fakultät

Medical Databases: One for All, All for One

01/03/2017

In the "KDI – Clinical Data Intelligence Project", researchers are trying to consolidate various types of data to make them useable and useful to both medical professionals and scientists. This is a tremendous undertaking, considering the data volumes from different sources. In this conversation with MEDICA, Dr. Martin Sedlmayr explains the project setup.
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Telediabetology: Telemedicine to fight diabetes

02/11/2016

World Diabetes Day is on November 14 of this year. This is reason enough to get informed about the options available in medicine on the subject of "diabetes". One area is telediabetology, a combination of telemedicine and diabetology. It is still not widespread in Germany, but that is about to change because the benefits for patients, physicians and hospitals are obvious.
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Infection prevention with networked devices

02/11/2016

It is possible to save resources in a hospital by using networked devices – processes work more properly and more quickly this way. But there is also a certain amount of risk: If a device is infected with malware, the infection will spread very fast. Therefore, it is important to protect the networked devices and especially the sensitive patient data.
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A new broom sweeps clean? The new EU Medical Device Regulation

10/10/2016

The year 2016 brings about the new, eagerly anticipated Medical Device Regulation (MDR). The revision needs to now be implemented by all EU member states in the coming years after there have been ongoing deliberations and negotiations since October 2012.
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Networked healthcare – Apps and co.

04/10/2016

Digitization is on the rise and doesn't even stop with medicine. A video doctor consultation, a fitness app or a collection of data for a better cancer treatment: eHealth combines the possibilities of the internet with the demands of medicine and opens up entirely new possibilities for the medical industry.
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Sustainability: Hospitals can achieve a trifecta

01/08/2016

Humans leave large ecological footprints on the planet. Nevertheless, sustainability - that being resource-conserving and environmentally oriented action - is still far from being a concern everywhere. The public sector, in particular, has a difficult time with this because sustainability requires initial funding to renew and adapt processes and technology. This applies especially to hospitals.
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Interoperability: secure network connections

08/07/2016

Computers do not just need a common language to communicate with each other. Their conversations also need to be secure when they transfer medical data for example. Yet there are still many different systems by various providers in the health care system that are not able to properly communicate with each other. The solution is called interoperability.
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Prevention: Digital tools for the digital workplace

01/07/2016

Added stress or relief? The digitization of the workplace is both since we can be better and more often reached and - at least in some areas - also be gradually replaced by a machine. But digital tools are also able to support us by measuring our body’s basic functions and warning us if we endanger our health.
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Photo: Screenshot of the web portal WISS

Wearables: web portal WISS to foster communication in professional sports

01/07/2016

Wearables like smartwatches and fitness trackers have fast become a part of our lives. These technologies are also being considered for use in professional sports. Data is meant to be analyzed and training optimized with the help of these devices, the web portal WISS (Wearables in Professional Sports, German: Wearables im Spitzensport) was created.
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Emergency: app alerts first responders

08/06/2016

Just a few minutes can make the difference between life and death when a person loses consciousness or goes into sudden cardiac arrest. Unfortunately, emergency medical services cannot always be on location as fast as needed. To ensure immediate life-sustaining measures, the "mobile rescue" app was developed, which alerts emergency medical responders in the immediate vicinity of an emergency.
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Photo: Devices and products patients need to treat their diabetes

Artificial pancreas: an (almost) automated diabetes treatment?

22/05/2016

The treatment for diabetes is very time-consuming for patients: they need to regularly monitor blood sugar levels, take medication and inject insulin. Poor self-management may result in a dangerous lapse in blood glucose levels. Yet external factors can also contribute to diabetes being out of control. An artificial pancreas system could offer relief.
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New E-Health Act: "Patients have control over their data"

08/05/2016

The "Act on secure digital communication and applications in the health care system" (the e-Health Act in short) took effect on December 29 last year. By the end of 2018, hospitals and medical practices will be gradually introduced to the new features of the electronic health card and telemedicine.
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Cardiac insufficiency: early diagnosis with ultrasound

02/05/2016

Heart failure or cardiac insufficiency presents an extra strain on patients because it severally limits everyday performance and deprives them of energy. Due to their intense need for movement, children are particularly strongly affected. However, the disease is frequently not detected until the physical performance is already declining. An early diagnosis could prevent this.
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Big data in cardiology: IT platform to manage "flood of data"

01/05/2016

In addition to patient counseling and clinical diagnostics, the lion’s share of a cardiologist’s work consists of collecting data to be able to better treat future cases based on the gathered information. Until now, this data was recorded in Excel spreadsheets or many other communication platforms. A software is designed to facilitate a cross-industry exchange.
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eHealth: just for self-taught learners?

01/04/2016

Every technology we take for granted today was new and unfamiliar at first and needed to be learned: this applies to smartphones, new operating systems or VCRs alike. It is even more important to keep up with the latest technologies in your job since know-how also presents a financial advantage. Physicians fare no differently here than other occupational groups.
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Photo: Three-dimensional model of the right ventricle

Ultrasound: four dimensions for pediatric cardiac diagnostics

01/03/2016

Fortunately, only a handful of newborns are affected by them, though this determines if not the rest of their lives then, at least, the first few years of affected children: congenital heart defects. After the necessary surgeries, the small patients repeatedly need to return for checkups. Until now, these were conducted using MRI scans. 4D ultrasound can be an alternative.
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Occupational medicine 4.0: health in a globalized economy

15/12/2015

Digitization changes the working world - we all know that. While agriculture, industry and skilled trade had a nine-to-five working day in the past, networking and continuing flow of information sometimes render the nine-to-five job obsolete. The multimedia-based job involves its very own health risks.
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Telehealthcare: networking brings relief

04/12/2015

Nowadays, everyone has access to his stored data and is able to work with them on different devices – thanks to the cloud. By now, online data storage plays a role in medicine as well: patient data can be collected digitally and centrally, authorized personnel can access it to make the fastest and best patient care possible.
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Geriatrics: walking better with smartphones

22/10/2015

Many end-users already have had a smartphone that counts steps and apps that help in disease prevention for a long time. But in professional medical use environments like hospitals and physicians' offices these little helpers are just arriving - or not even there yet. Still, these gadgets can make assessments easier and more precise. For example in geriatrics.
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Direct-To-Consumer Testing: the business with lifestyle tests

08/10/2015

The many possibilities the Internet offers also don’t shy away from laboratory medicine. The demand for biochemical or genetic tests continues to rise. Next to standard laboratory tests, a market developed in which the patient is the immediate recipient of clinical results. New distribution channels eliminate the physician as the responsible party.
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Adaptify: Flexible games to support physiotherapy and rehabilitation

08/09/2015

Personalized approaches in medicine are very popular. Treatment with customized therapies is intended to achieve better results and be less stressful on the patients. This could soon also be the case for physiotherapy and rehabilitation since every person is not just different - he also moves differently.
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Wearables and apps: insecure connections, careless users

01/09/2015

They are exciting for enthusiasts of the "quantified self" movement and extremely useful for athletes: wearables that measure and store numerous body parameters and enable long-term data analysis. Yet, for their use in medicine and rehabilitation, manufacturer and user both need to ask themselves how safe the devices actually are.
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Small companions: How wearables change our lives

01/09/2015

They can be seen everywhere: at the wrists, in the ear, clipped to the belt. Wearables are small technical assistants who are built to collect and partially also to analyze data. Some of them collect measurable health data, others "only" count their user’s steps or measure the surrounding UV radiation. The fact is, however, that wearables are en vogue and are used for many different cases.
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A wearable to draw a complete picture of the heart

01/09/2015

Smartphone apps and wearable sensors have the potential to help people make healthier lifestyle choices. Self-monitoring therefore is one of the core strategies for changing cardiovascular health behaviors. On the other side, patients benefit from sharing their data with doctors and electronic health record (EHR) systems.
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Big Data: breaking the curse of dimensionality

24/08/2015

The term big data is complex. On one hand, it describes the amount of data itself while characterizing the technology required to collect and analyze the data on the other. The fact is big data is essential in medicine. Data-supported models not only assist in promoting medical research, they also make it easier to reach treatment decisions.
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Photo: Prof. Thea Koch

Tele-ICU care also benefits physicians

22/07/2015

Tele-ICU care with which the U.S. has already had excellent experiences is meant to also be implemented in Germany so facilities are able to provide their patients with optimal care. MEDICA-tradefair.com spoke with Prof. Thea Koch, President of the German Society for Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine about this subject.
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Data protection: Can medical research be anonymized?

08/07/2015

Electronic health records, telemedicine, cloud computing and big data: questions about data protection appear everywhere in digitized health care. Yet what do things look like far away from application at the foundations of medicine? Can patient data and personal rights in research be protected when several centers and numerous researchers participate in studies?
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Rare Diseases: All information online at ZIPSE

08/04/2015

They are rare, often under-researched and it is difficult to learn about them – rare diseases. Patients, family members and even physicians frequently have a hard time finding qualitative information on diagnosis and treatment options or specialized care providers. Thanks to the Central Information Portal for Rare Diseases, ZIPSE, this should soon change.
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Patient information on the internet: "The quality varies greatly"

01/04/2015

The internet is a popular source of information, even for health questions. Yet not all of the information that’s available there is accurate and reliable. To offer patients in Germany a reliable source of information, the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Healthcare, IQWiG in short, has set up a portal that is based on scientific data.
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Communication: How does the neighbor actually do it?

02/03/2015

In Europe, or rather: at least between Germany and the Netherlands, the answer to this question often is not more than a subject for jokes. A current research project about strategic communication in hospitals now wants to show that and how neighbors actually are able to learn from each other when they look to the other side of the fence.
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Hospital crisis communication: A crisis knows no rules

02/03/2015

Crises come in many shapes and sizes. Whether it’s poor hygiene, thefts or treatment errors – once the crisis has arrived, things need to move quickly. For hospitals in particular, the right crisis communication is key. Yet many medical facilities still neglect the fact that crisis communication starts before the actual crisis takes place.
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Digital pathology: From microscope slide to virtual microscopy

02/02/2015

The digitization of medicine moves on. Researchers, physicians and patients equally benefit from this development – thanks to improved diagnostics with highly sensitive devices, today findings can be comprehensively analyzed and treatment decisions made on a broadened basis. Digitization also offers the area of pathology interesting fields of application.
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Genetics: “We try to simplify diagnosis for rare diseases“

10/11/2014

Sometimes your TV is actually right and diagnosing an illness is really a puzzle. This is the case with rare diseases for example, which only affect a small portion of the population. Physicians are then confronted with the problem of not having enough experience with a specific illness and its symptoms to be able to make a diagnosis.
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Football: "We want to globally determine deaths for the first time"

02/06/2014

Sudden deaths of football players make headlines time after time: competitive athletes who are the idols of many people die just when they are on the playing field and in the limelight. Congenital heart defects often cause their death. Sports physicians and FIFA now plan to ascertain data that can help improve preventive examinations in competitive football.
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"The most important aspect in a service is always information"

08/05/2014

Medicine is no occult science anymore – books and magazines, documentaries and the internet help everyone to understand the human body and its diseases. Quality is paramount in this respect, since misinformation can mislead patients. The Health Media Award offers guidance also for lay people: it honors useful and effective information services.
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mHealth Alliance: "Mobile health has the potential to improve healthcare for millions"

02/05/2014

Whether in remote areas or in a large city – people everywhere need good healthcare. Thanks to mobile health, more and more people can get medical help, even in poor regions of the world.
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Medical apps: functionality and safety is key

02/05/2014

Successful communication is most important in medicine. The most modern channels have been utilized in this area for quite some time now. Medical apps need to meet several requirements at once. For their use to pay off, they need to be beneficial for prevention or therapy. And to ensure a safe application, they also need to be both technically and medically flawless.
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RESCUER: "Crowds should take an active part in ensuring their own safety during major events"

01/04/2014

Thousands of people push through a tight tunnel: 21 people died while several hundred people were injured this way during the Love Parade 2010 disaster in Duisburg, Germany. Today we know that such disasters could be prevented, if communication between event participants and rescue workers would be better.
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KOHALA: digital student for cancer treatment

03/02/2014

Shortening a time-consuming procedure from four hours to five minutes and automate it at the same time sounds like a dream come true for employees in all fields and industry sectors. This dream could soon become a reality for radiologists. Software could take away the tedious processing of CT images, which is required before cancer radiation therapy.
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