Background Reports 2020 -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

Image: Engineered Heart Muscle (EHM); Copyright: umg/pharmacology

Start of first clinical trial on tissue engineered heart repair

15/02/2021

For the first time, engineered heart muscle (EHM) from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) will be used to treat patients with heart failure. After regulatory approval, recruitment of the first patient for the first-in-class, first-in-patient BioVAT-HF early clinical trial has started in Göttingen, Germany.
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Image: Physician performing an echocardiogram; Copyright: PantherMedia/Anamaria Mejia

AI can predict death risk from ultrasound images

12/02/2021

Researchers at Geisinger have found that a computer algorithm developed using echocardiogram videos of the heart can predict mortality within a year.
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Image: A hand holding a smartphone with health data on the screen; Copyright: Brian Persinger/West Virginia University

Using wearable tech to keep babies, pregnant women healthy

01/02/2021

Doctors' opinions vary widely when it comes to exercise during pregnancy because research into pregnant women's fitness has been scarce. But with a new study, Shon Rowan - an associate professor with the West Virginia University School of Medicine - is using wearable technology to fill that knowledge gap.
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Image: Associate Professor Hadi Mohammadi at UBCO's Heart Valve Performance Lab; Copyright: UBCO

Breakthrough design vastly improves mechanical heart valve

26/01/2021

New research coming out of UBC's Okanagan campus may take the current 'gold standard' for heart valves to a new level of reliability.
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Image: three men sitting and standing behind a screen showing a computer model of the heart; Copyright: Lunghammer – TU Graz

Cardiovascular diseases: new computer model improves therapy

25/01/2021

Using mathematical image processing, scientists at the BioTechMed-Graz research cooperation have found a way to create digital twins from human hearts. The method opens up completely new possibilities in clinical diagnostics.
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Image: A graphic showing a nanoparticle and a blood clot in a blood vessel; Copyright: Leela Goel

Nanodroplets and ultrasound 'drills' tackle tough blood clots

12/01/2021

Engineering researchers have developed a new technique for eliminating particularly tough blood clots, using engineered nanodroplets and an ultrasound "drill" to break up the clots from the inside out. The technique has not yet gone through clinical testing. In vitro testing has shown promising results.
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Image: A surgeon is inserting a catheter into a blood vessel of a patient; Copyright: PantherMedia/chanawit

Atrial fibrillation: better outcomes with diamonds

15/12/2020

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots and trigger strokes. To correct the condition, physicians use medication or surgical intervention by means of catheter ablation. This surgical method on the beating heart is a standard and safe procedure but there is always room for improvement.
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Image: A device with a large monitor and different control panels in a darkened laboratory; Copyright: Fraunhofer IPA – PAMB

Cardiovascular diseases: using AI to navigate the catheter

09/03/2020

Treatment of a heart attack or stroke caused by vascular occlusion must be prompt to prevent further damage to vital tissue. Unfortunately, the actual treatment is often preceded by a lengthy catheter-based procedure where the cardiologist manually guides the catheter to the affected vessel. AI might perform this task in the future.
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Image: Colorful cubes with heart symbols are floating over a smartphone; Copyright: panthermedia.net/thodonal

Cardiology: digital solutions support those coping with chronic illness

03/02/2020

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year. Acute events such as heart attacks and strokes stand out in this setting. Chronic heart diseases can also be a debilitating condition for many patients. If cardiology uses digital methods and tools, it can reach more affected people.
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Image: Heart symbols are floating over a smartphone in the hand of a physician; Copyright: panthermedia.net/thodonal

Digital cardiology: analyzing data beat by beat

03/02/2020

Chronic cardiovascular diseases are a growing burden worldwide. Most of them are diseases of civilization that spread, where lifestyle is improving or where it is good already. But the healthcare systems are not growing equally to keep up with this development. We can make up for this by making cardiological care smarter with eHealth and mHealth.
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Image: Blood sample labelled

Cardiac diagnostics – prompt and personalized

08/11/2019

If physicians suspect an acute myocardial infarction, they first order an ECG. This test is very established and allows cardiologists to quickly diagnose acute heart attacks – though the test does not detect less common heart attack symptoms. So far, those patients had to wait up to twelve hours before a heart attack could be accurately diagnosed or ruled out. But things are about the change.
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Image: Two screens with picture of the circulatory system in a catheter laboratory; Copyright: panthermedia.net/sudok1

MEDICA TECH FORUM: light-based imaging technique OCT

04/11/2019

Since its inception, MEDICA TECH FORUM has focused on the implementation of innovations and new technologies into clinical practice. 2019 marks the tenth year of the Forum. In honor of its anniversary, we will brighten things up a bit, as one of the focal points will highlight how optical coherence tomography (OCT) uses light to produce images.
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Image: Man with mouthguard and laboratory glasses holding Petri dish up; Copyright: panthermedia.net/kasto

Cardiac Tissue Engineering: a heart out of the Petri dish

23/09/2019

For patients waiting for donor organs, every day can mean the difference between life and death. Making things even more complicated is the fact that not every organ is a compatible match with the patient. It would mean enormous progress if we could grow organs from the patient's own cells in the lab. That's why patients with heart disease place big hope in tissue engineering.
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Image: Wrist with smartwatch, which measures the pulse rate; Copyright: panthermedia.net / Lev Dolgachov

mHealth: Atrial fibrillation detection – App supports heart health

08/05/2019

Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of persistent cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm). Researchers estimate that 1.8 million Germans are presently affected by this disease. The condition is difficult to diagnose, frequently goes undetected and may result in a stroke. A new smartwatch medical app is designed to help patients detect atrial fibrillation before it’s too late.
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Image: Man on a treatment table under a radiation therapy device; Copyright: panthermedia.net/adriaticphoto

Cardiac arrhythmia: treatment in the linear accelerator

08/04/2019

Cardiac arrhythmia is a group of conditions where nerve cells trigger uncontrolled contractions of the heart muscle. They are treated with either medicine or catheter ablation of the tissue. In an interdisciplinary collaboration, cardiologists and radiotherapists took a different approach and used high-precision radiation therapy to treat a patient for whom the other options proved unfeasible.
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Image: Silhouette of a head with a hole in the middle shaped like a puzzle piece. The puzzle piece is lying next to it; Copyright: panthermedia.net/SIPhotography

WAKE-UP study a wake-up call for acute stroke care

08/08/2018

Some solutions are simple, though not necessarily obvious. The WAKE-UP study, which included 70 participating European stroke centers, has now studied a relatively simple procedure to manage the acute care of stroke patients and avoid potential long-term effects. Best of all, it is available wherever MRI is offered.
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Image: View over the shoulders of two doctors at a screen showing a model of a heart; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Wavebreakmedia ltd

Regenerative heart valves: from simulation to replacement

23/07/2018

Every year, more than 250,000 patients worldwide receive heart valve implants. Children require repeated replacement surgery because their bodies are still growing, the prosthetic heart valves are not. Regenerative heart valves solve this problem. Until now, we have only been able to monitor how these living implants develop in the body after the fact. Computer models now make this predictable.
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Image: young woman kneels next to unconscious man and makes call with smartphone; Copyright: panthermedia.net/pixelaway

Resuscitation via videostream – how EmergencyEye can save lives

02/07/2018

When the heart stops beating, irreversible brain damage occurs within minutes without resuscitation. Meanwhile, action is only taken in very few instances of cardiac arrest. Even first responders frequently feel helpless in this situation. In Germany, approximately 65,000 people die each year from sudden cardiac arrest. This is where EmergencyEye comes in to offer valuable support.
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Image: Preview picture of video

Ventricular fibrillation – Using ultrasound to detect its causes

17/05/2018

Ventricular fibrillation is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the heart muscle exhibits a rapid, erratic beat. The cause might be a circulatory system disease or heart attack. Researchers in Göttingen are now developing an ultrasound technique to get to the bottom of ventricular fibrillation and cardiac arrhythmias and facilitate better treatment options.
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Image: two men in the laboratory next to the Organ Care System with a pig's lung inside; Copyright: Kaiser/MHH

Organ Care System: treatment under extreme conditions

08/05/2018

Multidrug-resistant organisms that are treated with a dosage that exceeds the regular dose a hundred times and at temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius – the human organism is unable to handle it. Yet if the diseased organ is treated outside of the body, extreme conditions are an option. For the first time, physicians have succeeded in treating a severe case of pneumonia by using the OCS.
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Image: young woman with VR-glasses in the VR-Lab, in front of it a young man at a computer, on which a virtual heart can be seen; Copyright: Kompetenzzentrum eLearning in der Medizin Baden-Württemberg

VR Lab for medical students: linking theory and practice

22/03/2018

Virtual reality and medicine are increasingly mentioned in the same context. In addition to the development of applications that support the treatment of patients suffering from chronic pain and anxiety, this technology also benefits medical staff. Two months ago, the Ulm University Hospital has opened the VR Lab, where medical students can train and learn with the help of 3D organs.
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"Spray-On" muscle fibers for biomimetic surfaces

08/01/2018

Few patients with heart failure are fortunate enough to receive a donor's heart. Ventricular assist devices (or heart pumps) have been around for several years and are designed to buy time as patients wait for a transplant. Unfortunately, the body doesn't always tolerate these devices.
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