The Star Trek Style Tricorder becomes reality

Introduction

The world is rapidly advancing regarding technology. Science Fiction has been made a reality with the Scanadu Scouts Star Trek-style Tricorder. The Scanadu Scout is a medical grade Tricorder designed to use your smartphone and Bluetooth LE to emulate an Emergency room right in your pocket. The device comes in a nifty small box that contains a micro USB cable for charging purposes, a basic instruction manual which provides details on how to download and install the free companion app.

This innovation is a breakthrough in the medical field. The device can measure a person, Heart rate, blood pressure, Emotional stress, ECG, Respiratory rate, SpO2(Oximetry) and even Skin/core body temperature.

How does the device work?

The Scanadu Scout Tricorder works by touching your forehead for approximately 10 seconds. The device then connects wirelessly to an application on your smartphone and provides a detailed analysis of the data collected.

In order activate and be able to use the scout, the users must first download the application and then unlock it. The next step that follows is to pair the phone with the device mainly via Bluetooth. A person using the device is then prompted to enter an array of personal information into the app.

The Scanadu is a small round white disk that measures about two inches wide and half an inch thick. The device can be handled by anyone with basic knowledge.

The gadget, when placed on the forehead, utilizes the following: light to measure the rate of oxygen intake, a small electrical plate under the thumb to measure the heart rate and an accelerometer to establish how the chest extends when a person breathes. Other sensors in the gadgets measure temperature, blood pressure, and other many body functions.

How to use the Scanadu Scout Tricorder?

To create a circuit with the heart, a person has to use the left hand. The index finger should be placed firmly on the top of the sensor, and the front sensor should be aligned properly with the person’s temple. The device is then placed on the forehead to begin scanning. The results are produced instantaneously in near real time.

What is unique about the Scanadu Scout App?

The amazing feature of the app is that unlike other similar apps, the scout translates data into simple terms that might require WebMD search but not a medical degree. In short, the app describes some terminologies in layman’s language that anyone can understand and comprehend.

The Scanadu Scout is among the latest “real sci-fi” advances in the medical field. It allows the users to see their health fingerprint very clearly and quickly. Moreover, on so many levels, the device makes sense. For instance, when you visit the doctor, the first thing the doctor does is to take your vital signs to see your health status. In this way, having the Scanadu Scout Tricorder is just like having a doctor in your pocket.

Conclusion

In summary, even though advances in technology causes some disadvantages, there are some advantages associated with this advancement and the Scanadu Tricorder is one of them. Even though the gadget has not received FDA clearance, it is hoped that once approved, millions of lives will be saved by this “friendly pocket doctor.”

The video below explains the competition to create real-life Tricorders.

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Optogenetics and Its Application

Optogenetics involves use of light to control cells in living tissues. The technology relies on stimulating neurons which have been genetically modified to express light sensitive cells in living tissue. Since the introduction of the technology, it has been applied to treat different health conditions. When light is applied at high precision, it can easily excite or salience nerves. The nerve excitation and silencing can be achieved without impairing the cells. This makes it easy for Optogenetics to be applied in different areas of medical research and treatment options. Light simulation has shown great benefits when it comes to gene therapy as well as other health benefits.

Potential benefits of Optogenetics

Cell culture, Network analysis

It is very easy to analyze neural networks through the application of the technology. Cells can be stimulated by light to different precisions. This makes it easy for scientists to study the cells in details. The results obtained from the simulation exercise can be used to achieve precise results which can be used to study neural networks theoretically. This gives the students of medicine clear view of neural networks. Through cell culture analysis, it is possible for scientists to get detailed descriptions of the condition of cells under different conditions. This makes it easy for the professionals to come up with the most suitable methods when it comes to treating different health complications.

Mapping of the brain and behavior

The technology can be applied to study the behavior of brain cells. This makes it possible for scientists to come up with the best treatment options when it comes to treating different brain complications. The treatment has been proved to be more effective in getting a clear view of brain cells behavior more than other methods which have been used to study brain behavior. For example, health professionals can apply the technology to get a more detailed view of the brain which is unlike methods such as optical and electrical.

Gene therapy

There are some health complications which are related to genes. It is possible to treat the health complications through application of optogenetic. The procedure has already been utilized to treat Lebers Congenital Amaurosis in humans. The scientist can apply the technology to treat the affected retina in human eye. From research, it is possible for the technology to make it possible for scientist to achieve great success when it comes to gene therapy.

Recovery of vision

The technology can be applied to recover vision. Scientists have applied the technology in rates and they showed good results. The light can be used to excite retina of animals which in return will lead to recovery of vision. This can be a great breakthrough considering there are many people in the world who have lost their vision due to different circumstances. The application of the procedure will make it easy for scientists to excite the retina and other photosensitive parts of the eye which have stopped working for them to start their operation.

Parkinson disease, Epilepsy

Deep brain stimulation is among treatment options for people suffering from Parkinson disease. Scientist have proved that besides using drug, the disease can be managed through application of Optogenetics.

For a more in depth explanation of Optogenetics and how it works, check out the video below.

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Tooth Regeneration

The use of implants may become a thing of the past if the discovery of tooth regeneration using your stem cells will be available. This radical technique can lead to other advancement in the formation of alveolar bone and periodontal ligaments. This means that we can soon regenerate natural teeth instead of relying on dentures and dental implants. Dr. Mao’s method of growing the teeth orthotopically within the gums and the socket using the integration of stem cells is a friendlier approach especially in relation to the cost of dental implants.

This breakthrough can even help those people who have lost their teeth have the best budget friendly alternative. Soon, people will not have to rely on dentures and dental implants for cosmetic and functional purposes. With Dr. Mao’s technique, the body’s stem cells will naturally form according to the anatomical 3D tooth structure implanted in the original tooth’s socket. They expect that this technique will result to faster recovery for patients unlike the case of dental implants.

Dental implants involve a titanium component or post to be anchored onto the jawbone and within the gums. Afterward a synthetic tooth is then connected onto the post. Yet the whole process typically takes 3 to 12 months to complete until the final restoration. This is because it takes time for the gums to heal and that the jawbone has to also grow around the titanium post before the synthetic tooth can be attached. A team of medical professionals is also involved in the installation of dental implants, thus you can expect that the fees of dental implants will be very costly. Depending on the scope of work, fees can range for $1,200 to $25,000.

If this new technology that Dr. Mao has discovered will push through and will be available in dental clinics, it will surely save us from the pain during the healing process and the high cost of dental implants. People who were not considered as good candidates for dental implants perhaps due to some health issues may find this new alternative very promising. With this groundbreaking approach, the embarrassing days of falling dentures should be over. People can then normally eat with their natural teeth even with chewing gums and hard food sans the speech impediment caused by poorly fitted dentures and poorly structured bridges.

 

The Benefits

Not only would this regenerative technique make a better option than wearing dentures, additionally offer an other option to the as of now well known engineered dental implants. It would repeat a characteristic tooth inside and out, including full invulnerable framework contribution, neural fervor, precise slim advancement, and injury self-repair.

 

Living teeth would be better and significantly more best than dentures, in the certainty that they are responsive to human bites, as well as promoting optimal health for surrounding teeth and gums. In Japan and other countries, successful animal trials on mice with full root development have set the stage for human trials in the very near future, and the prospect for yet, another shining epic achievement for the field of regenerative medicine.

 

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3D Printed Biological Materials

Through the application of 3D Printed Biological Materials, it is possible nowadays for scientists to create tissue like structures which can be used in the medical field. For example, there are patients who suffer from health conditions which interfere with the proper working of their organs. It is very easy to treat such organs through the application of 3D printed biological materials. Some of the human organs which can be printed include liver, the heart, kidney among other body organs.

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Areas where 3D Printed Biological Materials technology has been applied

Printing human embryonic stem cells

Stem cells are the one which grow into different tissues in the body. From the advancement in technology, it is now possible to have the cells printed in a laboratory. The technology uses a valve based cell printer to spit out living human embryonic stems cells. This is a breakthrough in the medicine world because the cells can be used to create tissues which will play a great role in testing drugs as well as helping in organ replacement procedures.

 

Printing blood vessels and heart tissue

Sheets of cardiac tissue and blood vessels have already been printed through the application of the technology. The tissues which were printed were able to beat just like a human heart. Blood vessels have been printed which makes it easy for scientists to come up with an artificial heart supplied with blood vessels. This is a great achievement in medicine. Health complications related to blood and the heart can be addressed through the application of the technology.

 

Printing skin

There are many health complications which can arise from the skin. Scientists have gone further to come up with a technology where skin cells can be printed. This makes it easy for those who are suffering from skin complications to easily have their health complications dealt with. Skin damaged from diseases and sun burns can be replaced through the application of the technology.

 

Patching a broken heart

Damaged heart can be repaired through the application of 3D printed cells. There are some people who suffer from health complications such as heart attack; it is possible for them to have their health complications dealt with through the application of the technology.

 

Printing cartilage & bone

3D printing professionals have been working on how they can print skeletal system. The same group of scientists who made the skin also went further to come up with bone and cartridge 3D printing. From the results which they came up with, it is possible to have printed stem cells which will develop into cartilage and bone.

 

Studying cancer with printed cells

Cancer is among health complications which have disturbed many people, nowadays it is possible to have the stem cancer cells studied into details so that medical professionals can come up with the right treatment procedures. Scientists are able to study how the cells develop so that they will know the right approaches which they can use to manage cancer. The printed cells can give a clear idea of how cancer spreads in cells.

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Robotic Nurse Assistants

Due to advancement in technology, nowadays you will find robotic nurse assistants in hospitals and other health care facilities. The robots are just machines which can be used to lift patients and move then to different areas in a hospital setting. The robots have been designed in such a way they will make it very easy for nurses to move patients. They move on the floor which is unlike telescopic systems which can be used to lift patients. The robots have been designed to assure patients and nurses who apply them in hospitals great safety. The robots use computer systems to take different commands. This makes it very easy to control the systems.

 

Benefits of application of robotic nurse assistants

Reduces incidences of clinical work place injury

The application of robotic nurse assistants makes it easy for cases of workplace injury to reduce drastically. For instance, the system employs use of highly specialized machines which make it very easy to avoid incidences of accidents. For example, they will ensure the center of gravity is adjusted accordingly so that they will avoid dropping patients. Cases of lost work time and workman’s compensation claims will reduce drastically due to the introduction of the robotics in the nursing industry.

 

Fewer patients’ falls

Patient falls are caused by improper handling, the application of the robots is aimed at making it easy for patients to achieve proper handling at all times. This is made possible through use of sensors on the bodies of the robots. There are some patients who are heavy, they will tend to stress nurses when it comes to lifting them, but, due to introduction of the robots, it is very easy to handle patients of different sizes. The robots receive commands from nurses. This makes it easy for nurses to make their work easy when working in their workplaces.

 

Improved clinical staff satisfaction

More and more nurses will enjoy their workplace due to the introduction of the robots. There are several tasks which the robots can do. This reduces the work load of nurses hence making it possible for the nurses to serve as many people as possible in day. Many health centers which are trying to improve their operation have turned to the robots as a way of making their operation more efficient.

 

Improved patient satisfaction

Patient will like to visit hospitals where they will be handed well. It is very easy for patients to achieve quick and effective services if they will visit a center where they will be served by nurses as well as robots which will help the nurses accomplish their services. The operation cost of the hospitals goes down due to the introduction of the robots; this in effect makes it easy for patients to access health care services at fair rates. This in return will make the hospital receive more referrals which in return will lead to the hospitals standing out as the best. Hospitals where patient access quality services will tend to perform better because most satisfied patients will refer others to where they were treated well.

 

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Science Fiction becomes Science Fact

This video does a god job of describing some of the advances in modern medicine that are so far out there that you can hardly believe they’re true. Technology in general, but especially medical technology, has become so far advanced, that we are literally living in the future you guys! Haha. Keep checking back and we will explore some of the more far-out inventions of modern medicine.