Image: a 3-D printed multimaterial shape-memory minigripper; Copyright: Photo courtesy of Qi (Kevin) Ge

3-D-printed structures "remember" their shapes

29/08/2016

Engineers from MIT and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) are using light to print three-dimensional structures that "remember" their original shapes.
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Image: A copmputer monitor shows the brain activity of a monkey using a brain-machine interface.; Copyright: Shawn Rocco/Duke Health

Brain-machine interfaces: Paraplegics regain feelings and movements

15/08/2016

Eight people who have spent years paralyzed from spinal cord injuries have regained partial sensation and muscle control in their lower limbs after training with brain-controlled robotics.
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Image: newsletter practice changes in kidney stone treatment; Copyright: UBA News

New guidelines in kidney stone treatment

15/08/2016

A new guideline for the surgical management of patients with kidney and/or ureteral stones has been released by the American Urologic Association.
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Image: Blue Stethoscope next to a blue glass globe on a blue keyboard; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Neirfys

Blue versus Green Hospital: Economical in all departments

01/08/2016

Hospitals seldom operate economically and sustainably - old building structures and the intricate logistics operations involving expensive patient care are costly. To get out of the red, hospitals need to become more efficient in all areas. One way to achieve this goal leads through the Blue Hospital Concept.
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Image: Aerial shot of a large hospital in a city; Copyright: panthermedia.net/kruwt

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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Image: Grapic of human head with many colours; Copyright: panthermedia.net / agsandrew

Americans worried about using gene editing, brain chip implants and synthetic blood

27/07/2016

Many in the general public think scientific and technological innovations bring helpful change to society, but they are more concerned than excited when it comes to the potential use of emerging technologies to make people's minds sharper, their bodies stronger and healthier than ever before, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
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Image: Four blood bags, filled with blood, on white ground; Copyright: panthermedia.net/vladem

New blood management guidelines

19/07/2016

Improving the processes of ordering, transporting, and storing blood can save millions of dollars and drastically reduce blood wastage, reported a research team from one academic medical center after implementing institutional initiatives to address blood management.
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Graphic: Drawing of a toolkit filled with posters, flyers and stethoscopes

Hospitals: tearing down 'wall of silence' with a toolkit

03/06/2016

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality AHRQ introduces tools to help hospitals change their approach to handling patient harm, malpractice suits and more.
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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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Photo: two physicians working at a test set-up

Atherosclerosis: Getting to the root of the problem with a turbo gene

09/02/2016

Many people suffer from atherosclerosis, especially in developed countries. The buildup of fatty deposits inside the arterial blood vessels leads to strokes and heart attacks. Now, a new method is designed to get to the root of the problem, and with the help of nanoparticles inject new turbo replacement cells into the blood vessels which are intended to exert their curative effect.
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Photo: Knee implant

Customized Implants cover bones optimally

22/01/2016

It may fits, but somewhere it still tweaks. Although a suit off the rack serves its purpose, it is still far from being an ideal solution. With a custom made heart it is different. It is similar with implants. Often patients complain about the fact that those implants feel strange. 3D printing is on the best way to change this. Here, the implants are adapted to the carrier.
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Photo: artificial heart valve

Artificial heart valve: "The structure is meant to be broken down again by the body at a later point."

08/01/2016

There are various artificial heart valves available for children, but they have one essential drawback: they need to be replaced because the children are still growing. The artificial valve, on the other hand, remains the same size – and subsequently becomes too small. This is why an artificial heart valve that grows over time would be ideal.
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Photo: white implant lying in petri dish

Repairing the bile duct with bacterial nanocellulose

08/12/2015

The closure apparatus between the gallbladder and small intestine is frequently injured during gallbladder surgeries. So far, however, there has been no surgical option to bridge tissue defects. Now, a novel implant made of bacterial nanocellulose (BNC) could change this. Its nanofiber network makes it extremely robust so that it is able to take on a supporting function.
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Image: Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal cancer: increased patient safety thanks to the ”Da Vinci“ surgical system

09/11/2015

Interview with Professor Jürgen Weitz, Director of the Clinic and Polyclinic of Visceral, Thoracic, and Vascular Surgery, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus at the Technical University Dresden
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Photo: Smiling man - Sven Seifert

A new world: hybrid operating room workstation

02/11/2015

Performing surgery in a hybrid operating room is meant to be a relief for the staff and offer patients new options for treatment. What is actually so different about this hybrid operating room, what can you expect and what should you keep in mind during the planning process?
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Photo: Empty patient's room

Krankenhaus Rating Report: Not every hospital needs to be maintained

10/08/2015

This year’s German Krankenhaus Rating Report concludes: the probability of insolvency for German hospitals continues to increase. More than ever, the demographic change demands a more efficient health care system. This also includes the closing of several hospitals, particularly in rural areas. The scheduled Hospital Structures Act is soon said to make this decision easier.
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Photo: Mini organ chip

Mini synthetic organism: When the heart beats on a chip

08/06/2015

Replicating the human organism in a mini format – researchers at the Fraunhofer IWS braved this challenge. They developed a compact system where different physical processes can be imitated on a chip. It is also possible to copy cardiac and pulmonary functions.
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Crisis Management: Keeping the big picture in mind

02/03/2015

How should a hospital best respond to an emergency and which types of crises should it be prepared for? We spoke with Professor Ronald Glasberg at the SRH Hochschule Berlin on this subject.
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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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Photo: Ensminger and Gummert holding a 3D heart replica

Aortic valve replacement: Precise preoperative surgical preparation thanks to a silicone heart

23/02/2015

An 80-year-old female patient needs a new aortic valve replacement. Since the old one is severally calcified, the leaflets no longer open properly. Due to various factors, the patient is considered inoperable. Nevertheless, to make surgery possible for her, specialists at the Heart and Diabetes Center NRW in Germany have prepared the intervention based on an exact 3D heart replica.
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Photo: Tissue sections on object slides

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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Photo: Patient at the ICU

"We simply want to improve intensive care medicine"

22/01/2015

Something we learned from nuclear power plants: since 2010, peer reviews are being conducted in German intensive care units. These voluntary peer reviews are primarily intended to improve the quality of intensive care medicine. Ultimately, it is not just the patient, but also the hospital that benefits from this.
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Xenon magnetic resonance imaging: making pathological changes in the body visible

03/11/2014

As an imaging procedure, magnetic resonance tomography has become essential in clinical practice, since it can easily make organs and tissue visible. However, until now abnormal cancer cells or small centers of inflammation remained almost invisible. Now cell biologists from Berlin, Germany, have succeeded in fixing this problem with xenon magnetic resonance imaging.
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Photo: Application of the NanoKnife therapy

Prostate cancer: gentle removal with irreversible electroporation

08/10/2014

The NanoKnife® therapy practiced at the Prostate Center in Offenbach am Main removes prostate tumors in a gentle manner im comparison to prostatectomy or radiation therapy. In this interview with MEDICA.de, Professor Michael K. Stehling explains the advantages of the focal therapy.
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Photo: Nurse in the OR checks a list

Surgical safety checklists: patient safety to check off

08/09/2014

You find out after surgery that the left knee was treated instead of the right one. Although such mistakes rarely happen, they can have serious consequences – both for the patient and the image of the physician and the hospital.
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The intensive care unit of the future - speedier recovery through feel good architecture

01/09/2014

The rooms in German intensive care units are cold and dreary. Hectic movements determine the patient’s everyday life along with noisy surveillance systems. Artificial light often also promotes a disturbed circadian rhythm. Sleeping pills are meant to solve this problem, but they also increase the risk of delirium at the same time.
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Photo: Modern OR at the Charité

OR technology: developing more flexibility and usability

08/07/2014

Gentle, safe, precise, fast – surgical interventions need to meet many demands: laws and regulations concerning safety, the desire for the best possible health outcome, economic requirements of hospitals and ever-changing technology make up today’s framework for surgery. As a consequence, operating theaters and the way they are equipped change, too.
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Photo: Boss and employees

"Employees, who like to contribute their talents, stay healthy"

08/04/2014

Dr. Walter Kromm, Master of Public Health, is not just a general practitioner, but also a health advisor for management professionals. During his many years of practical experience, he kept realizing how important employee health is for the health of an entire company.
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"The secrets of an astronaut's health and fitness"

24/03/2014

He is kind of a "Bones" McCoy, since he keeps astronauts fit: Dr. Simon Evetts leads the Medical Projects and Technology team within the Medical Support Office of the European Astronauts Centre in Cologne, Germany. MEDICA.de talked to him about sports in universe, space technology and the benefits for us earthlings.
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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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Study approach: surgical trials mean more safety in the operating room

06/01/2014

Whether a surgical suture is better applied manually or with a surgical stapler can be determined through trial and error. Determining which method guarantees patient safety best should also not just be based on a surgeon’s experience. Controlled studies are the method of choice to assess both well-proven and new techniques in the operating room.
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