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Image: User interface of a software; Copyright: Helmholtz Zentrum München

Cell under observation: "The software lets us study the development on video"

08/08/2016

What happens when stem cells differentiate? What molecular characteristics do they have? Questions that can now be easier answered with the help of a new open-source software. We spoke with Prof. Fabian Theis at the Helmholtz Center Munich, who participated in the software development.
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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: Woman pointing on a virtual EMR; Copyright:  panthermedia.net / pandpstock001

Allaying fears

29/07/2016

As waves of hospitals move from older methods of record keeping to new digital electronic health record (EHR) systems, many medical professionals express fears that implementing an EHR system in their hospital will have dire results, including more errors and higher patient mortality.
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Image: Graphic of footwear; Copyright:  Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT

Avoiding stumbles, from spacewalks to sidewalks

29/07/2016

Vibrating footwear could help astronauts and visually impaired earthlings skirt obstacles.
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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: A computer circuit board; Copyright: UC3M

Guidance System with 3D sounds for the visually impaired

25/07/2016

The visually impaired will be able to use a new system of sensorial guidance that uses 3D sounds. The system was developed by Geko NAVSAT, a company that receives assistance from the Business Incubator at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) Science Park.
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Image: People sitting around a large cooler box; Copyright: Brunel University

Combining technologies cracks vaccine chiller issue

13/07/2016

Vaccines against killer diseases from polio to hepatitis are fragile and can easily be made useless if they get too hot or too cold. The problem is particularly acute in the developing countries where nearly one in five of the world's population - 1.3 billion people - live without access to electricity.
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Photo: Two people with recumbent bikes during a race; Copyright: ETH Zürich/Alessandro Della Bella

Cybathlon: A new type of competition for people with disabilities

01/07/2016

Technical means that lend superpowers to humans are quite normal in comics and movies. In reality, their purpose is much more mundane: They are supposed to help people with disabilities in everyday life. MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE, that takes place at MEDICA in November, is dealing with this topic, too.
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Photo: ; Copyright: Wearable Technologies

MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE 2016

01/07/2016

More than 30 companies will again show the latest healthcare wearables. The 4th MEDICA MEDICINE + SPORTS CONFERENCE has established as the hot spot for innovations in sports medicine.
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Photo: Carpenter works with a bench saw; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Marko Volkmar

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: Phil Santangelo and Eric Alonas are shown with a spinning disk confocal microscope used to image cells

Tiny mirror improves microscope resolution for studying cells

17/06/2016

A tiny mirror could make a huge difference for scientists trying to understand what's happening in the micron-scale structures of living cells.
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Graphic: hybrid glass with smart potential

Glass now has smart potential

10/06/2016

Australian researchers at the University of Adelaide have developed a method for embedding light-emitting nanoparticles into glass without losing any of their unique properties -- a major step towards 'smart glass' applications such as 3D display screens or remote radiation sensors.
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Photo: Large metal device with a pink glowing window in the fron

Plasmasterilization: active ingredient cocktail to fight bacteria

01/06/2016

Until now, plasma, the fourth state of matter,was consideredfascinatingonly to astrophysicists and science fiction fans. But at this point, it also attracts the interest of medicine because plasma can have many uses in this field. In the future, plasma sterilization could become an important component of hospital hygiene-provided that the right device is being used.
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Photo: ceramic joints

Knee at your fingertips

22/04/2016

How can you print ceramics, what purpose do they have and how benefits medical technology? Answers provides Dr. Tassilo Moritz from Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS.
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Photo: Male nurse slides an incubator into the MRI; Copyright: LMT Medical Systems GmbH

An incubator suitable for MRI scans

01/03/2016

Every little thing can be a matter of life or death for premature babies. That is why the right diagnosis plays an extremely important role. This includes examining infants with an MRI scan. Until now, sliding premature babies into an MRI scanner without an incubator was only possible to a limited degree. Now this problem could be solved.
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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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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: Magnet draws zigzag lines

Magnetogenetics: how neural stem cells grow in a certain direction

01/12/2015

If you could stimulate brain cells to grow in a specific direction, you would probably be able to achieve a significant improvement in the health of patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. This is why the MAGNEURON project focuses on this approach. The EU is funding the project with approximately 3.5 million Euros.
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Photo: Secretary Svenja Schulze talks with students

Building bridges between technology and marketing

23/11/2015

Marketing has become an indispensable tool. Who nowadays wants to establish a product on the market has to recognize and implement the interests and needs of the customer. Prof. Uwe Kleinkes leads the study program "Technical Management and Marketing" at the Hamm-Lippstadt University. Here students learn, among other things, to develop ideas, to communicate them and to convince the customer.
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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: Surgeon uses command devices for a robot

Robotics: surgery with feeling

02/11/2015

Minimally invasive surgeries are gentler on the patient but have one distinct disadvantage for the surgeon: he is not able to interact directly with the operating field. Sometimes he misses impressions that are very important to the success of the intervention. The MiroSurge robot for surgical applications which transmits feedback to the surgeon can help.
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Fighting myomas with ultrasound

01/10/2015

A proper diagnosis is a part of great therapy. However, it can also be beneficial to be able to quickly respond to changes during a treatment. One example of this is the treatment of uterine myomas. Female patients at the University Hospital Bonn are treated using so-called high-intensity focused ultrasound, HIFU in short. Prof. Holger Strunk explains this procedure.
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Theranostics: Complex particles for tomorrow's medicine

01/10/2015

It is a portmanteau, a mixture of two words. This way it saves us time and trouble while speaking because the human speech apparatus is lazy. And it describes a mixture of procedures: the combination of two procedures that would normally be separate in medicine. We are talking about theranostics.
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Photo: Older man and physical therapist during exercise

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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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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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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Radiopharmaceuticals: Individualized diagnostics and therapy

03/08/2015

Malignant tumors can be fought with X-rays – usually with radiation therapy from outside the body. Nuclear medicine physicians can also accomplish this inside the body with radioactive materials, called radiopharmaceuticals. They also offer big benefits for clinical diagnostics as long as a specific target can be assigned to them.
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ECG measurements: "Our chest strap moistens itself"

01/07/2015

When measuring myocardial activity, it is important for the skin to always stay moist under the electrodes of the ECG. Only then can data be consistently transferred. Athletes have an easier time with this: they are used to sweating. This is a lot harder for older patients.
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Transcatheter Pacing System: The world’s smallest cardiac pacemaker

01/07/2015

In the case of cardiac arrhythmia, the normal heart rate gets out of balance due to various reasons. In some cases, it is necessary to implant a cardiac pacemaker. Just like with any intervention, this type of surgery also involves risks. In the worst-case scenario, this can lead to abnormal wound healing or obliteration of the vascular system.
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Photo: Image with red luminous bladder, next cystoscope

Making the invisible visible with fluorescence

22/06/2015

Bladder tumors have different growth characteristics. In most cases, they are limited to the inner wall of the bladder and thus well resectable. Unlike carcinoma in situ, which becomes muscle invasive after a certain amount of time. To be able to completely remove the tumor during resection, photodynamic diagnostics (PDD) can make sense.
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Cancer Immunotherapy: Individual mutations as new target structures

01/06/2015

A tumor is as unique as the person who is affected by it. For a long time, it was assumed this would make treatment more difficult since cancer drugs are not able to be one hundred percent effective in targeting the affected cells. In this interview with MEDICA.de, Professor Ugur Sahin explains why it is precisely these individual mutations that make him hopeful for a new type of therapy.
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Tumor markers: State-of-the-art diagnostics for personalized medicine

01/06/2015

When cancer is diagnosed, the terms tumor markers or biomarkers keep popping up. They describe characteristics that are not found in healthy persons. The classic tumor markers can be easily detected in blood samples or other body fluids. Other analysis methods require more effort. Yet they all share one thing in common: biomarkers indicate a potential tumor.
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Photo: Stents

Stents: Braiding versus cutting

22/05/2015

Braided stents are nothing new in medicine, but their manufacturing process is still time-consuming. This is why Professor Stefan Jockenhövel from the RWTH Aachen University and his team want to make machine production possible.
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Early cancer detection: "Physicians and patients need a good database"

04/05/2015

Whether it is a mammogram, colonoscopy or a skin cancer screening – after a certain age, we are subject to various early cancer detection screenings. Yet many of us don’t know that these screening tests are also associated with risks. This is something what Dr. Sylvia Sänger from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf discovered in a study.
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Photo: Breast implants

Medical Devices Directive: Inspected and still not safe

22/04/2015

The Medical Devices Directive defines what constitutes a medical device. At the same time, it inspects and monitors. However, scandals in the medical technology industry keep causing uncertainty. They rekindled debate over the safety and transparency of medical devices and also triggered changes on an international level. As a result, new laws are needed more than ever.
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Photo: Silicon model of the lung in a bluely lit water tank

Lungs: "Liquid ventilation is still not sufficiently researched"

09/03/2015

All swimmers know the unpleasant feeling when you breathe in at the wrong time and then have water enter into your windpipe. At best, it immediately triggers the cough reflex, which is intended to keep the water away from the airways and prevent suffocation. However, liquid in the lungs can also save people - especially if it allows them to breathe again.
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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: 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: device for standardized wounds

ARTcut: Standardized injury of skin models for wound healing research

08/12/2014

Comparative research models are indispensable in wound healing research to evaluate new treatments of chronic wounds. Consequently, studies need to exhibit equivalent basic prerequisites and be conducted on similar wounds. This is why a team of researchers is working on an automated process to place standardized wounds in skin models.
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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: Blue box at optical bench

Continuous glucose monitoring: "Our method is based on the principles of infrared photometry"

22/10/2014

Patients in intensive care units do not just have to struggle with the consequences of a severe injury or disease – they are also subject to acute glucose fluctuations that compromise the healing success. These sometimes happen so quickly that they cannot be caught in time with existing discrete measurement methods.
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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: Wheelchair driver in front of some stairs

HAL Exoskeleton – A Step toward Independence?

01/10/2014

Even though exoskeletons for people requiring a wheelchair are nothing new, they are still controversial. After all, at first glance they suggest a miracle recovery. But this is not the actual intention. In fact, exoskeletons facilitate a special form of therapy that returns at least a small portion of independence to the respective person.
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Photo: Spinal disc stress simulator

Spinal disc herniation: causal research with the simulator

01/10/2014

Herniated discs can have very different effects: some cause no discomfort and are only discovered by accident; others can cause paralysis or cause patients to be in great pain. For the most part, these problems develop suddenly after an awkward movement – at least that is what patients report.
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Photo: Nanodiamond

Nanodiamonds: "Our goal is not to be able to diagnose a specific disease, but to offer medicine a universal tool"

22/09/2014

They are not just “a girl's best friend“, but are also important helpers in medicine: diamonds. Yet the latter are so tiny that they are not visible to the naked eye. Dr. Patrick Happel at the Ruhr University Bochum in Germany studies so-called nanodiamonds. Someday soon, they are supposed to help in significantly improving medical imaging.
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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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Fat is the best medicine: "Adipose tissue contains many multipotent stem cells, approximately 500 times more than bone marrow"

01/07/2014

The not so popular “love handles“ could revolutionize medicine in the near future. In cooperation with the University of Rostock (Professor Hermann Seitz), the human med AG Company currently seeks to develop a device that is able to gently remove adipose tissue during surgery and subsequently isolate stem cells.
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Sports and cancer: no panacea, but a necessary aid

02/06/2014

When are sports healthy, how often should you engage in sports and what effect do sports have on the body – over the past few decades, there were always different answers to these questions. Many studies that were conducted in the past however confirm the assumption that sports and exercise always support health, even if someone is already sick.
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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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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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Mobile assistance systems: "The device automatically notifies if something is not right"

02/05/2014

Staying active and mobile when you are old – who doesn’t want that? People suffering from dementia can often only dream about that. The fear of not finding your way back home or not getting any help in an emergency severally restricts many affected people in the way they live their lives. Yet there are many people, who could still independently participate in life despite mild dementia.
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Graphic: Space station

"Studies involving microgravity suggest stem cells will grow faster in space"

22/04/2014

The International Space Station ISS is not only the largest artificial object in space. It is also a laboratory for physicists, chemists, biologists and physicians and orbits earth at 28.000 kilometers per hour at an altitude of 400 kilometers. Thanks to this location, the ISS could one day make an important contribution to regenerative medicine.
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Training: "Participants do not have to experience every mistake they make at the simulator with the patient first"

01/04/2014

In an emergency, every flick of the wrist has to be correct – the right treatment is time-critical and usually vital. Mistakes can be fatal, so emergency physicians and paramedics need to be seasoned and experienced. But they will not always know certain problems from their daily work. Using patient simulators, they are able to train for rare situations and learn possible solutions.
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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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Photo: Physician talks to a girl

"Pediatric conditions often require pediatric-specific engineering"

10/03/2014

Children are not just small adults and they cannot be treated as such. Physicians have recognized this but manufacturers of medical devices have a hard time here: the market for pediatric medical devices is very small and researchers have difficulties to turn their ideas into commercially successful products.
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Sonography: "Unfortunately, hospitals are not being required to train well"

04/03/2014

Prenatal care, cancer check-up, vascular examinations – sonography is versatile, provides reliable imaging to physicians and does not tax patients with radiation. It is comprehensively available, from doctor’s office to university medical center. A sound continuing education of sonography users is essential for good diagnostics, also since different devices have different strong points.
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Photo: Researcher in the lab

"An MRI device the size of two to three shoeboxes could soon sit on your desk"

24/02/2014

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a well-established procedure in clinical diagnostics. It creates a signal with millions of nuclear spins, which in turn is converted into images. Very large magnets are being used to align the nuclear spins. Researchers at the University Medical Center Freiburg study a new method that can do without expensive magnets.
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"We don’t know why certain pharmaceuticals bind especially well while others bind barely at all"

10/02/2014

Prof. Joachim Heberle from the Free University of Berlin wants to make the smallest protein structures visible under the microscope. He wants to accomplish this with an infrared microscope, originating in the field of physics. He told MEDICA.de which technology is behind all this and what he also wants to examine with it in the future.
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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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Surgery: "Our camera detects the tiniest remainder of a tumor"

03/02/2014

Differentiating tumor tissue from healthy tissue isn’t always easy for surgeons. Scattered cancer cells and early cancer are often hard to detect with the naked eye. A special camera now makes even the tiniest remainder of a tumor visible during surgery.
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Clinical trials: "Registry-embedded clinical trials are the way of the future"

06/01/2014

Even medical risk products are not always tested as thoroughly as would be necessary – be it because of criminal energy, lack of know-how or financial reasons. A revision of clinical trial procedures could not only fix loop holes and methodological flaws. Products and methods could also be brought into general medical care more quickly under new rules.
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Safety in the operating room: "Switzerland is on the cutting edge"

06/01/2014

In the operating room, it is especially important for the used devices to be safe and tolerable to the human body. Switzerland also shares this point of view. MEDICA.de spoke with Dr. Christoph Röder from the University of Bern about approval procedures and regulations that are being pursued in Swiss operating rooms.
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Photo: Removal of a colon polyp with a snare

Endoscopy: "A small section of the colonic wall is completely removed"

05/01/2014

Eventually, all adults need to see a physician for colon cancer prevention. While the exam goes by quickly thanks to sedation, it sometimes leads to a follow-up procedure if a growth in the colon could not be removed with the endoscope and requires open surgery.
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