Articles & interviews -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

Image: Hwan Choi (left) holds an implant; Copyright: UCF: Karen Norum

Prosthetics: Cranking up the power

09/11/2018

Amputees who use powered prosthetic ankles may be able to avoid the energetic costs typically associated with prosthetics by cranking up the power provided by their devices.
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Image: Prostata under microscope; Copyright: panthermedia.net / Martin Kreutz

Prostate cancer radiotherapy can be more precisely targeted

09/11/2018

Current standard imaging techniques for initial staging of prostate cancer often underestimate the extent of disease beyond the prostate. A study featured in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine's November issue demonstrates that prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) can pinpoint prostate cancer locations with superior accuracy.
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Image: A sensor which illuminates an armwrist with red light ; Copyright: Yasser Khan, Arias Research Group, UC Berkeley

Skin-like sensor maps blood-oxygen levels

08/11/2018

A new flexible sensor developed by engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, can map blood-oxygen levels over large areas of skin, tissue and organs, potentially giving doctors a new way to monitor healing wounds in real time.
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Image: Foreground: One DNA stripe, Background: One DNA stripe and a harddrive ; Copyright: Patrick Bal/TU Darmstadt

Health data under lock and key

08/11/2018

Researchers from the Collaborative Research Center CROSSING at Technische Universität Darmstadt have developed a solution that will ensure decades of safe storage for sensitive health data in a joint project with Japanese and Canadian partners. An initial prototype was presented during a recent conference in Beijing, China. The system will go into trial operation in Japan in the coming weeks.
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Image: Prof. Regine Willumeit-Römer holds an implant; Copyright: HZG/Carsten Neff

EU funds doctoral training with around 4 million euros

06/11/2018

As part of the Marie Skłodowska Curie Action (MSCA), which has just been launched, 15 young researchers investigate biodegradable magnesium implants. The project is coordinated by the Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG); it brings together eight universities and research institutions as well as four technology companies from eight European countries.
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Image: The Nightwatch bracelet; Copyright: LivAssured

New epilepsy warning device could save thousands of lives

06/11/2018

A new high-tech bracelet, developed by scientists from the Netherlands detects 85 percent of all severe night-time epilepsy seizures. That is a much better score than any other technology currently available.
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Image: Jorge Serrador with the electrical stimulator ; Copyright: Nick Romanenko, Rutgers University

New device improves balance in veterans with Gulf War Illness

05/11/2018

Gulf War veterans with unexplained illnesses that cause fatigue, headaches, respiratory disorders and memory problems can improve their balance with a device developed by Rutgers University researchers.
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Image: One presses on screen with security key; Copyright: panthermedia.net/welcomia

Digitization: Hospitals as Popular Targets?

02/11/2018

It’s safe to say that patients and their prompt medical care take center stage at any hospital. Digitization of the healthcare sector is quickly advancing to make this a reality: data is stored in a digital medium, devices are linked together. But how safe are hospitals in the age of innovation?
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Image: Robots and Artificial Intelligence; Copyright: panthermedia.net / sdecoret

"Dr. Algorithm suggests the best treatment option"

02/11/2018

The technology of the 20th century is progressing faster than ever – and this also applies to technology in the field of medicine. That’s why it is only a matter of time before hospitals are fully driven by artificial intelligence - data-driven medicine that suggests the best treatment and facilitates zero error surgeries. A path that doesn’t just require openness!
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Image: visitors at MEDICA; Copyright: Messe Düsseldorf

See, experience, learn: what's new at MEDICA 2018

02/11/2018

It's time: the world's largest medical trade fair opens its doors from 12 to 15 November. More than 5,000 international exhibitors will present their new innovative products and applications. Frums, conferences and special shows will feature exciting specialist lectures and discussions that will give you an insight into electromedicine, laboratory medicine, medical technology and diagnostics.
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Image: Microscopy; Copyright: panthermedia.net / Robert Przybysz

Gaining unknown insights

01/11/2018

When bones break easily in old age, osteoporosis is often to blame. The cause of the disease and how it develops is not yet sufficiently understood. An interdisciplinary team of scientists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and the Helmholtz Zentrum für Materialien und Energie in Berlin (HZB) is developing a new imaging process to solve this problem.
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Image: Measurement of brainwave activity in a child with autism; Copyright: panthermedia.net / yacobchuk1

Brainwave activity reveals potential biomarker for autism in children

30/10/2018

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can impair communication ability, socialization, and verbal and motor skills. It generally starts in early childhood and is diagnosed through behavior observation. This means of assessment can be imprecise, which is especially problematic when early identification is vital for developmental follow up.
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Image: Infectious bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics; Copyright: panthermedia.net / katerynakon

Machine learning identifies antibiotic resistance genes

29/10/2018

Researchers at the University of California San Diego have developed an approach that uses machine learning to identify and predict which genes make infectious bacteria resistant to antibiotics. The approach was tested on strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis--the bacteria that cause tuberculosis (TB) in humans. It identified 33 known and 24 new antibiotic resistance genes in these bacteria.
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Image: Ziad El-Khatib ; Copyright: Phillipa Maitland Photography

Smartphone app prevents disease outbreaks

26/10/2018

A pilot study in which healthcare workers in the Central African Republic used a smartphone app to transmit public health disease reports to health authorities demonstrates that this technique contributes to early detection and prevention of infectious diseases and outbreaks.
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Image: Prof Liu Xiaogang (right) and Dr Chen Qiushui (left) ; Copyright: National University of Singapore

Safer and less expensive X-ray imaging

26/10/2018

Medical imaging, such as X-ray or computerised tomography (CT), may soon be cheaper and safer, thanks to a recent discovery made by chemists from the National University of Singapore (NUS).
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Image: MRI image of a stomach; Copyright: Purdue University video/Kun-Han Lu

New MRI tool shows how digestive disorders are cured

25/10/2018

More than 60 million people in the U.S. suffer from disorders in the gastrointestinal tract that could be cured by electrical stimulation, but scientists don't fully understand the therapy's effects on a critical organ: the stomach.
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Image: Farhad Farjood ; Copyright: Utah State University

Researchers develop new devices to test retinal cells

25/10/2018

Researchers at Utah State University have developed new devices to mechanically stress human cells in the lab.
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Image: Nerve-On-A-Chip ; Copyright: 2018 EPFL

Nerve-on-a-chip makes neuroprosthetics more effective

24/10/2018

Neuroprosthetics - implants containing multi-contact electrodes that can substitute certain nerve functionalities - have the potential to work wonders. They may be able to restore amputees' sense of touch, help the paralyzed walk again by stimulating their spinal cords and silence the nerve activity of people suffering from chronic pain.
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Image: robot with a screen on the chest ; Copyright: Asociación RUVID

New robot helps the elderly exercise

23/10/2018

According to the latest report on the evolution of worldwide population submitted by the United Nations, 13% of today’s population is over 60 years of age; and by 2050 this percentage will almost double, reaching 25%. The ageing of society is a reality and technologies are adapting day-to-day to this demographic change.
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Image: visualized thoughts of a man ; Copyright: panthermedia.net / olly18

Brain wave device enhances memory function

23/10/2018

The entrainment of theta brain waves with a commercially available device not only enhances theta wave activity, but also boosts memory performance. That's according to new research from the Center for Neuroscience at the University of California, Davis, published recently in the journal Cognitive Neuroscience.
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Image: blood vessels in the shape of a human body; Copyright: panthermedia.net / sciencepics

3D bioprinting - artificial blood vessels

22/10/2018

University of Colorado Boulder engineers have developed a 3D printing technique that allows for localized control of an object's firmness, opening up new biomedical avenues that could one day include artificial arteries and organ tissue.
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Image: Researchers Dong-Wook Kim (left) and Kwon-Sik Park were part of a team that has developed a way to better understand the complexities of cancer's causes; Copyright: Courtesy Park Lab

Big-picture approach to understanding cancer will speed treatments

19/10/2018

A new innovation in cancer research will enable scientists to understand the complex causes of the disease with unprecedented speed and sophistication. This will accelerate the development of new and better treatments, and it will help researchers find ways around roadblocks that now stand in their path.
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Image: PICASO will significantly improve communication among all the actors involved in treatment and care to share information more effectively; Copyright: panthermedia.net / Andreus

PICASO platform for integrated patient care

18/10/2018

The European PICASO project, coordinated by Fraunhofer FIT, is developing a web platform for the integrated care of patients with multiple chronic conditions (multimorbidities). The project focuses on improving information sharing among the different medical specialists involved and on supporting patients in managing their conditions.
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Image: Brown University researchers developed user-friendly software to help neuroscientists and clinicians connect the neural activity of the brain's outer layers to EEG recordings, which could help

New tool developed at Brown will aid in understanding brain signals

17/10/2018

The human brain contains about 90 billion neurons, Stephanie Jones, an associate professor of neuroscience at Brown University, doesn't let that staggering number faze her. In fact, she just released a user-friendly software tool that models the neural circuits in the outer layers of the brain, which produce the electrical activity monitored by noninvasive techniques.
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Image: Multiple smart watch sensors accurately monitor wearers' sleep patterns; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Wavebreakmedia Itd

New smart watch algorithms help identify why you are sleeping poorly

16/10/2018

As well as obtaining rich information on wearers' sleep, the software, called SleepGuard, can estimate sleep quality and provide users with practical advice to help them get a better night's snooze.
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Image: Breast tomosynthesis gives more and improved image information and less overlapping tissue structures, so the chance of detecting tumours increases; Copyright: panthermedia.net/zlikovec

3D mammography detected 34 percent more breast cancers in screening

16/10/2018

After screening 15 000 women over a period of five years, a major clinical study in Sweden has shown that 3D mammography, or breast tomosynthesis, detects over 30% more cancers compared to traditional mammography - with a majority of the detected tumours proving to be invasive cancers. The extensive screening study was conducted by Lund University and Skåne University Hospital in Sweden.
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Image: Robby Bowles; Copyright: Dan Hixson/University of Utah College of Engineering

The fine print

11/10/2018

With today's technology, we can 3-D-print sculptures, mechanical parts, prosthetics, even guns and food. But a team of University of Utah biomedical engineers have developed a method to 3-D-print cells to produce human tissue such as ligaments and tendons, a process that will greatly improve a patient's recovery.
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Image: Child measuring her height; Copyright: panthermedia.net / choreograph

New DNA tool predicts height - shows promise for illness assessment

10/10/2018

A new DNA tool created by Michigan State University can accurately predict people’s height, and more importantly, could potentially assess their risk for serious illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer.
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Image: Stereoscopic 3D picture of a brain; Copyright: Luke Harrison / Helmholtz Zentrum München

Satiety in 3D

10/10/2018

Many overweight people lack the feeling of being full. It was long thought that this was due to the disrupted transport of the satiety hormone leptin to the brain. That is not the case, as a group of scientists from Helmholtz Zentrum München has now shown in the International Journal of Obesity.
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Image: In the center, surgeon wachting right to a x-ray; Copyright: Tomsk Oblast Clinical Hospital

Inverted exoskeleton for early rehabilitation after stroke

09/10/2018

Robotics scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University together with physicians from Tomsk Oblast Clinical Hospital are developing a robotic complex for early rehabilitation of immobilized patients after stroke.
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Image: Biodegradable Implant; Copyright: Northwestern University

Researchers demonstrate first example of a bioelectronic medicine

09/10/2018

Researchers at Northwestern University and Washington University School of Medicine have developed the first example of a bioelectronic medicine: an implantable, biodegradable wireless device that speeds nerve regeneration and improves the healing of a damaged nerve.
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Image: x-ray pelvis; Copyright: Bildagentur PantherMedia  / Harald Richter

Robot could one day fight most common cancer in men

08/10/2018

A robot could become the 'weapon' of choice for detecting and treating the most common cancer in men, improving results and reducing side effects. Scientists and mathematicians in the UK, Netherlands and France are working on a potentially game-changing way of improving the accuracy of both prostate cancer biopsies and of brachytherapy, which is used to treat some prostate cancers.
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Image: Lab-on-a-chip; Copyright: Sanaz Habibi

How to make a lab-on-a-chip clear and biocompatible

08/10/2018

Microfluidic devices can take standard medical lab procedures and condenses each down to a microchip that can balance on top of a water bottle lid. A team from Michigan Technological University, studying chemical engineering, electrical engineering and materials science, streamline the design of microfluidic devices to be see-through to observe their inner workings.
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Image: Graph resulting from analysis of the expression of different genes; Copyright: Nuno Agostinho, iMM

New approach on the use of big data in clinical decision support

05/10/2018

A new computational approach that allows the identification of molecular alterations associated with prognosis and resistance to therapy of different types of cancer was developed by the research grould led by Nuno Barbosa Morais, Group Leader at Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes (iMM; Portugal).
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Image: Neurologists predict seizure-free outcome post-surgery using a novel artificial intelligence deep learning technique; Copyright: panthermedia.net / Boris Zerwann

Artificial intelligence to predict epilepsy outcomes

05/10/2018

Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) neurologists have developed a new method based on artificial intelligence that may eventually help both patients and doctors weigh the pros and cons of using brain surgery to treat debilitating seizures caused by epilepsy.
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Image: A new computer architecture, better equipped to handle increased data loads from artificial intelligence; Copyright: panthermedia.net / Jirsak

Brain-Inspired Architecture Improve How Computers Handle Data and AI

04/10/2018

IBM researchers are developing a new computer architecture, better equipped to handle increased data loads from artificial intelligence. Their designs draw on concepts from the human brain and significantly outperform conventional computers in comparative studies. They report on their recent findings in the Journal of Applied Physics, from AIP Publishing.
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Image: diagnosis of the lung; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Sergey Nivens

With modern imaging supplies: A look into the lung

01/10/2018

Thanks to various imaging supplies, it is possible to make the inside of the body accessible for diagnostics, research and treatment. The lung, one of the most important human organs for survival, is also examined in this way. In our Topic of the Month, we looked at how doctors are getting a closer look at the lung, how the procedures differ, and which ones will be available in the near future.
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Image: The test results enVision delivers, can be further analyzed by a smartphone app; Copyright: panthermedia.net / everythingposs

New test kit for quick, accurate and low-cost screening of diseases

19/09/2018

A multidisciplinary team of researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed a portable, easy-to-use device for quick and accurate screening of diseases. This versatile technology platform called enVision (enzyme-assisted nanocomplexes for visual identification of nucleic acids) can be designed to detect a wide range of diseases.
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Image: Hong Chen, assistant professor of biomedical engineering; Copyright: Washington University in St. Louis

Focused delivery for brain cancers

06/09/2018

A person's brainstem controls some of the body's most important functions, including heart beat, respiration, blood pressure and swallowing. Tumor growth in this part of the brain is therefore twice as devastating. Not only can such a growth disrupt vital functions, but operating in this area is so risky, many medical professionals refuse to consider it as an option.
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Image: Augmented reality tools to help less-experienced doctors in war zones; Copyright: Edgar Rojas Muñoz/Purdue University

'Augmented reality' tools to help health care workers

06/09/2018

Purdue University researchers have developed a unique approach that allows experienced surgeons and physicians around the world to help less-experienced doctors in war zones, natural disasters and in rural areas perform complicated procedures.
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Image: man shows an image of the lungs on a big screen; Copyright: University of Central Florida, Karen Norum

A.I. System to detect often-missed cancer tumors

24/08/2018

Doctors may soon have help in the fight against cancer thanks to the University of Central Florida's Computer Vision Research Center. Engineers at the center have taught a computer how to detect tiny specks of lung cancer in CT scans, which radiologists often have a difficult time identifying.
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Image: illustration of the gold nanomatryoshkas; Copyright: Luke Henderson/Rice University

Reimagining MRI contrast: Iron outperforms gadolinium

24/08/2018

Rice University nanoscientists have demonstrated a method for loading iron inside nanoparticles to create MRI contrast agents that outperform gadolinium chelates, the mainstay contrast agent that is facing increased scrutiny due to potential safety concerns.
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Image: smartphone and a patch with fingers on it; Copyright: AliveCor

Novel technology to monitor and detect atrial fibrillation

23/08/2018

Despite increasing awareness about atrial fibrillation (AF), stroke continues to be the first manifestation of AF in some patients. Therefore, early detection and regular heart monitoring are important for such patients. Current monitoring technology devices can be cumbersome, some are limited in duration and others are invasive, and many usually require a trip to the doctor's office.
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Image: hand holding a smartphone with health data on the screen; Copyright: panthermedia.net/grinvalds

Apps hold promise for medical record matching

23/08/2018

Mobile phones and smartphones apps offer a promising approach to ensure that an individual's medical records when shared between different health care providers are matched correctly, according to a new RAND Corporation report.
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Image: Maria Driesel and her colleagues from inveox next to the new device; Copyright: Astrid Eckert

Pathology 4.0 – inveox automates laboratory processes

22/08/2018

Mix-ups, contamination and sample loss – most errors in pathology happen when specimen are received. Countless samples arrive daily at the laboratory, while the sample entry process is very monotonous. As a result, the work is inefficient. The start-up company inveox has now developed a system that automates the processes in the pathology laboratory, thus making them more efficient.
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Image: woman in her office; Copyright: Simon Simard

A GPS for inside your body

21/08/2018

Medical processes like imaging often require cutting someone open or making them swallow huge tubes with cameras on them. But what if could get the same results with methods that are less expensive, invasive and time-consuming?
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Image: use of microwave technology to characterize the nucleus of a live cell; Copyright: Lehigh University

Penetrating a cell's nucleus for cancer screening

17/08/2018

To test for malignancy or monitor the effectiveness of cancer treatment, a person's tissue must be extracted, sent to a lab, stained and analyzed by a pathologist--a process that can take days to complete and is subject to human error.
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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: AcCellerator research device at an exhibition stand; Copyright: Daniel Klaue, ZELLMECHANIK DRESDEN GmbH

Cells in the speed trap – diagnosis in a matter of seconds

22/06/2018

A drop of blood provides a lot of valuable information. However, it takes several hours to analyze the blood of a patient and make a diagnosis. This takes away a lot of time that's crucial for treatment. A new method intends to considerably speed up this process by testing the cells in the blood in terms of their deformability and immune response.
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Image: Female hospital employee with green OR cap is wearing AR glasses, a screen is floating in front of her; Copyright: IT4process GmbH

Augmented Reality: supporting sterile processing services?

08/06/2018

Every day, hospital staff has to manage complex processes to guarantee quality and patient safety. Yet in some areas, the use of checklists and manuals tends to be more cumbersome and not useful – as is the case in sterile processing. A new project studies how augmented reality can take all the necessary information into the staff's field of view.
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Image: Dr. Betsch next to a computer screen showing scans of the spine; Copyright: privat

Light and Bluetooth – dynamic measurement techniques for orthopedics

02/05/2018

X-rays for diagnostic imaging and therapy evaluation are still the norm in orthopedics. Meanwhile, patients who frequently need X-rays are repeatedly exposed to radiation. That's why the University Hospital RWTH Aachen uses and develops methods that are not just radiation-free but can also capture motions.
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Image: Photograph of hands with hyperspectral imaging; Copyright: Diaspective Vision GmbH

Precision surgery thanks to informative hyperspectral imaging

08/02/2018

When body tissue is reconnected during a tumor operation in the gastrointestinal tract, surgeons need information about the current state of these so-called anastomoses. The new, non-invasive hyperspectral imaging technology now makes it possible to measure the crucial parameters during surgery and thereby increase surgical precision.
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Image: hospital warehouse; Copyright: panthermedia.net/.shock

Hospital logistics: guarantor of quality and efficiency

01/02/2018

Medical supply distribution, supplying operating rooms with sterile instrument kits, the provision of food and catering services for patients – these are some of the around-the-clock care processes at a hospital. Efficient logistics are crucial to guarantee smooth processes. All of these pieces ultimately come together at the hospital’s in-house logistics center.
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Image: Stethoscope lying on a world map and transparent icons placed over the entire image; Copyright: panthermedia.net/everythingposs

Everything flows: transportation and material flows in hospital logistics

01/02/2018

During a visit to the hospital, patients naturally expect to receive comprehensive care. Not only does this include the proper treatment, but also a hospital bed and regular meals for example. Patients typically don't ask about the transport logistics this entails for the hospital.
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Image: OR nurse is standing in front of a screen and holds surgical pincers in her hand; Copyright: ASANUS Medizintechnik GmbH

Eye on material flow: network solutions for hospital logistics

01/02/2018

Hospitals need an accurate assessment of the location and quantity of their materials to eliminate sources of error. Automated processes can also help employees to make these materials available at the right time and at the right place. Digital network systems will substantially support the logistics in the hospital of the future.
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Image: one of Fiagon's electromagnetic surgical navigation systems; Copyright: Fiagon

The surgeon's co-pilot: pin-point accuracy through electromagnetic navigation systems

04/01/2018

The position and alignment of surgical tools in the patient’s body must always be kept in view during the operation process to guarantee success and safety. With fine sensors at the tip of the instruments and an electromagnetic signal, Fiagon's electromagnetic navigation systems accurately reproduce their position in the body.
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Image: Doctor with a laptop, around him various medical images, behind him an ECG; Copyright: panthermedia.net/realinemedia

Surgical navigation systems: Safely guiding the scalpel

04/01/2018

Imaging, navigation, integration – these are terms that describe the modern operating room. All of these components play a key role in accurate surgical procedures. They are integrated into surgical navigation systems, which make complicated medical surgeries considerably safer.
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Image: View from above onto a table showing the hands of several people and papers; Copyright: panthermedia.net/pressmaster

Innovation Office: accreditation and certification consulting services for startups

01/12/2017

The road to a marketable medical device is long and winding. Devices must meet specific regulatory requirements for medical applications. It's especially challenging for startups to stay on top of these criteria. That's why the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices has started to offer the Innovation Office since the beginning of this year – an information hub for startups.
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Image: Computer keyboard where one key has been replaced by the CE symbol with the flag of the EU; Copyright: panthermedia.net/NiroDesign

When is a medical device considered to be a medical device? – Certification, norms, and standards

01/12/2017

To ensure product quality and patient safety, medical devices must meet specific requirements outlined in the Medical Devices Act and specified EU directives. Yet which norms and standards must actually be met and how is this verified?
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Image: Three-dimensional image of a colored vessel structure; Copyright: René Hägerling

Pathology: detecting lymphedema with 3D microscopy

23/10/2017

According to the WHO, 300 million people throughout the world are affected by lymphedema. This condition occurs when fluid that flows between cells is no longer transported back into the blood circulation and accumulates in the skin. Triggers can be surgeries, injuries or genetic defects for example. A new microscopy technique could now also indicate the causes.
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Image: A man is standing outdoors while typing on his smart watch; Copyright: panthermedia.net/guniamc

mHealth: how mobile choices can successfully reach users

02/10/2017

mHealth has been slated to revolutionize the healthcare market for the past few years. Yet things are not quite as easy for apps and wearables as it may seem. A recently conducted study reveals that there are still many obstacles to overcome before manufacturers and health professionals can connect with patients and their mobile devices.
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Image: Male hands keep Smartwatch and Smartphone with the same health application side by side; Copyright: panthermedia. net/Alexey Boldin

mHealth: Doctor in your pocket

02/10/2017

Since the eHealth Law took effect on January 1, 2016, it has become apparent that digitization also affects the healthcare system. Its objective is to improve the digital infrastructure of healthcare. For several years, a subcategory of electronic healthcare solutions has enjoyed increasing popularity: mHealth.
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Image: Entrance hall of the MEDICA

New Additions to MEDICA 2017 – MEDICA LABMED FORUM, MEDICA START-UP PARK, and MEDICA ACADEMY

02/10/2017

This year, expect a series of exciting innovations that include the informative and practice-oriented MEDICA ACADEMY, the START-UP PARK for newcomers and networkers from the startup arena and the interdisciplinary MEDICA LABMED Forum.
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Image: A large stone is blocking a path that leads through a green meadow; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Brigitte Götz

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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Image: Colored sonographic image of the human heart from Doppler ultrasonography; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Belish

Imaging techniques: ultrasound, MRI, CT, catheters and other procedures to keep a healthy heart

01/09/2017

Many people are affected by heart disease today because - among other reasons- our modern unhealthy lifestyle is taking a toll on our hearts. A reliable diagnosis and treatment are crucial for patients with heart disease since all other organs depend on the pumping of our vital organ. Modern imaging techniques are a key to understanding the heart.
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Image: interferometric detection of scattered light, iSCAT; Copyright: MPL

Interface between Physics and Medicine: new interdisciplinary center

22/08/2017

Physics has always supported medical science, especially when it comes to practical implementation. Now physicists and health professionals join in collaborative research at an interdisciplinary Center in Erlangen and incorporate fundamental principles of theoretical physics in their studies of diseases.
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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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Image: woman holding a sketch of a human lung; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Monkeybusiness

Molecular Microsystems: Preventing Exacerbations of Asthma and COPD

01/08/2017

An increasing percentage of the world population suffers from chronic inflammatory disorders of the respiratory system. Acute attacks often lead to a worsening of the disease and considerably reduce the patient’s lung volume. Nine institutes of a research alliance under the Leibniz Institute umbrella are working on technologies designed to predict and thus prevent exacerbations.
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Image: POCT-device and patient files; Copyright: panthermedia.net/gabriella

Point-of-care testing: helpful when things need to happen quickly?

01/08/2017

Advances in technology and analysis techniques, as well as the increasing miniaturization of laboratory equipment and processes, make it possible: patient-side laboratory testing, better known as point-of-care testing or POCT. There are many POCT projects and all of them promise a rapid diagnosis as well as economic advantages. But are these tests also suited for everyday medical testing?
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Image: A large medical device with a treatment couch and four movable boxes; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Thomas Hecker

Cancer: refined treatment with proton minibeams

10/07/2017

Radiation therapies are an essential component of today’s oncology because they enable the treatment of localized tumors. Yet they have one major drawback: radiation damages not just tumor cells but also healthy tissue. One solution to solve this problem could be proton minibeam therapy, which uses finely focused beams.
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Image: A dermatology laser is used to remove a mole; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Michael Krause

Laser surgery: usability, flexibility, treatment quality

03/07/2017

The scalpel is considered the classic surgical instrument and as such, has remained unchanged for quite some time. However, today’s technology opens up a world of new possibilities for cutting tissue. Next to high-frequency electrosurgical scalpels that work with electric power, surgeons also use a variety of different lasers. They promise great usability and better treatment.
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Image: An eye surgeon and an assistant are treating a patient with a surgical laser; Copyright: University Hospital Dresden/Felix Koopmann

Eye surgery: precision and prevention with femtosecond lasers

03/07/2017

Precision work is absolutely essential in eye surgery since the surgical site is very minute and sensitive. This is why eye surgeons have been using lasers for years. Femtosecond lasers are especially well suited to serve this purpose because they are able to cut tissue with great precision and little energy, which prevents unwanted side effects of surgery.
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Image: A flat device with a touch screen; Copyright: biolitec AG

Surgical lasers: the quest to be compact, mobile, and user-friendly

03/07/2017

Not all lasers are the same – especially in the surgical field, it all depends on what’s inside: the different operational wavelengths of laser light also affect human tissue in different ways. This is why a single laser for a variety of applications drastically simplifies the job of physicians.
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Image: Several people use the Armeo system and playing a videogame with it; Copyright: Hocoma, Schweiz

Exoskeletons, Serious Games and Co.: New Technologies in Rehabilitation

01/06/2017

A stroke, an accident or just because you are aging – there are many reasons to take advantage of physiotherapeutic or rehabilitative measures. More and more new technologies are designed to support patients in this process. They run the gamut from sensor technology and robotics to exergames and virtual reality.
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Image: Two elderly are sitting beside each other, looking on a screen, where a bingo game can be seen. One woman is standing up; Copyright: SilverFit, Robert ten Berge

SilverFit – Training and gaming for the elderly

01/06/2017

Movement is good for health, but people do it less and less as they age. The Dutch company SilverFit wants to counteract this. Their devices that combine sport and game are primarily aimed at elderly people. Their goal: to give people joy, fun and motivation to move – both in rehabilitation and in daily life.
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Image: Black-and-white picture, with some structures of the human body highlighted in color; Copyright: ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research, University of Bern

Cochlear implants: safe procedure thanks to surgical robots

22/05/2017

For many years, cochlear implants have restored a sense of hearing in people with certain types of hearing loss. For surgeons, the implantation requires a precise attention to detail under the microscope. The results for the patients improve significantly with a more precise placement of the electrode array. The use of a surgical robot can increase the accuracy of the procedure.
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Image: Young Indian woman in yellow sari talking on mobile phone; Copyright: panthermedia.net / iphemant

Medical Technology for India – Market of the Future?

02/05/2017

India is a land of contradictions. On the one hand, it has densely populated cities with state of the art technology. On the other hand, two-thirds of the population still live under challenging hygienic and financial conditions in the rural areas. Despite these conditions or perhaps because of them, more and more medical technology companies from all over the world are interested in this market.
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Image: Compass pointing towards the word creativity. In the compass’s center is a ball that shows the Indian flag; Copyright: panthermedia.net/eabff

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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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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Image: A monitor and different displays in the OR, behind this the OR team; Copyright: panthermedia.net/chanawit

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: Detail of the app on a mobile phone; Copyright: Sonormed GmbH

Medical Device that fits in your pocket: music for Tinnitus relief

08/02/2017

Listening to your favorite music for at least 90 minutes a day and treating your tinnitus with it? Almost sounds too good to be true. Yet more and more German statutory health insurance providers pay for this treatment. We wanted to know more about it and spoke with Jörg Land, the CEO of Sonormed GmbH, about Tinnitracks.
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Image: Graphic of an ebola virus against a blue background; Copyright: panthermedia.net/krishna creations

Who am I? Viruses on Nanosprings

21/12/2016

Within the scope of the VIRUSCAN project that is funded by the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program of the European Union, Dr. Charlotte Uetrecht from Hamburg/Germany investigates individual viruses to be able to later identify them on a nanospring structure. MEDICA.de wanted to know: how does this work?
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Image: Hand of a person in the hospital bed, next to the call button; Copyright: panthermedia.net/bignai

Being safe: electronic call systems for hospitals

02/11/2016

Call systems: every hospital patient is familiar with them, but hardly anyone gives any thought to how they work. And yet they fulfill an important function because in an emergency, they "call" for help. Just think what might happen if they didn’t work. That is why they are subject to stringent safety regulations. We spoke with D.Eng. Matthias Rychetsky, who is familiar with call systems.
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Image: A 3D stick figure creates a mind map about

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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Image: Graphic of a head within a computer network - many lines and bright colors; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Andrew Ostrovsky

My Avatar and Me – the digitization of healthcare records

04/10/2016

So far, avatars could only be found in computer games. But if researchers of the EU-wide www.myhealthavatar.eu project have their way, this could soon change.
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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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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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: 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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