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Image: forearm bone which is scanned in the ultrasound hand scanner; Copyright: Fraunhofer IBMT

Using ultrasound for verification: proof of legal age via handheld scanner

22/11/2017

Human trafficking is a global crime that often preys on underage persons and forces them into prostitution and forced labor. In most cases, people are smuggled across borders with fake passports. Scientists at the Fraunhofer IBMT have now developed a non-invasive, handheld smartphone-compatible scanner that uses ultrasound to determine whether a person has reached full legal age.
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Photo: Two men in hospital during dialysis; Copyright: panthermedia.net/SimpleFoto

Relatively few kidney patients need to start dialysis after undergoing TAVR

30/10/2017

The rate of patients with chronic kidney disease undergoing a heart procedure called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) who eventually need to start dialysis is relatively low, suggests a new study published in JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.
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Image: Screen showing an image from cardiovascular angiography; Copyright: panthermedia.net/fly_wish

Coronary heart disease: non-invasive imaging reduces catheter examinations

01/09/2017

Coronary heart disease (CHD) can cause heart arrhythmia, heart insufficiency or heart attack. All the more important is an early, reliable diagnosis that helps to treat it and to reduce risk factors. But what is the best method for diagnosis? A recent study found that functional imaging methods can often spare patients the trouble and risks of a coronary angiography.
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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: 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 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: 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: Computer-generated graphic showing two hip balls next to each other. Implantation of a sleeve is demonstrated on them; Copyright: revomotion GmbH Köln

Hip joint: sleeve versus endoprosthesis

10/04/2017

People with hip osteoarthritis often suffer from severe pain and only an endoprosthesis implantation can provide relief. This involves a major intervention and long-term rehabilitation because the implant requires the removal of a section of the thigh bone. The "MioHIP" research project looks for an elastic alternative.
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Image: Surgeon is working at a simulator of the human back with two instruments; Copyright: HTWK Leipzig/Rebecca Schweier

RealSpine: realistic surgical simulation

22/02/2017

Surgeons need a great sense of touch. They first have to acquire this skill in simulation training before they can perform surgery on actual patients. Having said that, simulators are not just meant to teach the right movements; ideally, they should also provide a true-to-life experience of the surgical field – as is the case in RealSpine surgical training.
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Image: Look over the shoulder of an eye surgeon who is operating at a microscope; Copyright: panthermedia.net/mearicon

Ophthalmology today and tomorrow: surgery and more

01/02/2017

Ophthalmology procedures and eye surgeries have been around since ancient times. Today we can hardly imagine the types of circumstances that surrounded any surgical procedures to our perhaps most important sense organ in those days and later eras. Meanwhile, the present and future of this medical specialty looks all the more promising.
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Image: Zebrafish brain, fluorescence image (left) and 3D image (right); Copyright: private

"A 3D movie of the brain in action"

08/12/2016

Watching millions of neurons in the brain interacting with each other – for a long time this was possible only to a limited extent. The current techniques can visualize only superficial layers or the imaging they use is too slow. But now, Prof Daniel Razansky and his team have found a new method to visualize the brain activity – by using optoacoustics.
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Image: Eileen Stark prepares Dominik Wetzel for a measurement; Copyright: WHZ/Helge Gerischer

Paraplegia: moving muscles using electrical impulses

22/11/2016

It happens about 1,800 times per year: after a sporting or traffic-related accident, a person’s spinal cord is injured to where nerve tracts are severed and he/she becomes paralyzed. Researchers now want to develop software that measures the brain signals of paralyzed patients and sends out electrical impulses via a system to stimulate muscles, causing them to move again.
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Image: Open surgery at the forearm of a patient; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Chanawit Sitthisombat

Hemodialysis: Creating the AV fistula using catheters

08/09/2016

For many patients, the start of hemodialysis marks the lifelong dependency on needing their blood purified. But before they can actually begin treatments, a blood vessel in the patient's arm needs to be enlarged to where it can move enough blood and withstand being connected to the dialysis machine several times per week.
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Image: Hybrid OR; Copyright: Philips GmbH

Hybrid Operating Room: The OR of the Future Today?

01/09/2016

Patients take center stage during surgery. Their treatment should be as gentle and effective as possible, which is why there is a trend towards minimally invasive surgery (MIS). But minimal procedures require better supporting technologies. The hybrid operating room combines surgery and imaging systems and increasingly replaces conventional open surgery approaches with MIS.
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Image: OR with modern equipment, large screens and lamps; Copyright: Erwin Keeve, Charité

OR of the future: technology benefits surgeons

01/09/2016

When it comes to the future of medicine, we often ponder how we would like to be treated. On the other hand, there is the issue of how physicians would like to treat their patients. The surgical procedures are determined by the technology that doctors are surrounded by. That’s why technology development also needs to be adapted to the needs of surgeons in the operating room of the future.
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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: 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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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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Lung cancer: A blood test evaluates the effectiveness of therapy

01/06/2015

Can liquid biopsies become the new trend in cancer diagnostics? The medical world has asked this question for quite some time. The first globally approved liquid biopsy-based test for lung cancer shows that this can work. Yet further findings and research are still required to establish this less invasive method in diagnostics.
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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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Graphic: human sacrum

"Neuromonitoring during lesser pelvis surgery is still uncharted territory"

08/05/2015

The bowel is surrounded by a dense plexus of nervous tissue that presents problems for surgeons. On the one hand, it is difficult to distinguish from the surrounding tissue; while on the other hand, sometimes portions of it need to be removed when parts of the colon are removed. Yet injuring these nerves can result in permanent damage.
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Photo: pink bird on top of the membrane

Gently administering drugs with a membrane containing active ingredients

09/02/2015

Injections are not popular with either children or adults. For years, researchers have therefore been looking for a way to administer drugs in a gentler manner. Swiss scientists now developed a membrane that releases active ingredients under ultraviolet light. It could revolutionize how drugs and vaccines are being administered.
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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: Modern OR at the Charité

OR technology: developing more flexibility and usability

08/07/2014

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