A New Frontier in Stroke Telemedicine
Ambulances outfitted with a mobile CT scanner, blood sample laboratory and telemedicine connection decrease the time between stroke and thrombolysis without increasing the risk of complications, according to a study in JAMA.
911 dispatchers ask a series of questions designed to identify possible strokes, and based on the responses, the mobile unit can be dispatched. The units are manned by a paramedic, critical care nurse, CT technologist and driver. Onboard CT scanners and lab equipment transmit information to neuroradiologists, who ascertain whether the stroke is ischemic or hemorrhagic. If hospital-based stroke specialists determine the stroke is ischemic — as approximately 87 percent of strokes are — they direct the mobile team to administer clot-busting intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV tPA).
Because IV tPA can be administered only within a narrow time frame, the ability to reduce time to treatment is a significant benefit.
Augmenting Reality in the OR?
The technology is in its infancy, but some observers say wearable holographic computers may find a place in standard surgical armamentariums. Such equipment could be used in the OR to identify anatomy and localize tumors, according to Medgadget. And rather than examine cadavers, medical students could wear the computers to view holographic anatomical models, Engadget reports.
A few companies are lined up to produce such devices, and Microsoft and Magic Leap already have devices in various stages of development.
Microsoft’s HoloLens fits around the crown of the skull and requires no connecting wires or external cameras, allowing the user to move freely. Advanced sensors in its holographic, high-definition optical lenses capture information about the user’s actions and the surrounding environment. According to Microsoft, the device outperforms many laptops in terms of computing power. The lenses project holographic imagery onto the user’s field of vision.
Like Sunshine on a Cloudy Day
Image courtesy of Ink Studio
Luminette, a light-therapy device worn like a pair of glasses, frees users to resume many routine activities that conventional light therapy might impede.
The traditional light-therapy delivery system involves sitting in front of a light box. Research published by the Centre International de Recherche en ChronoSomnologie in France shows Luminette is as effective as a 10,000-Lux light box. Via eight diodes, Luminette directs white light enhanced with blue light into the lower part of the retina.
Like conventional light therapy, Luminette discourages the secretion of melatonin. During four years of testing, multiple studies demonstrated Luminette’s efficacy. In one study, researchers recruited participants from the Radiotherapy Department at University Hospital of Liege in Belgium. The facility has minimal natural light. The results, which appeared in Cancer Radiothérapie, showed reductions in daytime sleep, as well as in pain and emotional issues, and improvements in perceived general health and physical function.