Focus on Technology Ann Thompson reports on the latest trends in technology and their effects on medicine, safety, the environment or entertainment
Focus on Technology

Focus on Technology

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Ann Thompson reports on the latest trends in technology and their effects on medicine, safety, the environment or entertainmentMore from Focus on Technology »

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Patch Could Replace Opioids To Relieve Pain

More than a year ago, 80-year old Helen Douglass described her shoulder and forearm pain following a stroke as nine out of 10. Last summer the Cleveland-area resident participated in a clinical trial for SPRINT, a small wearable stimulator patch and has no pain now. Her story is one of many SPR Therapeutics points to and the Ohio company is now marketing the FDA approved portable device that delivers neuro-stimulation to the nerve causing the pain. CEO Maria Bennett says SPRINT is somewhere between TENS and a fully implantable stimulation device. Some medical scientists believe the patch could become a substitute for opioid abuse.

Legitimate Uses For The Dark Web

Chances are you probably don't spend a lot of time in the " dark web ." It's the part of the Internet that's populated by drug dealers, child pornographers, and sex traffickers. They access it by the browser Tor and can remain anonymous.

Cuffs Squeeze Heart Back Into Action

Technology three decades old is grabbing the attention of Cincinnati doctors as a possible substitute for drugs and surgical procedures for treating heart patients.

Artificial Intelligence Key To Treating Illness

Complex computer software may be the key to correctly diagnosing and treating patients with various diseases.

The Jaw May Be Key To Fixing A Bad Heart

As crazy as it may sound to the non-scientist, cells in a patient's jaw may be able to rejuvenate their bad heart. Yi-Gang Wang, MD, PhD, a professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and for The Jaw May Be Key To Fixing A Bad Heart mer heart surgeon, explains that when we are growing in the womb our facial muscle cells develop near the heart. They eventually migrate to the head and are similar to heart cells. In small animals Wang has taken cells from the animal's facial muscle to the lab, enhanced them and turned them into beating heart cells. Wang says this has translated into regeneration of the heart muscle. He's ramping up research in large animal models. Human trials could begin in five years. Wang says traditional treatments, including medicine and surgery, cannot cure or recover heart tissue and they come with some dangers, such as reduced oxygen, complications from bypass surgery, the ability of a donor heart and the risk of rejection. After facial cells

This Device Looks Inside Your Brain

UC researchers have figured out a way to non-invasively peek inside the brain of a neurological intensive care patient to stop the deadliest form of stroke, an intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). They say this is important because the person is often sedated, sometimes on a ventilator and cannot communicate. Doctors Matthew Flaherty, Opeolu Adeoye, George Shaw and Joe Clark became frustrated that CT and MRI scans were the only option and couldn't be done repeatedly. Shaw tells the story. "We were all sitting in a bar at LAX waiting to come back from a stroke conference in 2008 or 2009 , something like that, and we are shooting around potential research ideas and it came up that a big problem is there's no non-invasive monitor of the brain." There is now. The device they invented is a headset complete with nine antennas that fit on a patient's head and use radio frequency waves similar to cell phone technology. A computer algorithm the analyzes the information to determine if the patient is

Biometrics Help Make Vacations More Personalized

Airlines, hotels and cruise ships are increasingly personalizing your vacation by collecting personal data and tech experts like Dave Hatter are tempted but leery. This summer Delta is testing facial recognition technology in Minneapolis with special kiosks to speed up the time it takes to check your bags. The airline will scan passports while specially equipped kiosks will scan your face. Delta says it's collecting customer feedback to help determine if this technology will expand to other airports. KLM is testing facial recognition for boarding in Amsterdam. Jetblue is using it on flights from Boston to Aruba and is testing it to replace boarding passes . Hatter says, "I mean who doesn't hate going to the airport standing in line, especially when you're watching the hands tick down on your watch...so I can see the upside. The downside in my mind is you're going to give them some very intimate biometric information about yourself in order to make this work and how serious is that

Digital Microscope Is "Game Changer"

U.S. doctors are slowly turning to digital pathology to more accurately diagnose and treat cancer. In April 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved digital microscopes for use in primary cancer diagnosis. This is the process of scanning conventional glass slides to create a virtual image. That image can be easily transferred anyplace in the world for a second opinion. Complete with a computer algorithm, the machine can also see patterns a pathologist may not be able to pick out. Ohio State's Associate Director of Neuropathology Jose Otero says what's really exciting is this technology brings objectivity. He says, "So for example, there are some drugs if you express a particular marker (biomarker) and the majority of tumor cells would be a trigger for an oncologist to treat. This is much more accurately done by a software algorithm on a digitized image than it is a human being eyeballing and saying it looks like about 60 percent of the cells are positive." The digital

New Radar to Expand Area UAVs Can Fly

At the Springfield Beckley Municipal Airport crews will begin installing a new kind of radar in June that will allow air traffic controllers to see a combination of planes and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The Air Force and the State of Ohio are footing the $5 million radar bill in first-of-its-kind testing that both parties hope will lead to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for beyond line of sight flight. Right now UAVs can only fly with visual line of sight, or an unobstructed path between the UAV and the controller. At the Springfield airport that's seven nautical square miles. With beyond line of slight that would increase to 200 miles and an altitude of up to 10,000 feet. FAA approval is expected for the Air Force within six to nine months. Ohio's application would follow. Approval for the state means private companies like Amazon could test in Springfield. The airport is laying fiber along one runway now. Guidance for UAV operators would come from an air traffic

Rewiring Your Brain After ACL Surgery

Ohio State University researchers are using special glasses to help patients fully recover after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear. The glasses help rewire the brain after documented changes following a knee injury. The scientists compared brain scans of healthy adults versus those recovered from ACL injuries when extending and flexing the knee. "The brain fundamentally changed in how it processes information from an injured knee," said Dustin Grooms, a researcher who conducted the study at Ohio State and is currently employed at Ohio University. "We think those changes play a big role in why people who recover from ACL injuries don't trust their knees entirely and tend to move them differently." The scans show the patients relied more on their visual systems in the brain instead of relying on movement or spatial awareness. "It's like walking in the dark, you don't walk as fast, you don't move as confidently," according to Jimmy Onate, a health and rehabilitative

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