VMW Monthly - May 2009 - ISSN 1388-722X



Virtual Medical Worlds is a monthly Virtual Magazine on Telemedicine and High Performance Computing and Networking for readers interested in computer applications in medical environments. VMW is produced by an editorial team composed of professionals in publishing, and an advisory board with professionals in telemedicine, providing the embedding into the everyday practice and research. Check out the VMW Web site for the calendar of events, the various services, and the friendly advertising rates.

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Contents May 2009 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
Getting the word out when the need for speed is critical to public health
New Tucson company offers hope of faster cancer drug development
Sun Microsystems helps United States Federal Government build interoperable Nationwide Health Information Network of Networks
John Muir Health and Hill Physicians Medical Group extend RelayHealth clinical connectivity to create regional data information exchange
Cancer Genomics Browser gives cancer researchers a powerful new tool
 
Grid for Health
 
A genomic CluE for Cloud computing
Biological sensors are the future of personalised treatment
Anderson Center for Autism wins Computerworld Honors Programme Laureate for leveraging NEC HYDRAstor against data storage growth
Cloud computing brings cost of protein research down to Earth
Gene Network Sciences announces brain cancer collaboration with M.D. Anderson
 
Healthcare compunetics
 
Honeywell HomMed receives Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approval for Genesis DM telehealth monitor
Ultrasound imaging now possible with a smartphone
Open source mobile technology software reinventing health care in developing countries
Corventis launches and announces availability of the AVIVO Mobile Patient Management System
Medzio, a new free mobile health application for the iPhone, connects consumers, health content and medical resources
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
CompuGROUP to offer virtual clinics for authentic patient cases, launch pilot programme for integrated treatment of diabetes patients, and protect against chip-card abuse
Perot Systems and Philips Healthcare support Microsoft's efforts to build interoperable e-health solutions
Rivulet and Karl Storz sign reseller agreement to promote comprehensive operating room integration technologies
GMV's latest arthroscopic surgical simulator incorporates new virtual touch scenarios using SensAble's haptics
Olympus advances less invasive surgical procedures with innovative technology for laparo-endoscopic single-site surgery
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Fitting pieces for biosensors
Telemedicine to transform European health care
DECIPHERing human disease: Database provides a key to unlock the causes of illnesses
Pioneering nanotechnologies used in experimental medical applications in the United Kingdom
Delft University of Technology develops better training for keyhole surgery
 
The 21st century hospital
 
Mayo Clinic and IBM host medical language initiative
iCAD installs new technology for prostate MRI image analysis at Research Medical Center in Kansas City
New ultrasound-guided biopsy method allows improved diagnosis of endometrial disease
New minimally invasive surgery option for patients with stomach cancer
West Carroll Memorial Hospital goes live with Healthland's Electronic Medical Records to enable telemedicine capabilities
 
Virtual snap shots
 
Biomedical engineers at the University of Calgary design electronic device for quick and painless glucose test to aid diabetics
Study assesses new surgical procedure for regenerating cartilage in damaged knee joints
Major funding for foetal heart monitor
Star Trek-like technology offers non-invasive monitor for patients and athletes
Digital album puts focus on kids' health
 
VMWC news bites
 
Companion robots will improve elderly people's quality of life in smart homes
Robotic assisted kidney cancer surgery proves to be beneficial to patients
Researchers use brain interface to post to Twitter
Robosoft and SRI International demonstrate innovative elder care service robot at Robobusiness
Robot improves suturing proficiency more rapidly among surgeons inexperienced in laparoscopic techniques
 

Leads May 2009 Issue

 
Cross-Atlantic state-of-the-art
 
Getting the word out when the need for speed is critical to public health
Full ArticleWhen the need for speed is critical, how can a public health department communicate with doctors and hospitals, sending alerts to help prevent or stop a public health crisis? How can thousands of health care providers be notified about disease outbreaks, illness from food borne contaminants or even a possible pandemic? Researchers from the Regenstrief Institute Inc. in collaboration with the Marion County Health Department in Indianapolis, Indiana, have developed and tested a technology that allows public health officials to abandon a traditional, inefficient paper approach to alerting the medical community about public health crises in favour of an electronic strategy to seamlessly and instantly push out information critical to patient care.
New Tucson company offers hope of faster cancer drug development
Full ArticleNew University of Arizona spin-off company Luceome Biotechnologies will make a new technology - called Kinase Seeker - available to academic labs and drug companies worldwide. The technology could speed the development of drugs to treat cancers and other diseases. The company is owned and run by BIO5 member Indraneel Ghosh, who is the Weed Endowed Chair and Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the University of Arizona College of Science, and by former ImaRx Therapeutics Operations Vice President Dr. Reena Zutshi, who will serve as Luceome's chief executive officer. Indraneel Ghosh will initially serve as chief scientific officer and then transition into an advisory role.
Sun Microsystems helps United States Federal Government build interoperable Nationwide Health Information Network of Networks
Full ArticleOpen source software from Sun Microsystems Inc. is enabling the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to build a secure, open technology platform to connect federal government agencies and health information exchanges in a "network of networks" - the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) - built over the Internet. The goal of NHIN is to support the secure exchange of interoperable health information within the federal government and with the tribal, state, local and private sectors to enable increased efficiency, better patient care and improved population health.
John Muir Health and Hill Physicians Medical Group extend RelayHealth clinical connectivity to create regional data information exchange
Full ArticleJohn Muir Health, a pre-eminent northern California health system with two acute-care medical centres, and Hill Physicians Medical Group, one of the United States' largest independent physician groups, are extending their respective virtual information exchanges to seamlessly share clinical data and improve patient care delivery for the community of 4 million people they serve in Northern California. The competitors - now turned collaborators - are using RelayHealth's results management services to transmit hospital lab results, radiology reports and transcribed documents from John Muir Health and the Muir Lab reference laboratories to connected physicians, including those associated with both John Muir Health and Hill Physicians.
Cancer Genomics Browser gives cancer researchers a powerful new tool
Full ArticleA Cancer Genomics Browser developed by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), provides a new way to visualize and analyse data from studies aimed at improving cancer treatment by unraveling the complex genetic roots of the disease. The browser consists of a suite of web-based tools designed to help researchers find patterns in the huge amounts of clinical and genomic data being gathered in large-scale cancer studies. Medical researchers hope to identify genetic signatures and other "biomarkers" in cancer cells that can be used to predict how individual patients will respond to different therapies throughout the course of their treatment.
 
Grid for Health
 
A genomic CluE for Cloud computing
Full ArticleDNA sequencing is the next frontier in biological research. As new sequencing technology becomes more efficient and affordable, it is increasingly available to small laboratories. Thus, sequencing data is being generated at a faster rate than ever before. However, the computing capacity needed to analyse such vast amounts of data still has some catching up to do. Large networks of interconnected computers, called computer clusters, are required to analyse these data. Expensive to establish and maintain, these computer clusters are generally available only to labs that can afford them.
Biological sensors are the future of personalised treatment
Full ArticleIn the future, according to Peter Ghazal, Chair of Edinburgh University's Department of Molecular Genetics and Biomedicine, biological sensors, the product of the integration of biology and electronics will be used to detect infections and prescribe personalised treatments. He was speaking at the International Symposium on Research in Grid/Nano/Bio/Medical Informatics - Bioinforsalud 2009, held at Madrid last month.
Anderson Center for Autism wins Computerworld Honors Programme Laureate for leveraging NEC HYDRAstor against data storage growth
Full ArticleNEC Corporation of America, a premier provider of IT, network and identity management solutions, has announced that the Computerworld Honors Programme has recognized Gregg Paulk, director of Information Technologies for Anderson Center for Autism, as a Laureate for his innovative use of NEC HYDRAstor Grid storage to address its storage back-up and archive challenges. This year's Honorees will be commemorated during the 21st Annual Laureates Medal Ceremony & Gala Awards Evening on June 1, 2009 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. For over two decades, Computerworld Honors has acknowledged those individuals and organisations that have used information technology to benefit society.
Cloud computing brings cost of protein research down to Earth
Full ArticleResearchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin Biotechnology and Bioengineering Center in Milwaukee have just made the very expensive and promising area of protein research more accessible to scientists worldwide. They have developed a set of free tools called ViPDAC - virtual proteomics data analysis cluster, to be used in combination with Amazon's inexpensive "Cloud computing" service, which provides the option to rent processing time on its powerful servers; and free open-source software from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the University of Manitoba.
Gene Network Sciences announces brain cancer collaboration with M.D. Anderson
Full ArticleGene Network Sciences Inc. (GNS) has entered into a research collaboration with the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center aimed at the rapid translation of DNA sequence and clinical data from patients with glioblastoma, the most common and deadly form of brain cancer, into breakthrough discoveries leading to drugs and diagnostics. This collaboration will leverage the combination of groundbreaking genetic data and clinical oncology expertise from M.D. Anderson with supercomputers and advanced machine-learning software from GNS. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
 
Healthcare compunetics
 
Honeywell HomMed receives Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approval for Genesis DM telehealth monitor
Full ArticleHoneywell HomMed has received approval for its Genesis DM telehealth monitor from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), Australia's regulatory agency for medical drugs and devices. Honeywell HomMed's telehealth solution enables patients to take a more active role in their health, improving the quality of patient care, increasing economic benefits for health care systems and providing patients with greater independence.
Ultrasound imaging now possible with a smartphone
Full ArticleComputer engineers at Washington University in St. Louis are bringing the minimalist approach to medical care and computing by coupling USB-based ultrasound probe technology with a smartphone, enabling a compact, mobile computational platform and a medical imaging device that fits in the palm of a hand.
Open source mobile technology software reinventing health care in developing countries
Full ArticleDr. Joel Selanikio's innovative technology is not only saving lives, it is changing the face of the public health system around the world. Merging his expertise in the areas of computer science, medicine and public health with his business partner's background in technology, spurred the development of a sustainable mobile software tool to aid in disease surveillance and the collection of public health data in developing nations. Officially established as an electronic data collection standard by the World Health Organization, Dr. Selanikio's EpiSurveyor is now the most widely adopted open source mobile health software in the world.
Corventis launches and announces availability of the AVIVO Mobile Patient Management System
Full ArticleCorventis Inc., a developer of wireless cardiovascular solutions designed to enable early detection, prevention and treatment of cardiovascular conditions, has officially made available its non-invasive, wireless system to monitor cardiac health. Corventis' inaugural product, the AVIVO Mobile Patient Management System, has received United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance and is now commercially available for use by clinicians within and outside the United States.
Medzio, a new free mobile health application for the iPhone, connects consumers, health content and medical resources
Full ArticleA.D.A.M. Inc., a provider of consumer health information and benefits technology solutions, has introduced Medzio, a dynamic new mobile health application designed specifically for iPhone users. With A.D.A.M.'s world leading consumer health information as the foundation, Medzio brings together some of the most progressive health care companies to create a new and unique Mobile Health Network that offers consumers a powerful way to interact and collaborate on-the-go about their health. The Medzio Mobile Health Network will help consumers determine when and where to seek care, and how much that care should cost. Medzio is now available as a free download at the iPhone App Store.
 
Industrial Chemist's Corner
 
CompuGROUP to offer virtual clinics for authentic patient cases, launch pilot programme for integrated treatment of diabetes patients, and protect against chip-card abuse
Full ArticleCompuGROUP Holding AG, one of the world's major e-health service providers, offers physicians and medical students an opportunity to train on authentic patient cases in virtual clinics configured to meet users' specific needs. The INMEDEA Simulator promotes the rapid, sustainable development of expertise while helping save time, resources and costs. The company is now also supporting the integrated treatment of patients suffering from Type 2 diabetes mellitus through its subsidiary GiV. Client Knappschaft Bahn See expects the programme to provide more effective patient care and reduce costs significantly. And CompuGROUP has developed the new cardtrust system as a means of preventing insurance card abuse. The Techniker Krankenkasse is currently using cardtrust to protect against abuse and enhance efficiency.
Perot Systems and Philips Healthcare support Microsoft's efforts to build interoperable e-health solutions
Full ArticleAt the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 2009 Annual Conference & Exhibition, Microsoft Corporation released an updated version of the Connected Health Framework (CHF) Architecture and Design Blueprint and additional solution accelerators in the Connected Health Platform (CHP) to help customers and partners deliver interoperable next-generation e-health solutions. In addition, leading health care solution providers Perot Systems and Philips Healthcare are supporting Microsoft's commitment to deliver to customers e-health solutions built on the CHF and CHP strategy.
Rivulet and Karl Storz sign reseller agreement to promote comprehensive operating room integration technologies
Full ArticleKarl Storz Endoscopy-America Inc., a world expert in diagnostic and operative minimally invasive endoscopic technology and operating room integration, has entered into a reseller agreement with Rivulet Communications, whose technology enables HD Medical Video anywhere on and off the hospital IP network. Under terms of the agreement Karl Storz will be entitled to resell Rivulet's complete suite of networking products and to utilize the expertise of both companies to jointly sell, market and promote their respective products and services for integrated operating room solutions in the United States.
GMV's latest arthroscopic surgical simulator incorporates new virtual touch scenarios using SensAble's haptics
Full ArticleSensAble Technologies Inc.'s customer GMV, based in Madrid, Spain, is showcasing an expanded set of touch-enabled features in a major new version of its insightArthroVR arthroscopic knee and shoulder surgery simulator at the Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA) annual meeting in San Diego. These new touch-enabled features provide exceptional realism in teaching surgical residents to differentiate between the feeling of healthy and pathological conditions, and then simulate the feeling of corrective procedures, using SensAble's haptic devices and software toolkit.
Olympus advances less invasive surgical procedures with innovative technology for laparo-endoscopic single-site surgery
Full ArticleOlympus America Inc. formally introduced its advanced technology platform that now allows surgeons to perform minimally invasive single-site surgery through the umbilicus or belly button, which may result in less abdominal trauma, less post-operative pain, less internal/external scarring and improved recovery for patients. The platform, introduced at the annual Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons meeting, combines existing Olympus and Gyrus ACMI endoscopic and laparoscopic technology with the new TriPort access system. The platform includes the technology and devices necessary to perform procedures such as gallbladder removal, hernia repair, appendectomy, and urological or gynaecological surgery through just one incision in the belly button.
 
Planet Europe in Action
 
Fitting pieces for biosensors
Full ArticleResearch and industry are increasingly exploiting the potential of aptamers. As well as their application in research, medical diagnosis and treatment, aptamers are also interesting as a basis for biosensors for use in environmental analysis because their characteristics enable them to identify and bind target molecules as surely as a key fits a lock. In a new book, researchers at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) describe the methods used to obtain aptamers. A newly-approved project aims to develop new nanostructured biosensors to measure harmful substances in water.
Telemedicine to transform European health care
Full ArticleEuropean health care is threatened by soaring costs and limited resources. Market tests demonstrating that telemedical services can cut costs and improve treatment are now being implemented across the continent. If you are injured in a car crash or suspect you are having a stroke, quick diagnosis and treatment by top specialists could be critical to the outcome. Wouldn't it be great if you could get that state-of-the-art care wherever you are, without having to be rushed to a clinic able to handle the case? This is what the physicians and health care administrators of Health Optimum, an European Union-funded initial deployment project, thought when they accepted the challenge of using IT to enhance health care across Europe, while helping to contain out-of-control costs.
DECIPHERing human disease: Database provides a key to unlock the causes of illnesses
Full ArticleA new report outlines the pivotal role of the DECIPHER database - hosted by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute - in developing clinical understanding of structural changes in human DNA. The report highlights how DECIPHER can benefit the work of researchers and clinicians, as well as patients with chromosomal imbalances. By sharing data internationally, clinicians can assign diagnoses for 15 percent of previously undiagnosed patients with developmental delay, learning disability, dysmorphic features or congenital abnormalities.
Pioneering nanotechnologies used in experimental medical applications in the United Kingdom
Full ArticleThe London Centre for Nanotechnology will develop a new device to enable people living with HIV to monitor their own health and the effectiveness of their treatments, thanks to a GBP 2 million Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) grant. Nanotechnology is being used by academics at the University of Southampton to develop low-cost, disposable blood-testing kits that can be made available in General Practitioners' surgeries. And a multi-disciplinary team of scientists from the University of Leicester could be potentially paving the way for the development of a powerful new strategy for both the early diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.
Delft University of Technology develops better training for keyhole surgery
Full ArticleResearcher Sanne Botden has improved the training methods for surgeons who perform keyhole operations. At present, a relatively large number of errors are made during surgery of this kind. She recently defended her doctoral dissertation at Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands. Keyhole surgery or laparoscopy has rapidly become a popular technique in hospitals but it requires very different skills to "traditional surgery". In 2007, the Dutch Health Inspectorate reported that hospitals are too quick to use keyhole surgery. Too many surgeons underestimate the risks and complications. Most of these complications are the result of a lack of training.
 
The 21st century hospital
 
Mayo Clinic and IBM host medical language initiative
Full ArticleBiomedical informatics researchers at Mayo Clinic and IBM have launched a website for the newly founded Open Health Natural Language Processing (NLP) Consortium. The consortium is establishing the open-source space to promote past and current development efforts, including participation in information extraction from electronic medical records. As part of the launch, Mayo Clinic and IBM released their clinical NLP technologies into the public domain. The site will allow the approximately 2000 researchers and developers working on clinical language systems worldwide to contribute code and further develop the systems.
iCAD installs new technology for prostate MRI image analysis at Research Medical Center in Kansas City
Full ArticleiCAD Inc., an industry-leading provider of advanced image analysis and work flow solutions for the early identification of cancer, has installed its VividLook Computer-Aided Detection (CAD) analysis solution for prostate MRI at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri. VividLook uses a complex algorithm to provide radiologists and radiation oncologists with precise information to assist in determining malignancies versus benign tumours and to pinpoint tumour location and size.
New ultrasound-guided biopsy method allows improved diagnosis of endometrial disease
Full ArticleA procedure used in conjunction with a vaginal ultrasound might make it easier to visualize and diagnose diseases in the lining of the uterus, researchers at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center have found. Physicians evaluated the endometrium, a cavity that lines the inside of the uterus, in women who were in the midst of or had gone through menopause and who complained of abnormal bleeding. Abnormal bleeding can indicate certain diseases of the endometrium that may or may not be malignant. The current standard of care is to blindly biopsy the endometrium; however, the biopsy might not always sample the part of the cavity that is diseased.
New minimally invasive surgery option for patients with stomach cancer
Full ArticleA novel, minimally invasive surgical approach to treat stomach cancer has been shown to have advantages that may make it a preferable treatment for some patients. A new study led by researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) compares traditional "open" surgery to remove the stomach with laparoscopic gastrectomy - a minimally invasive procedure in which the surgeon removes the stomach while guided by a magnified image projected by a thin, lighted tube with a video camera at its tip, called a laparoscope. The findings demonstrate that while laparoscopic surgeries generally took longer to perform than open procedures, the minimally invasive approach yielded shorter hospital stays, decreased need for post-operative pain relief, fewer complications after surgery, and similar rates of recurrence-free survival after 36 months of follow-up.
West Carroll Memorial Hospital goes live with Healthland's Electronic Medical Records to enable telemedicine capabilities
Full ArticleWest Carroll Memorial Hospital has successfully implemented Healthland's Electronic Medical Records (EMR) solution - further supporting Healthland's ongoing relationship with the Louisiana Rural Hospital Coalition (LARHC). West Carroll Memorial, a 33-bed hospital serving residents in Northeast Louisiana and Southeast Arkansas, selected Healthland's system after it was awarded an RHIO (Regional Health Information Organisation) grant managed by the Louisiana Rural Health Information Exchange (LaRHIX). With the new system, West Carroll Memorial now has telemedicine capabilities with Louisiana State University (LSU), enabling the LSU physicians to consult and treat patients remotely.
 
Virtual snap shots
 
Biomedical engineers at the University of Calgary design electronic device for quick and painless glucose test to aid diabetics
Full ArticleA skin patch could one day provide a less-invasive alternative for diabetics who need to take regular samples of their own blood to keep glucose levels in check. The common method of drawing blood from fingertips and using glucose testing strips and metres can be painful, inconvenient and time-consuming. Electrical engineers at the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary have patented a device called the Electronic Mosquito. The patch is approximately the size of a deck of cards and contains four micro-needles that "bite" sequentially at programmed intervals. The needles are electronically controlled to penetrate the skin deep enough to draw blood from a capillary, but not deep enough to hit a nerve. This means patients would experience little or no pain. The patch could be worn anywhere on the body where it could obtain accurate readings of capillary blood.
Study assesses new surgical procedure for regenerating cartilage in damaged knee joints
Full ArticleRush University Medical Center is testing a new procedure for regenerating damaged articular cartilage in the knee joint to relieve the pain of osteoarthritis. Rush is the only centre in Illinois participating in the CAIS Phase III clinical trial. The procedure, called the Cartilage Autograft Implantation System (CAIS), involves extracting cartilage from the healthy tissue that remains in the knee, breaking it into tiny fragments to enable it to grow and expand, fixing it onto a biologically reabsorbable scaffold, and then implanting the scaffold with the cartilage cells back into the damaged area - all in a single surgery.
Major funding for foetal heart monitor
Full ArticlePUK Ventures, the venture capital business of Partnerships UK, has completed an investment of GBP 750.000 - part of a GBP 1,175 million funding round - in Monica Healthcare Limited. Monica Healthcare was formed following 15 years of expertise at the University of Nottingham's School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering and Department of Obstetrics. The University of Nottingham spin-out company has developed miniature, wireless technology which can successfully monitor the well-being of a mother and her unborn baby.
Star Trek-like technology offers non-invasive monitor for patients and athletes
Full ArticleHow long will it take to develop Star Trek-like medical technologies? The gap between science fiction and reality is closing faster than many people may think. A non-invasive, needle-free system that uses light to measure tissue oxygen and pH will soon be an alternative to the painful use of needles to draw blood and cumbersome equipment to determine metabolic rate. The futuristic system, dubbed the Venus prototype, is being developed by Dr. Babs Soller and her colleagues. It has the capability to measure blood and tissue chemistry, metabolic rate - oxygen consumption - and other parameters.
Digital album puts focus on kids' health
Full ArticleModern moms and dads snap thousands of photos, recording every drooling smile and flailing attempt to crawl. Until now, this frenzy of activity could be one more thing distracting parents from monitoring their child's health and developmental progress. Now Julie Kientz at the University of Washington has built a high-tech tool that takes photos and video, creates an on-line diary and family newsletters, and at the same time tracks a child's developmental milestones. The multimedia system, called Baby Steps, combines sentimental snapping with medical record-keeping. Baby Steps feels like a fun toy for parents, but researchers found in a small pilot study that having it on their home computers doubled the parents' collection of medically relevant information.
 
VMWC news bites
 
Companion robots will improve elderly people's quality of life in smart homes
Full ArticleThe Tecnalia Health and Quality of Life Unit is taking part in the Companionable project, the aim of which is to contribute to the enhancement of the quality of life of elderly and disabled persons using robotised solutions designed to operate in intelligent homes. The initiative, part of the European Union 7th Framework Programme, combines for the first time the use of robots in intelligent domestic environments, with the goal of creating a companion that assists people in their own home and helps them to be independent in their everyday lives. Amongst other aspects, this tool provides a control for recognising emotional states, social and health services support and for videoconferencing with family members or professional care providers.
Robotic assisted kidney cancer surgery proves to be beneficial to patients
Full ArticleFox Chase Cancer Center researchers find that outcomes of robotic assisted kidney cancer surgery, when performed by experienced surgeons at high volume centres, prove more beneficial to patients when compared to open surgery. The study, authored by Fox Chase robotic surgeon Rosalia Viterbo, MD, was presented at the American Urological Association's Annual Meeting. The standard treatment for kidney cancer is to surgically remove the entire or a portion of the kidney. This is known as nephron-sparing surgery, or partial nephrectomy, and is commonly performed using traditional open surgery. Recently, there has been interest in applying a laparoscopic approach for this procedure, however it has proven to be technically challenging to many surgeons.
Researchers use brain interface to post to Twitter
Full ArticleIn early April, Adam Wilson posted a status update on the social networking website Twitter - just by thinking about it. Just 23 characters long, his message, "using EEG to send tweet", demonstrates a natural, manageable way in which "locked-in" patients can couple brain-computer interface technologies with modern communication tools. A University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison biomedical engineering doctoral student, Adam Wilson is among a growing group of researchers worldwide who aim to perfect a communication system for users whose bodies do not work, but whose brains function normally. Among those are people who have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), brain-stem stroke or high spinal cord injury.
Robosoft and SRI International demonstrate innovative elder care service robot at Robobusiness
Full ArticleAt Robobusiness 2009, Robosoft, France and SRI International, USA, will demonstrate robuLAB10, a service robot designed to assist the elderly in their own homes. The robuLAB10 robot integrates SRI's Karto navigation software, enabling the robot to navigate, follow, and assist a person from room to room. The robuLAB10 robot is being designed for developers and integrators seeking to build home-centric service robots.
Robot improves suturing proficiency more rapidly among surgeons inexperienced in laparoscopic techniques
Full ArticleNew research published in the April issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons suggests that, among surgeons inexperienced in laparoscopic techniques, closing incisions using robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery (RALS) requires less time to learn and results in improved outcomes compared with suturing done via traditional, "open" surgery or with freehand laparoscopy.
 

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