Prosthetic Feet Let Women and Transgender People Wear High Heels

Prosthetic Feet Let Women and Transgender People Wear High Heels

At Johns Hopkins University a team of students are solving first world problems of women who use lower leg prostheses. They’re developing a prosthetic foot that can wear a high heel, letting women go out in style without having to have a bunch of fancy custom made legs. Most existing prostheses are designed for wide, grounded, sneaker-like shoes. The new Prominence foot is narrow and adjustable, without requiring any tools, to take on different angles at the ankle. It can support up to 250 pounds (113 Kg), but is still a work in progress. It’s made of a carbon fiber footplate that provides the strength and springiness necessary to feel more like a proper foot while walking, and a hydraulic component for flexion at the sole. The team recruited amputees to test the feet and also used volunteers on stilts to simulate tall people. The results are promising, but we’ll see if this is something that amputees are looking for and if it makes sense to integrate the technology into existing devices. Via: Johns Hopkins… The post Prosthetic Feet Let Women and Transgender People Wear High Heels appeared first on...
Smartphones Diagnose Hospital’s Pneumatic Tube System

Smartphones Diagnose Hospital’s Pneumatic Tube System

Lots of hospitals around the world use pneumatic tube systems to move meds, blood products, patient samples, usually without any problems. But problems can arise, as was the case at the University of Virginia Health System where blood samples sometimes arrived damaged. Specifically, many red blood cells in some samples were damaged as though they were subject to significant force. To understand what happened, a clinical chemistry postdoc and a professor of Pathology sent a couple of  retired smartphones through different routes of the tube system. Smartphones have accelerometers that can fairly accurately estimate the G forces they’re subjected to and the researchers used readily available apps to obtain the data. Moreover, they used one phone to video record blood samples as they were being shuttled through the system. The results of the study published in journal Clinical Chemistry clearly pointed to one path, the longest within the pneumatic tube system, that subjected the samples to unacceptable force levels. Clinicians at the hospital now know to avoid this pathway and we’re guessing that there are engineers looking into slowing down the capsule speed. As a side note, none of the phones suffered any substantial damage, a curious fact that may be useful to some clinicians. Study in Clinical Chemistry: Smartphones Can Monitor Medical Center Pneumatic Tube Systems… Via: University of Virginia… The post Smartphones Diagnose Hospital’s Pneumatic Tube System appeared first on...
Bindex, a Radiation-Free Device for Osteoporosis Screening, FDA Cleared

Bindex, a Radiation-Free Device for Osteoporosis Screening, FDA Cleared

Bone Index Ltd., a Finnish firm, landed FDA clearance for its Bindex device that’s used to diagnose osteoporosis. The ultrasound device evaluates the cortical bone thickness of the tibia and provides a measurement of the Density Index that is normally derived from dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) bone densitometry systems. It plugs directly into a laptop running Bindex software and exams can be performed at the point-of-care. In clinical trials, the system detected osteoporosis with 90% sensitivity and specificity without exposing patients to ionizing radiation. Bone Index Ltd. claims that its device provides results comparable to DXA, which should point to the technology becoming quite popular over bulky and expensive DXA machines. Moreover, since there is no involvement of radiation, there’s no need for a physician referral to take the test. Product page: Bindex… Via: Bone Index Ltd… The post Bindex, a Radiation-Free Device for Osteoporosis Screening, FDA Cleared appeared first on...
A Stethoscope for Knees to Detect Injury, Measure Recovery

A Stethoscope for Knees to Detect Injury, Measure Recovery

Those crackling sounds of knees in the morning may sound scary, but there’s constant noise coming out of moving joints that we just don’t hear. Normal sounds may indicate healthy knees while unusual ones may point to something not quite right. Researchers at Georgia Tech are now investigating a sort of stethoscope for the knees, consisting of microphones and a film-based vibration sensor, stuck to the leg that listen for and interpret the sounds coming from within. The team has already identified some characteristics of healthy knees compared to injured ones. There’s more consistency in sounds coming from healthy knees, for example. This research was funded by DARPA, the military’s research funding agency, with the hopes of developing a way to detect injuries in soldiers early before more damage is developed. Moreover, post-op monitoring would be improved if there were a cheap and easy way of assessing progress besides MRI scans. In the below video provided by Georgia Tech you’ll hear the seemingly violent nature of moving knees, the crepitus of joints: Related paper: Novel Methods for Sensing Acoustical Emissions from the Knee for Wearable Joint Health Assessment… Flashback: Listening Device Monitors Development of Knee Osteoarthritis… Via: GeorgiaTech… The post A Stethoscope for Knees to Detect Injury, Measure Recovery appeared first on...

Stroke Rehab Gamification: Hangout with Ohio State Wexner Medical Center’s Researchers

Stroke rehabilitation can be a monotonous and uninspiring experience, resulting in many patients recovering not as well as they could. We hosted a hangout with researchers from Ohio State Wexner Medical Center who have developed a couple tools that make stroke rehab considerably more exciting while improving the effectiveness of the therapy. Here’s our conversation with Lynne Gauthier and Lise Worthen-Chaudhari about the technologies they’ve been working on:   Lynne Gauthier, a neuroscientist at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, developed a video game that forces patients to use the side of their body affected by stroke. Patients wear a glove with sensors that they use to control the game, while a mit restricts their “good hand” from doing the work instead. Lise Worthen-Chaudhari, associate director of the Motion Analysis and Recovery Laboratory at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, developed Embedded Arts. The digital program is used to help patients with limited mobility. Motion detectors are worn on the part of the body that needs to be exercised, and the patient moves that body part to make artwork that appears on a screen as they move. The post Stroke Rehab Gamification: Hangout with Ohio State Wexner Medical Center’s Researchers appeared first on...