“Watson, the supercomputer that is now the world Jeopardy champion, basically went to med school after it won Jeopardy,” MIT’s Andrew McAfee, coauthor of The Second Machine Age, said recently in an interview with Smart Planet. Read the article!
Implants as Thin as Tattoos and Devices That Dissolve in the Body. Read the article !
Eyeglasses received about a quarter of all votes in a poll asking readers to pick the top medical device of all time
At the time of writing, eyeglasses had received about a quarter of all of the votes. In any case, corrective glasses are certainly one of the most widely used medical devices. The Vision Council of America estimates that 64% of U.S. adults use glasses regularly. Glasses are also one of the oldest medical devices. Simple meniscus lenses were described by the Ancient Egyptians in the eighth century BCE. The idea of using a lens to magnify text is thought to date to the first century AD, when Seneca the Younger wrote, “Letters, however small and indistinct, are seen enlarged and more clearly through a globe or glass filled with water.” The Roman Emperor Nero reportedly watched gladiator matches while looking through an emerald lens. Centuries later, Abbas Ibn Firnas helped pioneer the use of glass to correct vision by devising a way to convert sand into glass. Reading stones were one of the most widely used applications of lenses until the debut of wearable eyeglasses in approximately 1284 by Salvino D’Armate. Innovations in eyeglasses have occurred at a steady clip every since, culminating in bifocals, trifocals, and, more recently, progressive lenses. The first electronic prescription eyewear was announced in 2011. Known as Empower, the technology from Aspex enables users to toggle between two prescription levels of their lens by swiping a finger along the arm of the glasses’ frame, giving them more flexibility than conventional bifocals.
The hypodermic needle came in second position in our poll, snagging 20% of all votes. Invented much later than eyeglasses, the hypodermic needle is among the most widely used medical devices, and is manufactured in the billions each year. As we explain in a post on the subject, the hypodermic needle has “probably been responsible for saving more lives and alleviating more suffering than any other piece of medical technology.”
The third most popular medical technology in our poll was the X-ray, which received about 15% of all votes. The X-ray, which was discovered on November 8, 1895 by German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen, was first used to image a human body part only two weeks later, when Röntgen convinced his wife Anna Bertha to subject her hand to the X-rays to produce the familiar translucent image now associated with X-rays. When seeing the image, Anna Bertha is reported to have exclaimed: “Ich habe meinen Tod gesehen!” or “I have seen my death!”
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Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital has begun working with a startup called Wearable Intelligence to deploy Google Glass in the emergency department. The hospital has four Glass devices shared among 10 emergency department physicians, including CIO John Halamka, who thinks Glass has the potential to, in some ways, be the new iPad. Read the article !
Qmed surveyed its audience about their thoughts on what are the most important medical devices every developed. They have compiled a slideshow of the top 12 items here, which includes recent innovations as well as those with roots stretching back hundreds of years. Take a look !
Technology in health isn’t just about investment, it’s about massive savings.
In Spain’s Basque Country patients with chronic diseases including asthma, diabetes and arthritis are turning on their Xbox games consoles with their doctors’ approval. They are using a system called Teki which has been developed for the Basque health authorities by IT consultants Accenture. Read article.
Mobile health covers “medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and other wireless devices”. It also includes applications such as lifestyle and wellbeing apps that may connect to medical devices or sensors (e.g. bracelets or watches) as well as personal guidance systems, health information and medication reminders provided by sms and telemedicine provided wirelessly. mHealth is an emerging and rapidly developing field which has the potential to play a part in the transformation of healthcare and increase its quality and efficiency. Download the “Green Paper” !
The IBM mainframe is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The first System 360 mainframe was unveiled on 7 April 1964 and its arrival marked a break with all general purpose computers that came before. Read the article.