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Could AI take control of human birth?

Instead of looking up at the sky to see whether you need an umbrella, people increasingly ask virtual assistants such as Alexa. And they may be wise to do so. AI methods are powerful – capable of anything from analysing astrophysical data to detecting tumours or helping to manage diabetes. An algorithm that analyses shopping patterns recently detected that a teenage girl was pregnant, earlier than...[Read More]

New Apple Watch adds heart tracking: here’s why we should welcome ECG for everyone

Leaked details of the new iPhone models were quickly relegated to second tier headlines after Apple’s latest product announcement. More people seem to be excited about the fact that the new Apple Watch will come with a built-in heart monitoring electrocardiogram (ECG) function. An ECG is a simple test that can be used to check your heart’s rhythm and electrical activity, designed to detect any und...[Read More]

‘Use this app twice daily’: how digital tools are revolutionising patient care

Imagine you’ve recently had a heart attack. You’re a lucky survivor. You’ve received high-quality care from nurses and doctors whilst in hospital and you’re now preparing to go home with the support of your family. The doctors have made it clear that the situation is grim. It’s a case of: change your lifestyle or die. You’ve got to stop smoking, increase your physical activity, eat a healthy balan...[Read More]

Nurses of the future must embrace high-tech

Picture someone who works in tech. They might fit a stereotype: Heavy-rimmed glasses, hoodie, T-shirt branded with a start-up’s logo, male. You probably don’t imagine a nurse. Yet integrated electronic health records, wearables, health-monitoring apps, artificial intelligence, 3D printers and telemedicine are just some of the technologies that have entered the clinical environment. Robots are alre...[Read More]

Anti-vaxxers are modern-day flat-earthers who deny reality because it fits their world view

Most of the 89,780 people who died of measles globally last year were children under the age of five, according to the World Health Organisation. “Measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children even though a safe and cost-effective vaccine is available,” the medical body states in its Measles fact sheet. “Measles is a highly contagious, serious disease caused ...[Read More]

Africa needs to start creating its own medical technology. Here’s how

Biomedical engineering can save lives. It draws on and integrates knowledge from disciplines like engineering, computer science, biomedical sciences, and public health as well as clinical practice. This knowledge is combined to improve health – often through the design of medical devices for diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. Most of Africa’s medical equipment is imported. “Equipment graveya...[Read More]

You too can have McLaren-designed medical technology (if you have enough money)

Want some bespoke medical technology designed to act in place of your rib-cage, designed by some of the very best in the business? Then hiring McLaren, specifically McLaren Applied Technologies, is probable your best course of action. That’s how we got to see Project Invincible, a one-off medical project that incorporates materials that will be seen in upcoming Formula One vehicles. Project ...[Read More]

3D printers: A revolutionary frontier for medicine

Mission control on earth receives an urgent communication from Mars that an astronaut has fractured his shinbone. Using a handheld scanning device, the crew takes images of his damaged tibia and transmits them to earth. Orthopedic surgeons then use 3D printers to create an exact replica of the astronaut’s leg from medical imaging files obtained before the voyage. Surgeons on earth use a robot to s...[Read More]

Artificial intelligence won’t replace a doctor any time soon, but it can help with diagnosis

In the next few years, you will probably have your first interaction with a medical artificial intelligence (AI) system. The same technology that powers self-driving cars, voice assistants in the home, and self-tagging photo galleries is making rapid progress in the field of health care, and the first medical AI systems are already rolling out to clinics. Thinking now about the interactions we wil...[Read More]

The next pharmaceutical revolution could be 3D bioprinted

Body organs such as kidneys, livers and hearts are incredibly complex tissues. Each is made up of many different cell types, plus other components that give the organs their structure and allow them to function as we need them to. For 3D printed organs to work, they must mimic what happens naturally – both in terms of arrangement and serving a biological need. For example, a kidney must process an...[Read More]

Smartphone apps can be memory aids for people with brain injuries, and everyone else

Smartphone apps allow us to outsource remembering appointments or upcoming tasks. It’s a common worry that using technology in this way makes our brain’s memory capacity worse, but the reality is not that simple. In fact, these platforms can be useful, not only for people with memory impairments, but also the general population. Over two studies, we set out to explore the potential of smartphones ...[Read More]

Five ways virtual reality is improving healthcare

Virtual reality is much more than just a new form of entertainment, it is increasingly being used in a wide range of medical applications, from treatments to training. Here are a few of them. 1. Pain management There is good scientific evidence that virtual reality (VR) can help relieve pain. The parts of the brain that are linked to pain – the somatosensory cortex and the insula – are less active...[Read More]

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