Archive for August 16th, 2012

Page 1 of 212

iPads in Hospitals, but Now for Entertainment of Young Patients

iPads in Hospitals, but Now for Entertainment of Young Patients

iPads in Hospitals, but Now for Entertainment of Young Patients

A trip to the emergency room is a scary experience when you’re a kid. First of all you’re hurt or sick. That’s bad enough, but then you come to a strange place where doctors and nurses in funny outfits start poking and prodding and asking confusing questions. It’s hard to blame a kid for kicking and screaming through all this, but that also makes it difficult for those doctors and nurses to do their jobs.

Unfortunately, often the only way to keep an upset, frightened child still enough to put in stitches or set a broken bone is to sedate them or use physical restraint. In the pediatric emergency department at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital, doctors and child life specialists are experimenting with a trendier way to keep kids calm in the ER and make their visit a little less scary: iPads.

Alisa McQueen, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics and director of the pediatric emergency medicine fellowship program, said kids often don’t understand what’s going on in the ER. “They can’t really understand that a procedure is temporary. They can’t understand that after we numb up a laceration it’s not going to hurt anymore to sew it,” she said. “It’s not their fault. They’re just too developmentally young and they can’t process it, so they end up kicking and screaming and thrashing and it’s no fun for anybody.”

Emergency department physicians and nurses have all kinds of tricks for distracting kids from scary procedures, from stuffed animals to games, music and videos, but success often depends on having the right toy at the right time. McQueen said that when Chelsea Cress, MS, CCLS, a child life specialist from the Child Life and Family Education department, started experimenting with using an iPad to entertain kids with videos, games and other interactive apps, they could tell that they were on to something. Besides letting kids play with Apple’s hottest gadget, they can load dozens of apps and videos on the device to prepare for any age level and any situation in the ER.

“If I was going to do a procedure with a kid before the iPad, I would have a portable DVD player, a light spinner, bubbles, all of these things that I would carry around in a bucket,” Cress said. “The procedure is happening whether I’m ready or not. If I didn’t have the right thing with me, by the time I went to get it, it might’ve been too late. Having the iPad is like having my box of tricks all in one.”

The child life specialists focus on children’s psychological and developmental needs in order to help them feel more comfortable during their hospital stay. They’ve been experimenting with using iPads throughout the hospital, taking advantage of its versatility beyond basic entertainment and web browsing. For instance, they use video chat to help families with children in the hospital communicate with relatives, and so new mothers can watch their babies in the neonatal intensive care unit. They also use educational games and videos to help children and their parents understand diseases or what’s happening while they’re in the hospital. Cress said some older kids even use them to take pictures of themselves getting stitches so they can show all their friends.

“It’s a device that we can really explore and utilize to the best of our abilities with children in hospital settings, something we’re trying to be at the forefront on in our department,” Cress said. “We’re always trying to think of new ideas beyond just the distraction during procedures, like how can we use it to help kids feel better about their experience and cope well with being here.”

McQueen, Cress and Alison Tothy, MD, medical director of pediatric emergency medicine, recently published a case study about their experience using iPads during pediatric procedures. McQueen said that besides lowering the stress levels in the emergency room, the iPads also help with the workload. Sedation requires extra nurses and physicians who could be treating other patients, and restraining an unruly child might mean two or three more people in the room. But if a child life specialist can distract a kid with a game of Angry Birds, those people can go do something else.

“It helps a lot with flow through the emergency department because each time you pull people into a room to get something done, other patients aren’t getting something done,” McQueen said. “That helps a lot because that’s the key thing we struggle against in the ER, families who are frustrated at waiting, especially with little kids.”

McQueen said anything to take the edge off the emergency room experience for families helps. “Going to the ER in general is a stressful experience no matter what, especially if your kid’s been hurt,” she said. “If we can alleviate that a little bit it makes the whole experience nicer.”

The potential uses for iPads in a children’s hospital are as limitless as the combinations of apps, games, music and videos you can put on them. Cress said she plans to keep pushing their limits at the University of Chicago.

“We know that kids can use their imaginations to take them to a place that most grownups can’t,” she said. “Using the iPad really helps them to cope with procedures better and forget about what’s happening at the hospital.”

A trip to the emergency room is a scary experience when you’re a kid. First of all you’re hurt or sick. That’s bad enough, but then you come to a strange place where doctors and nurses in funny outfits start poking and prodding and asking confusing questions. It’s hard to blame a kid for kicking and screaming through all this, but that also makes it difficult for those doctors and nurses to do their jobs.

Unfortunately, often the only way to keep an upset, frightened child still enough to put in stitches or set a broken bone is to sedate them or use physical restraint. In the pediatric emergency department at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital, doctors and child life specialists are experimenting with a trendier way to keep kids calm in the ER and make their visit a little less scary: iPads.

Alisa McQueen, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics and director of the pediatric emergency medicine fellowship program, said kids often don’t understand what’s going on in the ER. “They can’t really understand that a procedure is temporary. They can’t understand that after we numb up a laceration it’s not going to hurt anymore to sew it,” she said. “It’s not their fault. They’re just too developmentally young and they can’t process it, so they end up kicking and screaming and thrashing and it’s no fun for anybody.”

Emergency department physicians and nurses have all kinds of tricks for distracting kids from scary procedures, from stuffed animals to games, music and videos, but success often depends on having the right toy at the right time. McQueen said that when Chelsea Cress, MS, CCLS, a child life specialist from the Child Life and Family Education department, started experimenting with using an iPad to entertain kids with videos, games and other interactive apps, they could tell that they were on to something. Besides letting kids play with Apple’s hottest gadget, they can load dozens of apps and videos on the device to prepare for any age level and any situation in the ER.

“If I was going to do a procedure with a kid before the iPad, I would have a portable DVD player, a light spinner, bubbles, all of these things that I would carry around in a bucket,” Cress said. “The procedure is happening whether I’m ready or not. If I didn’t have the right thing with me, by the time I went to get it, it might’ve been too late. Having the iPad is like having my box of tricks all in one.”

The child life specialists focus on children’s psychological and developmental needs in order to help them feel more comfortable during their hospital stay. They’ve been experimenting with using iPads throughout the hospital, taking advantage of its versatility beyond basic entertainment and web browsing. For instance, they use video chat to help families with children in the hospital communicate with relatives, and so new mothers can watch their babies in the neonatal intensive care unit. They also use educational games and videos to help children and their parents understand diseases or what’s happening while they’re in the hospital. Cress said some older kids even use them to take pictures of themselves getting stitches so they can show all their friends.

“It’s a device that we can really explore and utilize to the best of our abilities with children in hospital settings, something we’re trying to be at the forefront on in our department,” Cress said. “We’re always trying to think of new ideas beyond just the distraction during procedures, like how can we use it to help kids feel better about their experience and cope well with being here.”

McQueen, Cress and Alison Tothy, MD, medical director of pediatric emergency medicine, recently published a case study about their experience using iPads during pediatric procedures. McQueen said that besides lowering the stress levels in the emergency room, the iPads also help with the workload. Sedation requires extra nurses and physicians who could be treating other patients, and restraining an unruly child might mean two or three more people in the room. But if a child life specialist can distract a kid with a game of Angry Birds, those people can go do something else.

“It helps a lot with flow through the emergency department because each time you pull people into a room to get something done, other patients aren’t getting something done,” McQueen said. “That helps a lot because that’s the key thing we struggle against in the ER, families who are frustrated at waiting, especially with little kids.”

McQueen said anything to take the edge off the emergency room experience for families helps. “Going to the ER in general is a stressful experience no matter what, especially if your kid’s been hurt,” she said. “If we can alleviate that a little bit it makes the whole experience nicer.”

The potential uses for iPads in a children’s hospital are as limitless as the combinations of apps, games, music and videos you can put on them. Cress said she plans to keep pushing their limits at the University of Chicago.

“We know that kids can use their imaginations to take them to a place that most grownups can’t,” she said. “Using the iPad really helps them to cope with procedures better and forget about what’s happening at the hospital.”

A trip to the emergency room is a scary experience when you’re a kid. First of all you’re hurt or sick. That’s bad enough, but then you come to a strange place where doctors and nurses in funny outfits start poking and prodding and asking confusing questions. It’s hard to blame a kid for kicking and screaming through all this, but that also makes it difficult for those doctors and nurses to do their jobs.

Unfortunately, often the only way to keep an upset, frightened child still enough to put in stitches or set a broken bone is to sedate them or use physical restraint. In the pediatric emergency department at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital, doctors and child life specialists are experimenting with a trendier way to keep kids calm in the ER and make their visit a little less scary: iPads.

Alisa McQueen, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics and director of the pediatric emergency medicine fellowship program, said kids often don’t understand what’s going on in the ER. “They can’t really understand that a procedure is temporary. They can’t understand that after we numb up a laceration it’s not going to hurt anymore to sew it,” she said. “It’s not their fault. They’re just too developmentally young and they can’t process it, so they end up kicking and screaming and thrashing and it’s no fun for anybody.”

Emergency department physicians and nurses have all kinds of tricks for distracting kids from scary procedures, from stuffed animals to games, music and videos, but success often depends on having the right toy at the right time. McQueen said that when Chelsea Cress, MS, CCLS, a child life specialist from the Child Life and Family Education department, started experimenting with using an iPad to entertain kids with videos, games and other interactive apps, they could tell that they were on to something. Besides letting kids play with Apple’s hottest gadget, they can load dozens of apps and videos on the device to prepare for any age level and any situation in the ER.

“If I was going to do a procedure with a kid before the iPad, I would have a portable DVD player, a light spinner, bubbles, all of these things that I would carry around in a bucket,” Cress said. “The procedure is happening whether I’m ready or not. If I didn’t have the right thing with me, by the time I went to get it, it might’ve been too late. Having the iPad is like having my box of tricks all in one.”

The child life specialists focus on children’s psychological and developmental needs in order to help them feel more comfortable during their hospital stay. They’ve been experimenting with using iPads throughout the hospital, taking advantage of its versatility beyond basic entertainment and web browsing. For instance, they use video chat to help families with children in the hospital communicate with relatives, and so new mothers can watch their babies in the neonatal intensive care unit. They also use educational games and videos to help children and their parents understand diseases or what’s happening while they’re in the hospital. Cress said some older kids even use them to take pictures of themselves getting stitches so they can show all their friends.

“It’s a device that we can really explore and utilize to the best of our abilities with children in hospital settings, something we’re trying to be at the forefront on in our department,” Cress said. “We’re always trying to think of new ideas beyond just the distraction during procedures, like how can we use it to help kids feel better about their experience and cope well with being here.”

McQueen, Cress and Alison Tothy, MD, medical director of pediatric emergency medicine, recently published a case study about their experience using iPads during pediatric procedures. McQueen said that besides lowering the stress levels in the emergency room, the iPads also help with the workload. Sedation requires extra nurses and physicians who could be treating other patients, and restraining an unruly child might mean two or three more people in the room. But if a child life specialist can distract a kid with a game of Angry Birds, those people can go do something else.

“It helps a lot with flow through the emergency department because each time you pull people into a room to get something done, other patients aren’t getting something done,” McQueen said. “That helps a lot because that’s the key thing we struggle against in the ER, families who are frustrated at waiting, especially with little kids.”

McQueen said anything to take the edge off the emergency room experience for families helps. “Going to the ER in general is a stressful experience no matter what, especially if your kid’s been hurt,” she said. “If we can alleviate that a little bit it makes the whole experience nicer.”

The potential uses for iPads in a children’s hospital are as limitless as the combinations of apps, games, music and videos you can put on them. Cress said she plans to keep pushing their limits at the University of Chicago.

“We know that kids can use their imaginations to take them to a place that most grownups can’t,” she said. “Using the iPad really helps them to cope with procedures better and forget about what’s happening at the hospital.”

Taking care of kids in the emergency room can be considerably more challenging than dealing with adults. Kids get frightened, often act irrationally, and can throw a tantrum at the exact moment when cooperation is necessary. Distraction has been key to managing kids in hospitals, traditionally involving toys, games, and someone trying to act like a clown.

Child life specialists at University of Chicago Hospitals have been testing iPads as a more consistent solution to getting kids to focus on something other than themselves. Unsurprisingly, having seen dozens of kids completely immersed in games on iPad, the technique works and a trip to the hospital makes life easier on parents, clinicians, and certainly the kids themselves.

The child life specialists focus on children’s psychological and developmental needs in order to help them feel more comfortable during their hospital stay. They’ve been experimenting with using iPads throughout the hospital, taking advantage of its versatility beyond basic entertainment and web browsing. For instance, they use video chat to help families with children in the hospital communicate with relatives, and so new mothers can watch their babies in the neonatal intensive care unit. They also use educational games and videos to help children and their parents understand diseases or what’s happening while they’re in the hospital. Cress said some older kids even use them to take pictures of themselves getting stitches so they can show all their friends.

McQueen [Alisa McQueen, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics and director of the pediatric emergency medicine fellowship program] said that besides lowering the stress levels in the emergency room, the iPads also help with the workload. Sedation requires extra nurses and physicians who could be treating other patients, and restraining an unruly child might mean two or three more people in the room. But if a child life specialist can distract a kid with a game of Angry Birds, those people can go do something else.

Source : http://sciencelife.uchospitals.edu/2012/08/13/ipads-in-the-er-using-gadgets-to-make-a-hospital-trip-less-scary/

Full story

Researchers Decipher Vision’s Language to Improve Retinal Prostheses

Researchers Decipher Vision’s Language to Improve Retinal Prostheses

Researchers Decipher Vision’s Language to Improve Retinal Prostheses

For the First Time, Researchers Decipher the Retina’s Neural Code for Brain Communication to Create Novel, More Effective Prosthetic Retinal Device for Blindness

NEW YORK (August 13, 2012) — Two researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have deciphered a mouse’s retina’s neural code and coupled this information to a novel prosthetic device to restore sight to blind mice. The researchers say they have also cracked the code for a monkey retina — which is essentially identical to that of a human — and hope to quickly design and test a device that blind humans can use.

The breakthrough, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), signals a remarkable advance in longstanding efforts to restore vision. Current prosthetics provide blind users with spots and edges of light to help them navigate. This novel device provides the code to restore normal vision. The code is so accurate that it can allow facial features to be discerned and allow animals to track moving images.

The lead researcher, Dr. Sheila Nirenberg, a computational neuroscientist at Weill Cornell, envisions a day when the blind can choose to wear a visor, similar to the one used on the television show Star Trek. The visor’s camera will take in light and use a computer chip to turn it into a code that the brain can translate into an image.

“It’s an exciting time. We can make blind mouse retinas see, and we’re moving as fast as we can to do the same in humans,” says Dr. Nirenberg, a professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics and in the Institute for Computational Biomedicine at Weill Cornell. The study’s co-author is Dr. Chethan Pandarinath, who was a graduate student with Dr. Nirenberg and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University.

This new approach provides hope for the 25 million people worldwide who suffer from blindness due to diseases of the retina. Because drug therapies help only a small fraction of this population, prosthetic devices are their best option for future sight.”This is the first prosthetic that has the potential to provide normal or near-normal vision because it incorporates the code,” Dr. Nirenberg explains.

Discovering the Code

Normal vision occurs when light falls on photoreceptors in the surface of the retina. The retinal circuitry then processes the signals from the photoreceptors and converts them into a code of neural impulses. These impulses are then sent up to the brain by the retina’s output cells, called ganglion cells. The brain understands this code of neural pulses and can translate it into meaningful images.

Blindness is often caused by diseases of the retina that kill the photoreceptors and destroy the associated circuitry, but typically, in these diseases, the retina’s output cells are spared.

Current prosthetics generally work by driving these surviving cells. Electrodes are implanted into a blind patient’s eye, and they stimulate the ganglion cells with current. But this only produces rough visual fields.

Many groups are working to improve performance by placing more stimulators into the patient’s eye. The hope is that with more stimulators, more ganglion cells in the damaged tissue will be activated, and image quality will improve.

Other research teams are testing use of light-sensitive proteins as an alternate way to stimulate the cells. These proteins are introduced into the retina by gene therapy. Once in the eye, they can target many ganglion cells at once.

But Dr. Nirenberg points out that there’s another critical factor. “Not only is it necessary to stimulate large numbers of cells, but they also have to be stimulated with the right code — the code the retina normally uses to communicate with the brain.”

This is what the authors discovered — and what they incorporated into a novel prosthetic system.

Dr. Nirenberg reasoned that any pattern of light falling on to the retina had to be converted into a general code — a set of equations — that turns light patterns into patterns of electrical pulses. Researchers have been trying to find the code that does this for simple stimuli. “We knew it had to be generalizable, so that it could work for anything — faces, landscapes, anything that a person sees,” Dr. Nirenberg says.

Vision = Chip Plus Gene Therapy

In a eureka moment, while working on the code for a different reason, Dr. Nirenberg realized that what she was doing could be directly applied to a prosthetic. She and her student, Dr. Pandarinath, immediately went to work on it. They implemented the mathematical equations on a “chip” and combined it with a mini-projector. The chip, which she calls the “encoder” converts images that come into the eye into streams of electrical impulses, and the mini-projector then converts the electrical impulses into light impulses. These light pulses then drive the light-sensitive proteins, which have been put in the ganglion cells, to send the code on up to the brain.

The entire approach was tested on the mouse. The researchers built two prosthetic systems — one with the code and one without. “Incorporating the code had a dramatic impact,” Dr. Nirenberg says. “It jumped the system’s performance up to near-normal levels — that is, there was enough information in the system’s output to reconstruct images of faces, animals — basically anything we attempted.”

In a rigorous series of experiments, the researchers found that the patterns produced by the blind retinas in mice closely matched those produced by normal mouse retinas.

“The reason this system works is two-fold,” Dr. Nirenberg says. “The encoder — the set of equations — is able to mimic retinal transformations for a broad range of stimuli, including natural scenes, and thus produce normal patterns of electrical pulses, and the stimulator (the light sensitive protein) is able to send those pulses on up to the brain.”

“What these findings show is that the critical ingredients for building a highly-effective retinal prosthetic — the retina’s code and a high resolution stimulating method — are now, to a large extent, in place,” reports Dr. Nirenberg.

Dr. Nirenberg says her retinal prosthetic will need to undergo human clinical trials, especially to test safety of the gene therapy component, which delivers the light–sensitive protein. But she anticipates it will be safe since similar gene therapy vectors have been successfully tested for other retinal diseases.

“This has all been thrilling,” Dr. Nirenberg says. “I can’t wait to get started on bringing this approach to patients.”

The study was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and Cornell University’s Institute for Computational Biomedicine.

Both Drs. Nirenberg and Pandarinath have a patent application for the prosthetic system filed through Cornell University.

Weill Cornell Medical College

Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University’s medical school located in New York City, is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine, locally, nationally and globally. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research from bench to bedside, aimed at unlocking mysteries of the human body in health and sickness and toward developing new treatments and prevention strategies. In its commitment to global health and education, Weill Cornell has a strong presence in places such as Qatar, Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Through the historic Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, the Medical College is the first in the U.S. to offer its M.D. degree overseas. Weill Cornell is the birthplace of many medical advances — including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer, the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., the first clinical trial of gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease, and most recently, the world’s first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. Weill Cornell Medical College is affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where its faculty provides comprehensive patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The Medical College is also affiliated with the Methodist Hospital in Houston. For more information, visit weill.cornell.edu.

Retinal prosthetics offer hope for patients with retinal degenerative diseases. There are 20–25 million people worldwide who are blind or facing blindness due to these diseases, and they have few treatment options. Drug therapies are able to help a small fraction of the population, but for the vast majority, their best hope is through prosthetic devices [reviewed in Chader et al. (2009) Prog Brain Res 175:317–332]. Current prosthetics, however, are still very limited in the vision that they provide: for example, they allow for perception of spots of light and high-contrast edges, but not natural images. Efforts to improve prosthetic capabilities have focused largely on increasing the resolution of the device’s stimulators (either electrodes or optogenetic transducers). Here, we show that a second factor is also critical: driving the stimulators with the retina’s neural code. Using the mouse as a model system, we generated a prosthetic system that incorporates the code. This dramatically increased the system’s capabilities—well beyond what can be achieved just by increasing resolution. Furthermore, the results show, using 9,800 optogenetically stimulated ganglion cell responses, that the combined effect of using the code and high-resolution stimulation is able to bring prosthetic capabilities into the realm of normal image representation.

Source : http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/08/08/1207035109.abstract?sid=830e03da-9dc2-49cd-bbcd-22a7a659df35

Full story

Bill Gates Awards Grants for Reinventing the Toilet

Bill Gates Awards Grants for Reinventing the Toilet

Bill Gates Awards Grants for Reinventing the Toilet

A year ago, the foundation launched an initiative to tackle the problem of sanitation in the developing world. We called it the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge. In this photo gallery you can learn more about each of the grantees and their sanitation solutions.

This week in Seattle, the foundation is holding a Reinvent the Toilet Fair. Today I awarded prizes to three universities who responded to our challenge a year ago to come up with solutions for capturing and processing human waste and transforming it into useful resources. The winners included: first place to California Institute of Technology in the United States for designing a solar-powered toilet that generates hydrogen and electricity, second place to Loughborough University in the United Kingdom for a toilet that produces biological charcoal, minerals, and clean water, and third place to University of Toronto in Canada for a toilet that sanitizes feces and urine and recovers resources and clean water. A special recognition was awarded to Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology) and EOOS for their outstanding design of a toilet user-interface.

A self-contained, solar-powered toilet and wastewater treatment system. A solar panel will produce enough power for an electrochemical reactor that is designed to break down water and human waste into hydrogen gas. The gas can then be stored for use in hydrogen fuel cells to provide a backup energy source for nighttime operation or use under low-sunlight conditions.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced a $41.5 million investment towards sanitation science and technology.

According to the foundation, only one-third of the world’s population has access to flush toilets, meaning that 2.6 billion people do their business elsewhere. And elsewhere leads to a number of deadly diseases that already account for half of hospital patients in developing countries.

Knowing that it’s not feasible to provide proper running water and waste disposal to these places, the Gates Foundation is hoping to improve developing countries’ crappy sanitation problems right where they start. It’s challenging universities to develop a toilet that will not only convert urine and fecal matter into safe material, but to convert the waste into energy and clean water, all with a cost of no more than $0.05 a day.

Last year, we wrote about a challenge that former Microsoft CEO and philanthropist Bill Gates posed to the scientific and engineering community: reinvent the toilet. According to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, forty percent of people on Earth, or about 2.5 billion people, don’t have a safe and sanitary way of doing their business, so the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge was born.

eawag toilet Bill Gates Awards Grants for Reinventing the Toilet

The diversion-toilet. In the foot underneath the toilet bowl the containers for urine and feces and the seal against odors. Behind the water-wall with opportunities for hand-washing, anal-cleansing and cleaning the bowl. On top the transparency indicator for the level of the cleansed water. Credit: EAWAG

This week, Gates awarded grant prizes to three universities for their innovative commodes. The California Institute of Technology won first prize for their solar-powered toilet that also generates hydrogen and electricity. In second place, Loughborough University in the UK designed a toilet that produces biological charcoal, minerals, and clean water. Third place went to the University of Toronto in Canada for their toilet that sanitizes fecal matter and urine, and recovers clean water. An honorable mention was given to Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology) and EOOS, an Austrian design firm, for an innovative toilet user-interface.

Congrats to all the winners! Here’s to a less crappy world!

Here’s a fun video below from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that introduces the challenge:

Source : http://www.thegatesnotes.com/Topics/Development/Reinvent-the-Toilet-Challenge-Photo-Gallery

Full story

Chemical Sensor May Help Diagnose, Track MS

Chemical Sensor May Help Diagnose, Track MS

Chemical Sensor May Help Diagnose, Track MS

A cross-reactive array of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and single wall carbon nanotube bilayers was designed for the detection of volatile organic compounds (tentatively, hexanal and 5-methyl-undecane) that identify the presence of disease in the exhaled breath of patients with multiple sclerosis. The sensors showed excellent discrimination between hexanal, 5-methyl-undecane, and other confounding volatile organic compounds. Results obtained from a clinical study consisting of 51 volunteers showed that the sensors could discriminate between multiple sclerosis and healthy states from exhaled breath samples with 85.3% sensitivity, 70.6% specificity, and 80.4% accuracy. These results open new frontiers in the development of a fast, noninvasive, and inexpensive medical diagnostic tool for the detection and identification of multiple sclerosis. The results could serve also as a launching pad for the discrimination between different subphases or stages of multiple sclerosis as well as for the identification of multiple sclerosis patients who would respond well to immunotherapy.

Research scientists from Israel and Germany have developed a new sensor that may help identify multiple sclerosis (MS) in patients suspected to have the disease and also keep track on the progress of the illness. According to a letter in ACS Chemical Neuroscience, the sensor relies on a “cross-reactive array of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and single wall carbon nanotube bilayers” to differentiate volatile organic compounds that mark for MS from the rest of exhaled breath.

The team also believes that the sensor will not only help with disease identification and progression monitoring, but may also aid in screening for patients that would be candidates for immunotherapy techniques.

From the study abstract:

The sensors showed excellent discrimination between hexanal, 5-methyl-undecane, and other confounding volatile organic compounds.

Results obtained from a clinical study consisting of 51 volunteers showed that the sensors could discriminate between multiple sclerosis and healthy states from exhaled breath samples with 85.3% sensitivity, 70.6% specificity, and 80.4% accuracy.

Source : http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/cn2000603?prevSearch=Hossam%2BHaick&searchHistoryKey=

Full story

Endoscopic Photoacoustic Imaging and Ultrasound Make for a Great Pair

Endoscopic Photoacoustic Imaging and Ultrasound Make for a Great Pair

Endoscopic Photoacoustic Imaging and Ultrasound Make for a Great Pair

Scientists from USC and Washington University in St. Louis have developed a new type of medical imaging that gives doctors a fresh look at live internal organs.

The technology combines two existing forms of medical imaging — photoacoustic and ultrasound — and uses them to generate a high-contrast, high-resolution combined image that could help doctors spot tumors more quickly.

“Photoacoustic endoscopy provides deeper penetration than optical endoscopy and more functional contrast than ultrasonic endoscopy,” said Lihong Wang, principal investigator and corresponding author of a study on the technology that appeared in Nature Medicine on July 15, and professor of biomedical engineering at Washington University.

Wang collaborated with Qifa Zhou, Ruimin Chen and Kirk Shung of USC, as well as Joon-Mo Yang, Christopher Favazza, Junjie Yao, Xin Cai and Konstantin Maslov from Washington University.

“This is the first time that we have had small endoscopy with two imaging modalities,” said Qifa Zhou, one of the principal investigators and corresponding authors of the study, and professor at the NIH Resource Center for Medical Ultrasonic Transducer Technology in the USC Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Currently, doctors routinely employ ultrasound endoscopy to study internal organs. This technique places an ultrasound camera, similar to ones used to create images of fetuses, on a flexible scope that can be inserted internally.

Though these images are typically high-resolution, they are also low-contrast — making a dim image, like a photograph shot in a poorly lit room.

To address the problem, Wang, Zhou and their teams added a photoacoustic-imaging device to the ultrasound endoscope. The resulting camera zaps organ tissue with a light. When the light is absorbed by tissue, the tissue gets slightly hotter and expands. That expansion produces a sound pressure wave that the ultrasound device on the endoscope picks up.

“This technology combines the best of both worlds,” said Shung, director of the NIH Resource Center and professor of biomedical engineering at USC.

The researchers have tested their new device inside the gastrointestinal tract, producing in vivo images detailed enough to show blood vessels, as well as the density of the tissue around them.

“This imaging has fine resolution and high contrast,” said Yang, a postdoctoral researcher in Wang’s group. With a clearer picture of what’s going on inside the gastrointestinal tract, doctors could potentially spot colon and prostate cancers earlier.

The research was funded by the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health.

At present, clinicians routinely apply ultrasound endoscopy in a variety of interventional procedures that provide treatment solutions for diseased organs. Ultrasound endoscopy not only produces high-resolution images, but also is safe for clinical use and broadly applicable. However, for soft tissue imaging, its mechanical wave–based image contrast fundamentally limits its ability to provide physiologically specific functional information. By contrast, photoacoustic endoscopy possesses a unique combination of functional optical contrast and high spatial resolution at clinically relevant depths, ideal for imaging soft tissues. With these attributes, photoacoustic endoscopy can overcome the current limitations of ultrasound endoscopy. Moreover, the benefits of photoacoustic imaging do not come at the expense of existing ultrasound functions; photoacoustic endoscopy systems are inherently compatible with ultrasound imaging, thereby enabling multimodality imaging with complementary contrast. Here we present simultaneous photoacoustic and ultrasonic dual-mode endoscopy and show its ability to image internal organs in vivo, thus illustrating its potential clinical application.

Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis and University of Southern California brought together two similar imaging modalities that turn out to work very well together in visualizing internal organs.

Photoacoustic imaging relies on a laser that excites soft tissue to vibrate and in turn produce a detectable audio signal which is characteristic of the tissue it’s coming from. Traditional ultrasound emits a regular high frequency audio wave and measures its characteristics when it bounces back. By combining the two into an endoscope and imaging at the same time, the team was able to capture individual organs at high resolution in a study on animals.

From the study abstract:

[P]hotoacoustic endoscopy possesses a unique combination of functional optical contrast and high spatial resolution at clinically relevant depths, ideal for imaging soft tissues. With these attributes, photoacoustic endoscopy can overcome the current limitations of ultrasound endoscopy. Moreover, the benefits of photoacoustic imaging do not come at the expense of existing ultrasound functions; photoacoustic endoscopy systems are inherently compatible with ultrasound imaging, thereby enabling multimodality imaging with complementary contrast. Here we present simultaneous photoacoustic and ultrasonic dual-mode endoscopy and show its ability to image internal organs in vivo, thus illustrating its potential clinical application.

Source : http://news.usc.edu/#!/article/39453/hybrid-medical-imaging-technology-may-shed-new-light-on-cancer/

Full story

Invisible Bike Helmet Protects Head, and Fashion Sense

Invisible Bike Helmet Protects Head, and Fashion Sense

Invisible Bike Helmet Protects Head, and Fashion Sense (video)

A University of Edinburgh PhD student from the United Kingdom has created a motorcycle helmet that uses an endothermic chemical reaction to self-cool upon impact. The company, Termahelm, will soon offer the ability to either buy a helmet directly from them or retrofit your current helmet with the cooling technology.

The website is misleading on the benefit of this technology in that it points to a multitude of studies investigating systemic hypothermia in the treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) where the entire patient is cooled for an extended period of time. That’s not what the helmet is doing and even if it were, whether or not this actually helps seems to still be an open question (see review). Also, the premise of the idea rests upon two assumptions: one, that prophylactic local hypothermia (icin’ the noggin’) leads to better severe head trauma outcomes. And two, that applying this therapy immediately, even before an ambulance arrives, has a clinical benefit.

That being said, it seems like a neat idea and leaves us with the obvious question: Can you activate it while riding on a hot summer day?

Motorcycle helmets have been the major contributing factor to the safety and protection of Motorcycle riders for many years. When motorcycles were invented back in 1868, they were not powered by a petrol engine, but a steam engine. As you can imagine, they were very slow, and only marginally quicker than a pedal operated cycle, so there was no need people thought, to wear protective helmets.

Though it’s nearing the end of summer, bicyclists will still be hitting the roads for the next couple of months. Hopefully most of them will be wearing helmets, though you will invariably see a few who are not because of the undesirable fashion statement and/or inconvenience of post-ride “helmet hair” (though having seen some of the injuries associated with not wearing helmets, this author believes that people who subscribe to the latter reason have not encountered true inconvenience.) These people may be in luck, however, thanks to the work of Hövding, a design/engineering/generally awesome company based in Sweden.

The invisible bike helmet is essentially a (visible) collar that bicyclists wear around their necks, the idea being that it will appeal to both users’ fashion sense and ergonomic need for insulation. Upon sensing an impact, the collar uses a small helium gas inflator to blow up a hood-shaped nylon airbag around the user’s head in about 100 milliseconds – cushioning the cranium before impact. The collar also contains a black box that records 10 seconds of movement data (from embedded accelerometers and gyros) during, and immediately before, a cycling accident. For more information, check out the video below.

http://adobe.com/go/getflashplayer

This appears to be an exciting development for bicyclists who don’t have many options when it comes to fashionable head protection. We previously covered a nascent solution for motorcyclists that embedded a fast cooling mechanism in the helmet and are glad to see that an increasing number of companies are working on cool, potentially life-saving technologies like these.

Source : http://www.thermahelm.com/

Full story

TED Talks – Ramesh Raskar on “Femto-Photography”

TED Talks – Ramesh Raskar on “Femto-Photography”

TED Talks – Ramesh Raskar on “Femto-Photography”

How can Femto-photography see what is beyond the line of sight?

Femto-photography exploits the finite speed of light and works like an ultra-fast time of flight camera. In traditional photography, the speed of light is infinite and does not play a role. In our transient light transport framework, the finite amount of time light takes to travel from one surface to another provides useful information. The key contribution is a computational tool of transient reasoning for the inversion of light transport. The basic concept of a transient imaging camera can be understood using a simple example of a room with an open door. The goal here is to compute the geometry of the object inside the room by exploiting light reflected off the door. The user directs an ultra short laser beam onto the door and after the first bounce the beam scatters into the room. The light reflects from objects inside the room and again from the door back toward the transient imaging camera. An ultra-fast array of detectors measures the time profile of the returned signal from multiple positions on the door. We analyze this multi-path light transport and infer shapes of objects that are in direct sight as well as beyond the line of sight. The analysis of the onsets in the time profile indicates the shape; we call this the inverse geometry problem.

How is this related to computer vision and general techniques in scene understanding?

Our goal is to exploit the finite speed of light to improve image capture and scene understanding. New theoretical analysis coupled with emerging ultra-high-speed imaging techniques can lead to a new source of computational visual perception. We are developing the theoretical foundation for sensing and reasoning using transient light transport, and experimenting with scenarios in which transient reasoning exposes scene properties that are beyond the reach of traditional computer vision.

What is a transient imaging camera?

We measure how the room responds to a very short duration laser. So transient imaging uses a transient response rather than a steady state response. Two common examples are the impulse response and the step response. In a room sized environment, the rate of arrival of photons after such an impulse provides a transient response. A traditional camera, on the other hand, uses a steady state response.

What is new about the Femto-photography approach?

Modern imaging technology captures and analyzes real world scenes using 2D camera images. These images correspond to steady state light transport which means that traditional computer vision ignores the light multipath due to time delay in propagation of light through the scene. Each ray of light takes a distinct path through the scene which contains a plethora of information which is lost when all the light rays are summed up at the traditional camera pixel. Light travels very fast (~1 foot in 1 nano sec) and sampling light at these time scales is werasll beyond the reach of conventional sensors (the fastest video cameras have microsecond exposures). On the other hand, Femtosecond imaging techniques such as optical coherence tomography which do employ ultra-fast sensing and laser illumination cannot be used beyond millimeter sized biological samples. Moreover all of imaging systems to date are line of sight. We propose to combine the recent advances in ultra-fast light sensing and illumination with a novel theoretical framework to exploit the information contained in light multipath to solve impossible problems in real world scenes such as looking around corners and material sensing.

How can one take a photo of photons in motion at a trillion frames per second?

We use a pico-second accurate detector (single pixel). Another option is a special camera called a streak camera that behaves like an oscilloscope with corresponding trigger and deflection of beams. A light pulse enters the instrument through a narrow slit along one direction. It is then deflected in the perpendicular direction so that photons that arrive first hit the detector at a different position compared to photons that arrive later. The resulting image forms a “streak” of light. Streak tubes are often used in chemistry or biology to observe milimeter sized objects but rarely for free space imaging. See recent movies of photons in motion captured by our group at [Video]

What are the challenges?

The number of possible light multipath grows exponentially in the number of scene points. There exists no prior theory which models time delayed light propagation which makes the modeling aspect a very hard theoretical and computationally intense problem. Moreover, we intend to develop a practical imaging device using this theory and need to factor in real world limitations such as sensor bandwidth, SNR, new noise models etc. Building safe, portable, free-space functioning device using highly experimental optics such as Femtosecond lasers and sensitive picoseconds cameras is extremely challenging and would require pushing modern photonics and optics technology to its limits, creating new hardware challenges and opportunities. The current resolution of the reconstructed data is low, but it is sufficient to recognize shapes. But with higher time and space resolution, the quality will improve significantly.

How can endoscopes see beyond the line of sight?

Consider the constraints on diagnostic endoscopy. Great progress in imaging hardware has allowed a gradual shift from rigid to flexible to digital endoscopes. Digital scopes put image sensors directly at the tip of the scopes. However, there is a natural limit to their reach due to constraints in the dimensions of human body that leave very little room for guiding the imager assemblies. Making imagers smaller is challenging due to the diffraction limits posed on the optics as well as due to sensor-noise limits on the sensor pixel size. In many scenarios, we want to avoid the maze of cavities and serial traversal for examination. We want the precise location and size of a lesion when deciding for or against application of limited or extended surgical procedures. Ideally we should be to explore multitude of paths in a simultaneous and parallel fashion. We use transient imaging to mathematically invert the data available in light reflected in complex optical reflections. We can convert elegant optical and mathematical insights into unique medical tools.

How will these complicated instruments transition out of the lab?

The ultrafast imaging devices today are quite bulky. The laser sources and high speed cameras fit on a small optical bench and need to be carefully calibrated for triggering. However, there is a parallel research in femtosecond solid state lasers and they will greatly simplify the illumination source. Pico-second accurate single pixel detectors are now available for under $100. Building an array of such pixels is non-trivial but comparable to thermal-IR cameras. Nevertheless, in the short run, we are building applications where portability is not as critical. For endoscopes, the imaging and illumination can be achieved via coupled fibers.

At TEDGlobal back in June, Ramesh Raskar, an MIT professor, described an innovative kind of photography he calls “femto-photography”. Femto-photography uses special cameras that can capture images at trillions of frames per second- so fast that one can observe the movement of light through a medium. But, femto-photography is far more useful than just for creating stunning works of art. Because of the extremely sensitive and sophisticated circuitry inside this kind of cameras, Raskar and his team have been able to turn them into cameras that can look around corners.

This amazing technology could have limitless applications in car navigation, rescue planning, and robotics, and Raskar thinks femto-photography could also become the next new medical imaging modality. He envisions a new type of endoscope that won’t traverse your arteries or colon like a snake, but will snap pictures from a single point in the body, utilizing femto-photography to peer around the various folds and spaces.

Source : http://web.media.mit.edu/~raskar/cornar/

Full story

ACE Axcel Clinical Chemistry Lab for Doc’s Office

ACE Axcel Clinical Chemistry Lab for Doc’s Office

ACE Axcel Clinical Chemistry Lab for Doc’s Office

Alfa Wassermann Diagnostic Technologies’ ACE Axcel System Applies Smart Technology to Enhance and Simplify Physician Office Diagnostics

- Touch Screen Interface and Internet Connectivity Make In-Office Laboratory Testing Faster, More Convenient and More Cost Effective – - Easy-to-Operate Clinical Chemistry System Covering Most Widely Tested Conditions Is Backed by AWDT’s Award-Winning Customer Service -

WEST CALDWELL, N.J., Aug. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Alfa Wassermann Diagnostic Technologies, LLC (AWDT), the market leader in clinical chemistry analyzers for the physician office laboratory, today announced the launch of its ACE Axcel(TM) Clinical Chemistry System. The next generation ACE Axcel is designed to meet the needs of physician office laboratories and is cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration specifically for use in physician office labs.

The ACE Axcel is an easy-to-operate system that produces quality results covering a range of the most widely tested conditions. It adds touch screen functionality, an intuitive user interface and Internet connectivity to make in-office laboratory testing faster, more convenient and more cost-effective. The system has an easy-to-use graphical user interface and touch screen technology for intuitive control. Built-in Internet connectivity facilitates technical support, remote access and laboratory integration, and provides seamless connection to electronic health records using AWDT’s Alfa LIS (Lab Information System) or other laboratory information systems.

“Our new ACE Axcel system builds on the quality and reliability of our market leading clinical chemistry systems to provide unparalleled ease-of-use, accuracy and efficiency to physician office laboratories,” said Peter J. Napoli, President of Alfa Wassermann Diagnostic Technologies. “Intuitive touch screen technology and Internet connectivity streamline laboratory operations, increasing productivity and maximizing the potential for the lab to contribute to the financial health of the practice, while providing patients with the medical and convenience benefits of on-site laboratory testing.”

The ACE Axcel is a self-contained system in a small footprint that can process up to 285 tests per hour with both photometric and potentiometric detection technologies. It can run any combination of single tests, panels or profiles from a comprehensive test menu, and has an open reagent system that enables custom assays. A STAT interrupt feature allows users to load and prioritize STAT samples during system operation to meet immediate diagnosis and treatment needs.

Dr. John Chafos of Family Care Medical Practice in Green Brook, NJ, who evaluated the ACE Axcel, commented, “Physician office testing provides benefits to both patients and healthcare providers, and we found that the ACE Axcel system makes it easier than ever to incorporate diagnostic testing into our practice. Features such as the touch screen control panel, high degree of automation, and reduction of sample and reagent handling have the potential to increase the productivity of our lab operations. In addition, Internet connectivity will enable a higher level of technical support, a valuable benefit for our medical technologists.”

The ACE Axcel includes a number of features that automatically ensure accurate results. Closed-tube sampling with the STEP module minimizes operator interaction with patient specimens, making for a safer workplace. System calibration is automatically monitored on an ongoing basis. Web-enabled Alfa Assist(TM) technical support is available 24/7 and maximizes instrument uptime. Liquid, ready-to-use reagents eliminate operator prep time. The on-board reagent refrigeration feature maintains specimen and reagent integrity and decreases handling. In addition, reagent inventory is automatically managed by the system.

Trip Trepagnier, Vice President of Marketing & Business Development for AWDT noted, “ACE Axcel automates and simplifies the testing process, while our nationwide network of award-winning service and support personnel ensures that our customers can rapidly deliver high quality diagnostic test results with maximum productivity and minimum hassle. We believe the ACE Axcel system will be welcomed by our large established customer base, as well as by physicians who are concerned about the complexity and technical challenges of conventional diagnostic testing systems.”

Alfa Wassermann Diagnostic Technologies, LLC is a leading provider of clinical diagnostic instrumentation and reagents. AWDT focuses on the needs of physician office laboratories and veterinary clinics. Alfa Wassermann’s diagnostic products include the high-performance, low-maintenance ACE Alera®, Vet Alera(TM) and Alfa LIS, which are sold worldwide to physician, veterinary and research laboratories.

Alfa Wassermann Diagnostic Technologies has released the ACE Axcel Clinical Chemistry System, a small analyzer for the physician office lab. The system is cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration specifically for physician office lab use.

The system features a touchscreen and network connectivity for remote access and integration with an EMR and other systems. It’s meant to help physicians manage patients with diabetes, heart disease, metabolic

syndrome, and anemia among other diseases.

More about the system from the announcement:

The ACE Axcel is a self-contained system in a small footprint that can process up to 285 tests per hour with both photometric and potentiometric detection technologies. It can run any combination of single tests, panels or profiles from a comprehensive test menu, and has an open reagent system that enables custom assays. A STAT interrupt feature allows users to load and prioritize STAT samples during system operation to meet immediate diagnosis and treatment needs.

The ACE Axcel includes a number of features that automatically ensure accurate results. Closed-tube sampling with the STEP module minimizes operator interaction with patient specimens, making for a safer workplace. System calibration is automatically monitored on an ongoing basis. Web-enabled Alfa Assist(TM) technical support is available 24/7 and maximizes instrument uptime. Liquid, ready-to-use reagents eliminate operator prep time. The on-board reagent refrigeration feature maintains specimen and reagent integrity and decreases handling. In addition, reagent inventory is automatically managed by the system.

Source : http://www.marketwatch.com/story/

alfa-wassermann-diagnostic-technologies-ace-axcel-system-applies-smart-technology-to-enhance-and-simplify-physician-office-diagnostics-2012-08-16

Full story

UCLA performs first transcatheter aortic valve replacement using new device

UCLA performs first transcatheter aortic valve replacement using new device

UCLA has performed its first transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), using a new device approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to replace an aortic valve in a patient who was not a candidate for open-heart surgery. The procedure took place August 9th.

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is part of a growing trend of hospitals nationwide offering this new minimally invasive procedure.

As the U.S. population ages, an increasing number of patients will develop aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve caused by calcium deposits, which impedes blood flow, causing the heart to work harder to pump blood to the body and placing patients at higher risk of heart failure or death.

Although minimally invasive surgical procedures have been used on the aortic valve in the past, these operations relied on incisions in the chest wall and required cardiopulmonary bypass. The TAVR allows doctors for the first time to replace the aortic valve without either of these components of conventional surgery.

The aortic valve’s leaflets act as sentries to help blood flow from the heart into the aorta while preventing blood from leaking backward into the heart. When the leaflets aren’t doing their job properly due to aortic stenosis, the heart needs to generate higher pressure to push the blood through the valve into the aorta. Patients with aortic stenosis have a number of symptoms, including chest pressure or angina, shortness of breath, edema, and fainting.

Many patients are not good candidates for conventional valve replacement because they suffer from a number of other health issues, and it is estimated that 40 percent of patients do not undergo aortic valve replacement because they are considered inoperable.

The new device is deployed through a catheter — a long tube that is advanced through an artery in the groin up to the heart. Once in place, a balloon at the end of the catheter is inflated, opening the new valve, which starts working instantly.

TAVR is the latest in a trend of major surgical procedures now being performed without invasive surgery at UCLA. The team’s cardiologists, heart surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and technologists work closely together to address the needs of each individual patient.

“The new valve procedure offers hope to patients who previously had few options,” said Dr. Jonathan Tobis, a clinical professor of cardiology and director of interventional cardiology for the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the UCLA Health System. “The initial roll-out will include patients who are not candidates for open surgery. The FDA is considering this procedure for high-risk patients who are also surgical candidates, so we look forward to offering TAVR to even more patients in the near future.”

Studies have shown the new valve procedure dramatically improves quality of life and survival rates. A recent randomized clinical study showed a significantly higher one-year survival rate among patients treated with the new valve, compared with those who received medical therapy.

“We expect to see substantial quality-of-life gains from this new procedure,” said Dr. Richard. J. Shemin, chief of cardiothoracic surgery at the Geffen School of Medicine and the UCLA Health System. “Many patients who were formerly bedridden and hopeless will be able to resume a more normal life with this novel new therapy.”

Source : http://www.news-medical.net/news/20120816/UCLA-performs-first-transcatheter-aortic-valve-replacement-using-new-device.aspx

Full story

Calorie Calculator can help assess impact of health policy choices on childhood obesity

Calorie Calculator can help assess impact of health policy choices on childhood obesity

Dieters often use online calorie calculators to stay true to their weight-loss plan. Translating the concept to the population health arena, researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health created the Caloric Calculator to help policymakers, school district administrators, and others assess the potential impact of health policy choices on childhood obesity.

Select a target population (middle-school-age boys, for example) and the Caloric Calculator tells you the percentage of this group who are obese (18%) and the average daily calorie cuts necessary to meet two goals: returning them to obesity levels for that population in the year 2000 and the early 1970s (109 and 237 kcal, respectively). The user can then choose from a menu of 14 interventions: 30 minutes of daily PE time, for example, would reduce 49 kcal; eliminating one can of soda would cut an additional 136 kcal; and restricting television time by 60 minutes would cut another 106 kcal. Each time an intervention is added, the Calculator displays a graph illustrating the cumulative impact on obesity goals. In this example, both goals are met.

“While childhood obesity can sometimes seem like an insurmountable problem, there are many proven interventions that can make a difference. The Caloric Calculator shows that, when implemented in combination, they add up to what is needed,” says Claire Wang, MD, ScD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy & Management, who led the development of the tool.

While the Caloric Calculator is geared for policymakers, it may also prove useful to parents and teachers who want to be informed about the relative merits of ways to fight childhood obesity in their community.

In developing the Calculator, Dr. Wang and colleagues conducted an extensive review of scientific literature on physical activity, dietary, and other preventive interventions to estimate their impact on children’s “energy gap”-the difference between the number of calories consumed each day and the number of calories required to support normal growth and physical activity. Excess weight gain occurs when energy intake exceeds energy expended over a period of time, explains Dr. Wang.

“One of our goals with the Calorie Calculator is to encourage more researchers to use calories as a measure for the effectiveness of obesity-related programs and policies,” she says. “This will allow us to add new menu items to the Calculator, increasing the options for fighting the epidemic of childhood obesity.”

“The Caloric Calculator quickly shows you that not all policy changes are equal-some strategies can make a major dent in childhood obesity risk- and others not so much,” says Steven Gortmaker, PhD, Professor of the Practice of Health Sociology, Harvard School of Public Health. “This tool should be required when policymakers are considering their choices.”

Currently, one in three children and adolescents are obese. The government’s Healthy People 2020 initiative seeks to reduce the overall childhood obesity level to 14.6% by 2020. In order to meet this goal, an average American child would need to reduce 64 calories per day, either by reducing calories intake or by increasing physical activity, according to research by Dr. Wang.

Source : http://www.news-medical.net/news/20120816/Calorie-Calculator-can-help-assess-impact-of-health-policy-choices-on-childhood-obesity.aspx

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Full story

Page 1 of 212
Copyright © 2017 Medical Technology & Gadgets Blog MedicalBuy.net. All rights reserved.
Proudly powered by WordPress. Developed by Deluxe Themes