Archive for August 29th, 2012

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Casino Crystal Palace Online 2017. Казино Бонус Вулкан Зеркало

Естественно нет. Сейчас мы покажем популярное и честное казино Crystal. Выбирайте честное и стабильное виртуальное казино Cristal Palace.

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Голден Геймс Казино Онлайн

Голден Геймс Казино Онлайн

Призовой автомата Как выиграть в Автомате Key Master !

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Hollywog WiTouch TENS Back Pain Stimulators

Hollywog WiTouch TENS Back Pain Stimulators

Hollywog WiTouch TENS Back Pain Stimulators

Hollywog WiTouch is the first wireless remote controlled pain relief device incorporating TENS technology to specifically target lower back pain. The thin and flexible design perfectly contours the back for a perfect fit on almost any body shape. Advanced electronics design maximizes energy use providing over 150 30-minute treatment sessions per battery life. This innovative device is safe, drug-free, easy to use, discreet & comfortable to wear, and most importantly allows you to control your pain to maintain an active lifestyle.

Hollywog WiTouch Wearing Wirelessly Under Clothes

Wireless handheld remote control… control your pain the instant you need it!

Drug-Free with No Side Effects

Thin, flexible and discreet – wear under your clothing for hours of pain relief when you need it

So comfortable and lightweight, you forget you are even wearing it…no one ever knows who is wearing a WiTouch

No wires, bulky back wraps or belts

Easy to use, self-applicable and ready to use out of the box – no complicated programs and settings to learn or adjust

Over 150 30-minute treatments before changing batteries

As powerful as professional equipment – 20% higher intensity output than typical portable devices available today and 2.5 times larger treatment area coverage

Replaceable Gel Pads for multiple back pain relief applications

Hollywog (Chattanooga, TN) received 510(k) clearance from the FDA for its WiTouch and WiTouch Pro TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) devices. The WiTouch is designed for at-home pain relief of the lower back and is controlled using a convenient remote, letting the patient adjust the level of stimulation as required.

WiTouch Pro back Hollywog WiTouch TENS Back Pain StimulatorsThe two devices seem identical except that the WiTouch Pro has control buttons on the unit itself, allowing a therapist to change the settings. It is also meant to be setup and fitted at the clinic, and so requires a prescription.

Features from the product page:

Wireless handheld remote control… control your pain the instant you need it!

20% higher intensity output than typical portable devices available today and 2.5 times larger treatment area coverage

Prescription required

Drug-Free with No Side Effects

Thin, flexible and discreet – wear under your clothing for hours of pain relief when you need it

So comfortable and lightweight, you forget you are even wearing it…no one ever knows who is wearing a WiTouch

No wires, bulky back wraps or belts

Easy to use, self-applicable and ready to use out of the box – no complicated programs and settings to learn or adjust

Over 150 30-minute treatments before changing batteries

As powerful as professional equipment – 20% higher intensity output than typical portable devices available today and 2.5 times larger treatment area coverage

Replaceable Gel Pads for multiple back pain relief applications

We’re still puzzling over their naming strategy. Their logo is a stylized frog, and their slogan is “A Leap Forward.” So why not just call yourselves Pollywog, like a tadpole? (If they’re trying to sound different than Golliwoggs, they have a ways to go). The name WiTouch, at least, makes some sense, even though there’s no WiFi or Wii involved (as far as we can tell).

Source : http://hollywog.com/witouch/

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New App iCath Arrives to Help Decide on Cardiac Cath Appropriateness

New App iCath Arrives to Help Decide on Cardiac Cath Appropriateness

New App iCath Arrives to Help Decide on Cardiac Cath Appropriateness

iCath is a free tool available for your iOS device designed to assist health care professionals in determining the appropriateness of diagnostic catheterization and revascularization based upon the latest 2012 appropriate use criteria.

Description

iCath is a free tool available for your iOS device designed to assist health care professionals in determining the appropriateness of diagnostic catheterization and revascularization based upon the latest 2012 appropriate use criteria guidelines.

These latest criteria address 166 separate indications for diagnostic catheterization and 180 clinical scenarios for coronary revascularization. iCath takes each of these indications and reformats them for quick and easy access on your device.

iCath is an unofficial supplement to the appropriate use criteria and is not intended as their replacement. Please familiarize yourself with the latest criteria before using this app.

HOW IT WORKS:

iCath is divided into three sections.

1. Diagnostic – Based upon the 2012 appropriate use criteria for diagnostic catheterization, this section will ask you a series of questions about the presentation or imaging findings of your patient until you ultimately arrive at a recommendation of “Inappropriate”, “Uncertain”, or “Appropriate”.

2. Revascularization – Based upon the 2012 focused update on the appropriate use criteria for coronary revascularization, this section functions similar to the Diagnostic tab, except it will give you recommendations for revascularization.

3. Appendix – The appendix contains valuable tools and definitions of the terms used throughout the appropriate use criteria.

iCath was written and designed by Weston Hickey, MD, a cardiology fellow at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center in collaboration with Marcus Smith, MD and Mazen Abu-Fadel, MD, FACC, FSCAI.

The authors have no conflicts of interest or disclosures.

A new medical app has arrived on the scene. This time it’s geared towards those in the world of cardiology. The app, called iCath, was developed by a group of cardiologists from the University of Oklahoma. The free tool assists health care professionals in determining the appropriateness of diagnostic angiography and revascularization in particular situations based on the updated 2012 appropriateness criteria published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology. The appropriateness guidelines have been published to assist cardiologists to make good decisions based on data, best practices, and expert opinion in regards to performing angiography and revascularization in cardiac patients.

In a simple “green – appropriate, yellow – uncertain, red – inappropriate” format, the app addresses 166 separate indications for cardiac angiography and 180 clinical scenarios for revascularization. The app follows a simple scroll and click format based on topic, leading ultimately to a conclusion that performing diagnostic angiography or revascularization is either appropriate, uncertain, or inappropriate. It is very practical and non-time consuming and will be very beneficial for cardiology fellows, cardiac nurses, and cardiologists. This app will stay on my phone. Highly recommended.

Oh did I mention it was free and without ads?

Source : http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/icath/id541582015?ls=1&mt=8

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Electronic Scaffolds Provide Real Time Monitoring of Living, Growing Tissue

Electronic Scaffolds Provide Real Time Monitoring of Living, Growing Tissue

Electronic Scaffolds Provide Real Time Monitoring of Living, Growing Tissue

Lieber_605

File photo by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

Charles M. Lieber: “With this technology, for the first time, we can work at the same scale as the unit of biological system without interrupting it. Ultimately, this is about merging tissue with electronics in a way that it becomes difficult to determine where the tissue ends and the electronics begin.”

Harvard scientists have created a type of “cyborg” tissue for the first time by embedding a three-dimensional network of functional, biocompatible, nanoscale wires into engineered human tissues.

As described in a paper published Aug. 26 in the journal Nature Materials, a research team led by Charles M. Lieber, the Mark Hyman Jr. Professor of Chemistry at Harvard, and Daniel Kohane, a Harvard Medical School professor in the Department of Anesthesia at Children’s Hospital Boston, developed a system for creating nanoscale “scaffolds” that can be seeded with cells that grow into tissue.

“The current methods we have for monitoring or interacting with living systems are limited,” said Lieber. “We can use electrodes to measure activity in cells or tissue, but that damages them. With this technology, for the first time, we can work at the same scale as the unit of biological system without interrupting it. Ultimately, this is about merging tissue with electronics in a way that it becomes difficult to determine where the tissue ends and the electronics begin.”

Contributing to the work were Robert Langer, from the Koch Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Zhigang Suo, the Allen E. and Marilyn M. Puckett Professor of Mechanics and Materials at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The research addresses a concern that has long been associated with work on bioengineered tissue: how to create systems capable of sensing chemical or electrical changes in the tissue after it has been grown and implanted. The system might also represent a solution to researchers’ struggles in developing methods to directly stimulate engineered tissues and measure cellular reactions.

“In the body, the autonomic nervous system keeps track of pH, chemistry, oxygen, and other factors, and triggers responses as needed,” Kohane said. “We need to be able to mimic the kind of intrinsic feedback loops the body has evolved in order to maintain fine control at the cellular and tissue level.”

Using the autonomic nervous system as inspiration, Bozhi Tian, a former doctoral student under Lieber and a former postdoctoral fellow in the Kohane and Langer labs, joined with Harvard graduate student Jia Liu in Lieber’s Harvard lab to build meshlike networks of nanoscale silicon wires.

The process of building the networks, Lieber said, is similar to that used to etch microchips.

Beginning with a two-dimensional substrate, researchers laid out a mesh of organic polymer around nanoscale wires, which serve as the critical sensing elements. Nanoscale electrodes, which connect the nanowire elements, were then built within the mesh to enable nanowire transistors to measure the activity in cells without damaging them. Once completed, the substrate was dissolved, leaving researchers with a netlike sponge, or a mesh, that can be folded or rolled into a host of three-dimensional shapes.

Once complete, the networks were porous enough to allow the team to seed them with cells and encourage those cells to grow in 3-D cultures.

“Previous efforts to create bioengineered sensing networks have focused on two-dimensional layouts, where culture cells grow on top of electronic components, or on conformal layouts, where probes are placed on tissue surfaces,” said Tian. “It is desirable to have an accurate picture of cellular behavior within the 3-D structure of a tissue, and it is also important to have nanoscale probes to avoid disruption of either cellular or tissue architecture.”

Using heart and nerve cells, the team successfully engineered tissues containing embedded nanoscale networks without affecting the cells’ viability or activity. Using the embedded devices, the researchers were then able to detect electrical signals generated by cells deep within the tissue, and to measure changes in those signals in response to cardio- or neuro-stimulating drugs.

They were also able to construct bioengineered blood vessels, and used the embedded technology to measure pH changes — as would be seen in response to inflammation, ischemia, and other biochemical or cellular environments — both inside and outside the vessels.

Though a number of potential applications exist for the technology, the most near-term use, Lieber said, may come from the pharmaceutical industry, where researchers could use it to more precisely study how newly developed drugs act in three-dimensional tissues, rather than thin layers of cultured cells. The system might also one day be used to monitor changes inside the body and react accordingly, whether through electrical stimulation or the release of a drug.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the McKnight Foundation, and Children’s Hospital Boston.

The development of three-dimensional (3D) synthetic biomaterials as structural and bioactive scaffolds is central to fields ranging from cellular biophysics to regenerative medicine. As of yet, these scaffolds cannot electrically probe the physicochemical and biological microenvironments throughout their 3D and macroporous interior, although this capability could have a marked impact in both electronics and biomaterials. Here, we address this challenge using macroporous, flexible and free-standing nanowire nanoelectronic scaffolds (nanoES), and their hybrids with synthetic or natural biomaterials. 3D macroporous nanoES mimic the structure of natural tissue scaffolds, and they were formed by self-organization of coplanar reticular networks with built-in strain and by manipulation of 2D mesh matrices. NanoES exhibited robust electronic properties and have been used alone or combined with other biomaterials as biocompatible extracellular scaffolds for 3D culture of neurons, cardiomyocytes and smooth muscle cells. Furthermore, we show the integrated sensory capability of the nanoES by real-time monitoring of the local electrical activity within 3D nanoES/cardiomyocyte constructs, the response of 3D-nanoES-based neural and cardiac tissue models to drugs, and distinct pH changes inside and outside tubular vascular smooth muscle constructs.

Artificial tissue scaffolds have become common for various therapies, and are widely studied in clinical research. A persistent hope of clinicians and researchers has been to one day see sensors and electronics built into these scaffolds to provide futuristic capabilities like monitoring of the status of implants and controlling the release of drugs implanted within.

A team of researchers from Harvard and MIT are paving the way to that future by using “macroporous, flexible and free-standing nanowire nanoelectronic scaffolds (nanoES), and their hybrids with synthetic or natural biomaterials,” to sense various characteristics of the tissue they’re implanted in, according to a newly published study in Nature Materials. They grew cardiac, neural and muscle tissue around these electronic scaffolds and were able to probe the living environment in real time.

Specifically, the team showed that the technology provides “monitoring of the local electrical activity within 3D nanoES/cardiomyocyte constructs, the response of 3D-nanoES-based neural and cardiac tissue models to drugs, and distinct pH changes inside and outside tubular vascular smooth muscle constructs.” It’s not as ubiquitous as email, yet, but someday more people will check their eScaffolds.

Source : http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2012/08/merging-the-biological-electronic/

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TomTec 2D CPA MR Quantification Software for Cardiovascular MRI Receives FDA Nod

TomTec 2D CPA MR Quantification Software for Cardiovascular MRI Receives FDA Nod

TomTec 2D CPA MR Quantification Software for Cardiovascular MRI Receives FDA Nod

Purpose: An accurate and practical method to measure parameters like strain in myocardial tissue is of great clinical value, since it has been shown, that strain is a more sensitive and earlier marker for contractile dysfunction than the frequently used parameter EF. Current technologies for CMR are time consuming and difficult to implement in clinical practice. Feature tracking is a technology that can lead to more automization and robustness of quantitative analysis of medical images with less time consumption than comparable methods.

Methods: An automatic or manual input in a single phase serves as an initialization from which the system starts to track the displacement of individual patterns representing anatomical structures over time. The specialty of this method is that the images do not need to be manipulated in any way beforehand like e.g. tagging of CMR images.

Results: The method is very well suited for tracking muscular tissue and with this allowing quantitative elaboration of myocardium and also blood flow.

Conclusions: This new method offers a robust and time saving procedure to quantify myocardial tissue and blood with displacement, velocity and deformation parameters on regular sequences of CMR imaging. It therefore can be implemented in clinical practice.

1. Introduction

Automatic detection of borders is a fundamental issue in image analysis. In cardiac imaging, the possibility of an automatic detection of the endocardial border in the imaging of the left ventricle would give objective measurement of the ventricular volumes, and myocardial deformation (strain). This was accomplished in echocardiography with speckle tracking technique. The development of reliable methods for the automatic border detection is a challenging task that has not received a generally reliable solution in cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR). In fact, in clinical practice, borders are either drawn manually by the operator or software detects interface between myocardium and cavity 1,2. In current article we introduce a different approach where the borders are not “detected”, rather they are “tracked”, i.e. followed in time, starting from one reliable existing instantaneous trace that is commonly -but not necessarily- manually drawn by the experienced operator over one single frame. The individual points composing such a first reliable trace are followed in time by searching the same features that are about one point in its neighborhood in the following frames. The tracked features can be the cavity-tissue boundary or anatomical elements that are different along the tissue. They are found by methods of maximum likelihood in two regions of interests between two frames.

The local frame-to-frame displacement is equivalent to evaluating the local velocity (ratio between displacement and time interval). The automatic evaluation of the velocity at a point is determined from comparison of the displacement of the image data about such point in two consecutive frames. Such methods have been used, in several different formulations, in many research fields. They fall in the general category known as Optical Flow, in advanced image analysis 3,4. They are commonly referred as Speckle Tracking in echographic imaging when such velocities are used to follow physiological motion 5, 6 but also apply to any other image modality such as CMR where these methods are referred as feature tracking or border tracking.

2. Material and Methods

Feature Tracking Method

Endocardial or epicardial border of a 2D CMR cine is manually traced on one arbitrary frame (see figure 1). Mid-myocardial features can be traced as well. Such border is then defined as a sequence of N points, identified by their coordinate pairs (xi,yi) with i=1…N. The border tracking proceeds by tracking each single point, such a tracking is based on a hierarchical algorithm at multiple scales and by a combination of 1D tracking techniques, which guarantee higher accuracy, and 2D tracking, which is necessary to properly detect the 2D spatially extended features.

In order to first capture the large geometrical displacement of the border, the tracking is performed in the direction orthogonal to the border itself where the cavity-tissue boundary is best recognizable. The tracking along this direction is performed by using the method of transmural cuts as follow (see figure 3). A line crossing the wall, passing through the point and orthogonal to it is drawn. The pixels taken along the transmural line are placed in columns, each column corresponding to one frame of the sequence of images. In this way the evolution along a transmural cut can be represented for all instants at once in a two-dimensional representation where one axis is the distance along the line and the other axis is the time (see figure 2). This representation is similar to what is referred to as an M-mode in Echocardiography, in CMR it corresponds more to the “scout” function. To improve the quality of the analysis, in the case of poor images with a low signal to noise ratio, the space time representation is built using a line for the transmural cut with a thickness of 5 pixels. The border tracking is then performed along the space-time image.

In a second step to account for the 2D displacement of the border, a standard 2D tracking (optical flow-based) is performed, for each point independently, on a MxM moving window that is always centered on the previously estimated border point. 2D tracking is performed in two steps, where half of the first estimation is employed to center the moving windows in the second tracking passage. The window is then reduced from 32 to 16 in two additional passages.

To improve the accuracy of the motion along the border that is used to estimate rotation and torsion, the 1D tracking is performed along space-time images built from thick cuts “parallel” to the curved border (see figure 3). At each point, independently, the pixels taken along the moving border, centered at the moving border points, are placed in columns, each column corresponding to one frame of the sequence of images. To improve the quality of the analysis, and to best capture the features at the border the line is extended of 5 pixels into the tissue (sub-endocardium). The border tracking is then performed along the space-time image with the same procedure described above. To ensure the spatial coherence in the tracked border, a 3 point median filter and a 3 point Gaussian filter (of weights 0.25, 0.5, 0.25) is applied for the displacement computed at neighboring points at each step.

Tracking Along the 2D Space-Time Image

This section describes a procedure for following a border along one direction in a two-dimensional image (M-mode-like) starting from a known position at one instant.

X is defined as the horizontal direction and y the vertical direction. Columns are annotated xi, i=1…M, where M is the number of columns in the image. The tracking is given by determination of a discrete sequence of real numbers yi=y(xi), starting from a known point yk corresponding to the columns xk.

The displacement from the known point yk to the point yk+1 is estimated by evaluating the cross-correlation between the entire column at xk with the entire column at xk+1. The cross-correlation function will present a maximum, the position of the maximum gives the value of the vertical displacement required to maximize the similarity between the two columns, therefore yk+1 is estimated by adding such a displacement to yk. This procedure is repeated between all pairs of nearby columns and the result is an estimate of the entire border yi, i=1…M. The cross-correlation is here computed using a Fast Fourier Transform algorithm to reduce calculation time.

The first estimate yi is further refined iteratively. To accomplish this aim a subset of the image is extracted by taking a few points above and below the previous estimate yi and a new image whose center corresponds to the sequence yi is generated and used for the correction tracking. This refinement is repeated until no correction is found.

An improved and more natural result is then achieved by a final snake procedure [5] to follow, in the space-time image, the image brightness level that passes through the fixed point yk. The entire process makes use of the time periodicity to ensure a periodic result and avoid the drift effect.

Technical Limitation of Feature Tracking

The border tracking technique, like any speckle tracking method, is based on quantification of changes on pixel brightness from one frame to the other. This gives a lower limit to velocity related to the need to see a speckle that is one pixel at one frame, moving to the neighboring pixel in the next frame. This limit is therefore

Equation 1

Equation 1

where ?x is the pixel size and ?t is the time interval between the two frames. The coefficient k depends on the quality of the tracking algorithm and on its ability to evaluate dynamic sub-pixel variations. This limit means that velocities that are well above this limit are estimated with great accuracy, such accuracy is reduced when velocity values approach and fall below such a limit.

This limitation also implies that an increase in the acquisition frame-rate (reduction of ?t) on one side allows an easier evaluation of large velocities and their rapid variations (like during the isovolumic phases). On the other side, the increase of the frame rate (reduction of ?t) increase this limit and imply a reduced accuracy in the evaluation of lower velocities until it is not accompanied by a similar increase of spatial resolution (reduction of ?x).

Phantom Image Preparation

A series of artificial computer-generated loops has been prepared to allow testing of the image analysis procedure in simple and perfectly controlled conditions. For this, a phantom in a short axis projection of an ideal left ventricle was prepared as follows.

The endocardial and epicardial borders are represented by two concentric circles with radius R0(t) and R1(t), respectively. The image is prepared by making the annulus, which represents the tissue between the two borders, as uniformly colored gray on a black background. Then an 8×8 top-hat linear filter is applied to avoid unphysical discontinuities.

The epicardium movement is taken, in [mm], as R0(t)=10+5cos(2?t/T) where T is the heartbeat period taken as T=1s. The theoretical endocardial kinematics is constant along the border and depends on time only, velocity is only radial and given by V0(t)= dR0/dt=-? sin(2?t/T), in [cm/s]. Percentage strain, computed relative to the length the border has at time zero, is St0(t)=100x(R0(t)-R0(0))/R0(0)=100(cos(2?t/T) -1)/3, and strain rate follows from (1) as SR0(t)=10 V0/R0, in [s-1]. The epicardium is assumed either as moving accordingly to a constant thickness, R1(t)= R0(t)+5mm, or as still R1(t)= R0(0)+5mm.

Each image is square of size of 48mm, centered on the tissue annulus, and has a resolution NxN. Example images are shown in figure 4, plates a and b; the strain and strain rate time profiles are shown in figure 4, plates c and d. The loops are prepared by varying the resolution N, the frame-rate FR, and the epicardial type of motion.

The endocardial tracking method is applied to such images by taking on the first frame a number Np of points uniformly spaced along the circular endocardium.

3. Representative Results

Phantom Study

The application of the image analysis method to the computer-generated phantom images is here analyzed. A global measure of the eventual error is computed by the root mean square percentage difference. The root mean square, average and maximum errors in the endocardium strain are defined as

Equation 2

Equation 2

where St0(t) is the exact value, St(t) is the value computed by the image analysis, and the summations extend over all frames NF=FRxT. The same definition is used for the radius, velocity, and strain rate. The tracking is about independent from the position along the endocardium, the differences between the different points is well below 1%.

Results are summarized in Table I for 15 phantoms with varying spatial resolution, frame-rate, and epicardial border type of motion; the effect of varying the number of points used to track the endocardial border is also shown.

Errors are in all cases very small for the integral quantities (radius and strain) and slightly larger for the differential quantities (velocity and strain rate) that are related to the derivative of the former. This was expected because the derivative operator amplifies errors. The quality of results is degraded when the resolution is reduced; in fact, the accuracy is related to the pixel size that represents (in a loose sense) the minimum displacement readable from one frame to the other. The time resolution does not affect the results significantly until the frame-rate is sufficient, at very high frame-rate result do not improve because frame by frame displacements becomes lower than the pixel size. This shows that an increase in the frame-rate is of little or no utility when it is not accompanied by an increase in the spatial resolution.

However, the simple sinusoidal motion here considered does not require an extreme time resolution. Similarly, the use of as few as 8 points is sufficient to follow the simple, circular, endocardial shape. Endocardial results are not appreciably influenced by the type of motion that the epicardium undergoes. We have also verified that the results are not significantly affected by the adopted image filtering.

A visual presentation of results is given in Figure 4 where the computed endocardial border at two instants is reported over the phantom images (plates a and b). The strain and strain rate are reported in (plates c and d) for the case #1 and the small resolution case #8. The strain and strain rate in case #1 (squares) presents an excellent agreement with the theoretical value, the mean error being equal to 0.6% and 3%, respectively. The agreement is only a little worse in case #8, where image resolution is halved, with errors 0.9% and 4.5% for strain and strain rate, respectively.

Clinical Validation 1.

We compared mid-LV whole slice circumferential myocardial strain (?cc) by the Harmonic Phase Imaging (HARP) and FT techniques in 191 Duchene Muscular Dystrophy patients grouped according to age and severity of cardiac dysfunction and 42 age-matched, control subjects . Retrospective, off line analysis was performed on matched tagged and SSFP slices. For the entire study population (n=233), mean FT ?cc (-13.3 ± 3.8 %) were highly correlated with HARP ?cc (-13.6±3.4 %) with a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.899. The mean ?cc of DMD patients determined by HARP (-12.52 ± 2.69 %) and FT (-12.16 ± 3.12 %) were not significantly different (p=NS). Similarly, the mean ?cc of the control subjects by determined HARP (-18.85 ± 1.86) and FT (-18.81 ± 1.83) were not significantly different (p=NS). We concluded that FT-based assessment of ?cc correlates highly with ?cc derived from tagged images in a large DMD patient population with a wide range of cardiac dysfunction.

TomTec Imaging Systems has received FDA clearance for its new 2D Cardiac Performance Analysis MR software solution, 2D CPA MR for short. The software provides a vendor-agnostic tool for the quantification of myocardial function from MRI cine images.

2D CPA MR uses routine cardiovascular magnetic resonance images, which have been acquired as part of a conventional cardiovascular MR examination, obviating the need for extra tagging sequences during the exam. It analyzes myocardial deformation based on proprietary tracking technology, calculating regional and global velocity, displacement, strain, and strain-rate parameters.

The only manual step needed for the software to do its work is the manual trace of a single endocardial contour. Subsequently the system automatically tracks the displacement of myocardial structures over the length of the complete heart cycle. The software tracks endo- and epicardium, and describes left ventricular deformation in terms of longitudinal, radial and circumferential components.

Source : http://www.jove.com/video/2356/magnetic-resonance-derived-myocardial-strain-assessment-using-feature

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ProUroScan System for Mechanical Imaging of Prostate

ProUroScan System for Mechanical Imaging of Prostate

ProUroScan System for Mechanical Imaging of Prostate

Approved to make real-time, color images of men’s prostate glands, ProUroCare will next pilot the clinical technology in select medical centers

MINNEAPOLIS, May 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — ProUroCare Medical Inc. (OCTBB: PUMD), provider of proprietary medical imaging products, announced today it has received clearance from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for its ProUroScan™ prostate mechanical imaging (PMI) system. The approval paves the way for men and their families to receive high-resolution visual documentations as an aid in detecting prostate abnormalities that were previously detected by digital rectal examination (DRE). The ProUroScan system constructs color 2D and 3D “maps” of the prostate in real-time that, when in agreement with a DRE finding, can be permanently stored in electronic records for future analysis and comparison. ProUroCare’s patented tactile elasticity imaging technology, which uses a handheld pressure-sensing rectal probe and sophisticated image construction software to produce its prostate maps, represents a new imaging modality distinct from traditional ultrasound imaging.

The company plans to introduce the technology in 2012 to a limited number of top U.S. medical care centers in key major metropolitan markets. With assistance from Minneapolis investment firm Cherry Tree & Associates, LLC, ProUroCare has been actively seeking a strategic corporate partner with a strong sales and in-service support presence in the urologic market to fully commercialize its technology.

“This is a major milestone for the company, for physicians looking for more assurance and documentation in their evaluations and for men eager for more information to assess and make decisions about their prostate health,” said Rick Carlson, CEO of ProUroCare Medical. “A color image can go a long way in documenting a person’s prostate condition, and this development puts us one step closer to supplementing other screening measures with a helpful, high quality visual aid that can be referred and compared to over time.”

As a standard of care, the American Urological Association (AUA) currently recommends that beginning at age 40, men receive a DRE and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test in their yearly physical, yet data from community-based studies suggest the positive predictive values of DRE and PSA combined achieve only a 56 percent predictive value. Furthermore, neither test creates a physical or visual record of the prostate. The ProUroScan system is being introduced as an adjunctive technology to a DRE for physicians to use to further clarify and document abnormalities associated with the prostate gland.

“Having a visual aid of irregularities can be so helpful to physicians and patients, particularly in the area of prostate care where decision-making is often difficult,” said Dr. Robert Weiss, a urologic oncologist with the Cancer Institute of New Jersey and a faculty member at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School who used the ProUroScan technology as part of its clinical trial process. “The quality and resolution of the images are excellent, providing an immensely valuable supplement to the DRE, where physicians must rely on a gloved finger to feel for changes in the size and shape of the gland.”

The prostate imaging system’s FDA 510(k) was first submitted by ProUroCare’s development partner Artann Laboratories, Inc. and later processed in accordance with the de novo provisions accounted for in Section 513(f)(2) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The FDA filings were supported by data from a 2009 National Institute of Health and National Cancer Institute-supported clinical study of patients evaluated at five leading U.S. medical centers, as well as an earlier study conducted specifically at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center in New Brunswick, N.J.

About ProUroCare Medical Inc.

ProUroCare Medical Inc. is a publicly traded company engaged in the business of creating innovative medical imaging products. Based in Minneapolis, Minn., the company’s stock trades on the OTCBB market.

This news release contains certain “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are typically preceded by words such as “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “will,” “may,” “should,” or similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of ProUroCare’s future performance and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in these statements. Factors that might cause ProUroCare’s results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward looking statements include, but are not limited to, the ability of ProUroCare to find adequate financing to complete the development of its products; the high level of secured and unsecured debt incurred by ProUroCare; the impact and timing of actions taken by the FDA and other regulatory agencies with respect to ProUroCare’s products and business; the dependence by ProUroCare on third parties for the development and manufacture of its products; and other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in ProUroCare’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including its most recently filed Form 10-K and Form 10-Q. ProUroCare undertakes no duty to update any of these forward-looking statements.

ProUroScan is an advanced medical imaging system that uses an array of sensors mounted on a rectal probe, a central processing unit and software and image construction algorithms to provide a real time color image of abnormalities in the prostate.

The system provides an image or record of the pressures that are generated from palpation of the posterior surface of the prostate using a rectal probe. The system’s operation is based on measurement of the stress pattern created when the probe is pressed against the prostate through the rectal wall. Temporal and spatial changes in the stress pattern provide information on the elastic structure of the gland and allow two-dimensional reconstruction of prostate anatomy and visualization of prostate mechanical properties. The prostate image is displayed on a screen that allows physicians to visualize tissue abnormalities in the prostate gland. In addition to the real time visual image, the results are stored electronically as a digital record.

The ProUroScan System probe is specially designed for the rectal anatomy to minimize patient discomfort. It is ergonomic for the clinician and similar to a traditional DRE for the patient. The probe utilizes highly sensitive pressure sensors located on the face of the probe head to palpate the prostate. The probe’s positioning system ensures that the person administering the scan examines the entire surface of the prostate, and assists prostate image construction.

To perform a scan, the clinician inserts the tip of the probe into the patient’s rectum and palpates the prostate. As the prostate is palpated, an image of the prostate is produced and displayed on the computer monitor, along with indicators of the amount of pressure being applied to help guide the clinician. The image that is generated during the evaluation shows the physician in real-time where abnormal tissue exists in an otherwise homogeneous soft tissue organ.

Mechanical “Elasticity” Imaging

Mechanical or elasticity imaging refers to a non-invasive analysis of tissue movement and displacement. The ProUroScan technique works by computing how tissue moves in response to pressure, thus evaluating its softness or stiffness. Sensors on the head of the probe collect a sequence of pressure patterns while the probe is pressed against the prostate. The device consequentially measures the prostate’s elasticity. Each scan produces an image of the prostate and compares elasticity measurements across the gland.

A Two- and Three-Dimensional Prostate Image

The image of the prostate that is created is designed to identify variations in tissue elasticity using a specially designed rectal probe. Once the image is created it can be utilized by the physician to assist in evaluating the results of an abnormal digital rectal exam for men and stored as an electronic record. Tissue that is confirmed by DRE as abnormal will exhibit less elastic properties and be represented by progressively darker areas on the image of the map as compared to normal tissue. During the real-time imaging examination, the physician can direct the probe to specific areas of interest as confirmed by DRE. The final composite image is saved in a file as a permanent electronic record and can be conveniently retrieved to view previous test results.

ProUroCare Medical out of Eden Prairie, MN has been cleared in the US to sell its ProUroScan tactile elasticity imager for visualizing the prostate.

The probe employs mechanical sensors that detect the stiffness of the prostate while it’s palpated, and the data is processed and the prostate displayed on the laptop for the physician to assess.

From the product page:

The system provides an image or record of the pressures that are generated from palpation of the posterior surface of the prostate using a rectal probe. The system’s operation is based on measurement of the stress pattern created when the probe is pressed against the prostate through the rectal wall. Temporal and spatial changes in the stress pattern provide information on the elastic structure of the gland and allow two-dimensional reconstruction of prostate anatomy and visualization of prostate mechanical properties. The prostate image is displayed on a screen that allows physicians to visualize tissue abnormalities in the prostate gland. In addition to the real time visual image, the results are stored electronically as a digital record.

New ProUroScan probe ProUroScan System for Mechanical Imaging of ProstateThe ProUroScan System probe is specially designed for the rectal anatomy to minimize patient discomfort. It is ergonomic for the clinician and similar to a traditional DRE for the patient. The probe utilizes highly sensitive pressure sensors located on the face of the probe head to palpate the prostate. The probe’s positioning system ensures that the person administering the scan examines the entire surface of the prostate, and assists prostate image construction.

source : http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/

www.prourocare-medical-receives-fda-clearance-for-prouroscan-elasticity-imaging-system-149636535.html?utm_expid=43414375-18&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fmedgadget.com%2F2012%2F05%2Fprouroscan-system-for-mechanical-imaging-of-prostate.html

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ZAO Device Manages Health Data from Various Devices

ZAO Device Manages Health Data from Various Devices

ZAO Device Manages Health Data from Various Devices

Sensaris releases ZAO, an all-in-one biomedical device for m-health applications.

ZAO is a all-in-one biomedical device for mHealth, disaster relief, wireless hospitals or innovative homecare uses. It communicates with mobile phones, tablets or access points and leverages cloud technologies for unprecedented applications. In a single package the following functions are provided:

- Pulse oximeter

- Blood pressure monitor

- Thermometer

- Glucometer interface

- With a WiFi module

To use ZAO, a doctor, a nurse or even a patient selects the function to be used and then starts measurements . Thanks to mobile and web based applications, ZAO displays the data either just locally or sends it securely to a distant server.

WHY AN ALL-IN-ONE DEVICE?

Working with doctors and nurses over the last 10 years, Sensaris realized that providing wireless devices was not enough. They needed a single wireless unit to perform essential and vital basic measurements: oxygen saturation, heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, blood glucose. Something that like a stethoscope they can always carry, a device which fits in a pocket. Small size, ease of use and ruggedness are crucial for telemedicine applications.

Patients also told us that instead of having to learn to operate a variety of devices they wanted a simple to use, reliable unit compatible with their phones, internet gateways or TVs.

So with the help of mHealth specialists and ER doctors we took the various stages of ZAO through tough field testing and we are now proud to introduce the result of this team effort.

WHY MOBILE DEVICES AND INTERNET CONNECTIVITY?

We could have added a screen on ZAO to simply give results directly on it. But we chose not to because we strongly believe that a lot of applications can be developed around wireless technologies and networks. It is all about seamless experience and users using different interfaces through the day: phones, tablets, PCs, TVs. ZAO delivers vital information in real time at the point of care no matter when or where.

Two way communication over IP also provides field users with instant access to expertise. Moving data rather than patients is always more efficient.

WHY WIFI TECHNOLOGY?

The patent pending ZAO is the first device with 5 key healthcare functions compatible with both Android and iOS based devices (even satellite phones for remote area telemedicine).

Connectivity to plug computers enable easy deployment and connectivity to hospital Ethernet or WLAN networks.

Entreprise level security and data encryption.

Compatible with mobile broadband access for disaster emergency response.

Interoperability with existing health systems through IEEE 11073 data transcoding.

Sensaris, a company out of Crolles, France, has released a device to help track and share important health data from commonly used diagnostic devices. The ZAO includes a pulse oximeter, blood pressure cuff, and a thermometer, and can also accept readings from a glucometer. Data is stored on a removable memory card and can be shared via WiFi automatically with an app available for both iOS and Android.

Using the phone’s 3G connection, the app can pass on readings stored on it to an online server for review by a physician.

A few tech specs:

Processor: TI MSP430

Battery: 3.7 V Lithium ion battery rechargeable via mini USB connector

Storage: 2GB SD Card

Data management: Data can be stored locally or send to a distant server. Data can be exported in a CSV or RSS format

Source : http://www.sensaris.com/zao-wireless-pulse-oximeter-blood-pressure-monitor-thermometer-glucometer-interface-in-a-single-device/

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Cameron Health’s Leadless Implatable Cardiac Defibrillator Looking to Get FDA Approval

Cameron Health’s Leadless Implatable Cardiac Defibrillator Looking to Get FDA Approval

Cameron Health’s Leadless Implatable Cardiac Defibrillator Looking to Get FDA Approval

Cameron Health’s S-ICD® System Scheduled for FDA Panel Review on April 26, 2012

World’s Only Completely Subcutaneous Implantable Defibrillator is an Important New Alternative for Patients at Risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (March 19, 2012) – Cameron Health, Inc. (“Cameron Health”) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Circulatory System Devices Panel will review the Premarket Approval (PMA) application of the S-ICD® System on April 26, 2012.

“The FDA advisory committee meeting represents a significant step towards obtaining U.S. approval of the S-ICD System,” said Kevin Hykes, Cameron Health’s President and CEO. “We look forward to the opportunity to discuss the safety and efficacy of the S-ICD System with the FDA review team. Our clinical data will demonstrate that the S-ICD System is a valuable new treatment option for patients at risk of sudden cardiac arrest.”

The FDA advisory panel will review clinical data on the safety and efficacy of the S-ICD System including the results of a Pivotal IDE Clinical Study of 330 patients at risk of SCA. The PMA application was submitted to the FDA in December, 2011.

On March 8, 2012, Boston Scientific Corporation announced that it would exercise its option to acquire Cameron Health, Inc. Closing of the transaction is subject to customary conditions, including relevant antitrust clearance, and is expected to occur in the second or third quarter of 2012.

About the S-ICD System

The S-ICD System is unique in that the implantation of the system is entirely subcutaneous, removing the need for lead placement inside the heart. Essentially, the S-ICD System eliminates the major clinical complications associated with transvenous leads. The S-ICD System detects highly accelerated and disorganized heart rhythms caused by ventricular arrhythmias that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest. When abnormal arrhythmias are detected, the S-ICD System delivers an 80 Joule shock to restore the heart’s normal rhythm. Left unaddressed, these disorganized heart rhythms are often fatal.

About Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)

SCA is a sudden, abrupt loss of heart function. Most SCA episodes are caused by the rapid and/or chaotic activity of the heart known as Ventricular Tachycardia or Ventricular Fibrillation. Recent estimates show that approximately 850,000 people in the U.S. are at risk of SCA and indicated for an ICD device, but remain unprotected. In fact, less than 35 percent of patients who are indicated for an ICD receive one. SCA is not the same as a heart attack. A heart attack is a malfunction caused by blockage in a vessel that supplies blood to the heart, which may permanently damage part of the heart. Unlike SCA, most people survive a first heart attack. SCA is an “electrical” malfunction of the heart that results in no blood flow to the body or the brain. SCA is fatal if left untreated. ICDs are proven to be 98 percent effective in treating dangerous heart rhythms that can lead to SCA.

Cameron Health Inc.’s novel defibrillator used to shock a stopped heart has been tied to inappropriate shocks and infection rates, U.S. regulators said.

A study of the San Clemente, California-based company’s device in 314 patients showed 48 episodes of shocks in 38 patients that were inappropriate and higher infection rates compared with devices with leads inserted through a vein, according to a report released today by Food and Drug Administration staff. Advisers to the agency are scheduled to meet April 26 to discuss the device’s safety and effectiveness.

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Boston Scientific Corp. (BSX) agreed in March to purchase closely held Cameron Health for as much as $1.35 billion for the device called the S-ICD System. Boston Scientific fell 1.4 percent to $5.86 at the close in New York. The FDA staff also questioned whether the Cameron Health data is sufficient to assure the device works.

“FDA has raised several questions regarding the totality of the safety and effectiveness data submitted,” agency staff wrote.

Cameron Health also is working with the FDA to understand the root cause of premature battery depletion in the device. The FDA won’t consider approval until the issue is resolved, according to the report. The panel won’t weigh the battery issue.

Ward Dykstra, a spokesman for the company, didn’t immediately return a phone call requesting comment on the staff report.

No Wires

Cameron Health’s defibrillator, approved in Europe, is implanted completely under the skin, eliminating the need for lead placement inside the heart, the company said. About 850,000 people in the U.S. are at risk for sudden cardiac arrest, which is rapid or chaotic heart activity that leads to loss of function, and are eligible to use an implantable defibrillator, according to the company.

In the study of the Cameron Health device, most of the shocks deemed inappropriate were from oversensing, according to the FDA staff report. Twenty inappropriate shocks represented normal device function and were consistent with what would occur with a defibrillator inserted in a vein.

Cameron Health (San Clemente, CA), which was purchased in March by Boston Scientific, is reporting that the FDA’s Circulatory System Devices Panel has recommended approval for its S-ICD system, an implantable defibrillator that unlike traditional ones does not use intracardiac leads. Instead, an electrode implanted vertically under the skin on the chest senses the heart’s electrical signals and corrects them with appropriate shocks.

Though the recommendation for approval points to a likely final clearance of the device by the US FDA, the latest study of the S-ICD system did show it generates more unnecessary shocks, leads to more infections, and loses battery life faster than traditional ICDs. According to Bloomberg wire’s Apr 23, 2012 article, “Cameron Health also is working with the FDA to understand the root cause of premature battery depletion in the device. The FDA won’t consider approval until the issue is resolved, according to the report. The panel won’t weigh the battery issue.”

Source : http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-23/cameron-health-s-defibrillator-raises-safety-concerns.html

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Watch-Like Sensor as Effective as EEG in Measuring Seizure Severity

Watch-Like Sensor as Effective as EEG in Measuring Seizure Severity

Watch-Like Sensor as Effective as EEG in Measuring Seizure Severity

Objective: Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) poses a poorly understood but considerable risk to people with uncontrolled epilepsy. There is controversy regarding the significance of postictal generalized EEG suppression as a biomarker for SUDEP risk, and it remains unknown whether postictal EEG suppression has a neurologic correlate. Here, we examined the profile of autonomic alterations accompanying seizures with a wrist-worn biosensor and explored the relationship between autonomic dysregulation and postictal EEG suppression.

Methods: We used custom-built wrist-worn sensors to continuously record the sympathetically mediated electrodermal activity (EDA) of patients with refractory epilepsy admitted to the long-term video-EEG monitoring unit. Parasympathetic-modulated high-frequency (HF) power of heart rate variability was measured from concurrent EKG recordings.

Results: A total of 34 seizures comprising 22 complex partial and 12 tonic-clonic seizures from 11 patients were analyzed. The postictal period was characterized by a surge in EDA and heightened heart rate coinciding with persistent suppression of HF power. An increase in the EDA response amplitude correlated with an increase in the duration of EEG suppression (r = 0.81, p = 0.003). Decreased HF power correlated with an increase in the duration of EEG suppression (r = -0.87, p = 0.002).

Conclusion: The magnitude of both sympathetic activation and parasympathetic suppression increases with duration of EEG suppression after tonic-clonic seizures. These results provide autonomic correlates of postictal EEG suppression and highlight a critical window of postictal autonomic dysregulation that may be relevant in the pathogenesis of SUDEP.

In this week’s issue of the journal Neurology, researchers at MIT and two Boston hospitals provide early evidence that a simple, unobtrusive wrist sensor could gauge the severity of epileptic seizures as accurately as electroencephalograms (EEGs) do — but without the ungainly scalp electrodes and electrical leads. The device could make it possible to collect clinically useful data from epilepsy patients as they go about their daily lives, rather than requiring them to come to the hospital for observation. And if early results are borne out, it could even alert patients when their seizures are severe enough that they need to seek immediate medical attention.

Rosalind Picard, a professor of media arts and sciences at MIT, and her group originally designed the sensors to gauge the emotional states of children with autism, whose outward behavior can be at odds with what they’re feeling. The sensor measures the electrical conductance of the skin, an indicator of the state of the sympathetic nervous system, which controls the human fight-or-flight response.

In a study conducted at Children’s Hospital Boston, the research team — Picard, her student Ming-Zher Poh, neurologist Tobias Loddenkemper and four colleagues from MIT, Children’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital — discovered that the higher a patient’s skin conductance during a seizure, the longer it took for the patient’s brain to resume the neural oscillations known as brain waves, which EEG measures.

At least one clinical study has shown a correlation between the duration of brain-wave suppression after seizures and the incidence of sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP), a condition that claims thousands of lives each year in the United States alone. With SUDEP, death can occur hours after a seizure.

Currently, patients might use a range of criteria to determine whether a seizure is severe enough to warrant immediate medical attention. One of them is duration. But during the study at Children’s Hospital, Picard says, “what we found was that this severity measure had nothing to do with the length of the seizure.” Ultimately, data from wrist sensors could provide crucial information to patients deciding whether to roll over and go back to sleep or get to the emergency room.

Surprising signals

The realization that the wrist sensors might be of use in treating epilepsy was something of a fluke. “We’d been working with kids on the autism spectrum, and I didn’t realize, but a lot of them have seizures,” Picard says. In reviewing data from their autism studies, Picard and her group found that seizures were sometimes preceded by huge spikes in skin conductance. It seemed that their sensors might actually be able to predict the onset of seizures.

At the time, several MIT students were working in Picard’s lab through MIT’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP); one of them happened to be the daughter of Joseph Madsen, director of the Epilepsy Surgery Program at Children’s Hospital. “I decided it was time to meet my UROP’s dad,” Picard says.

In a project that would serve as the basis of Poh’s doctoral dissertation, Madsen agreed to let the MIT researchers test the sensors on patients with severe epilepsy, who were in the hospital for as much as a week of constant EEG monitoring. Poh and Picard considered several off-the-shelf sensors for the project, but “at the time, there was nothing we could buy that did what we needed,” Picard says. “Finally, we just built our own.”

“It’s a big challenge to make a device robust enough to withstand long hours of recording,” Poh says. “We were recording days or weeks in a row.” In early versions of the sensors, some fairly common gestures could produce false signals. Eliminating the sensors’ susceptibility to such sources of noise was largely a process of trial and error, Picard says.

Blending in

Additionally, Poh says, “I put a lot of thought into how to make it really comfortable and as nonintrusive as possible. So I packaged it all into typical sweatbands.” Since the patients in the study were children, “I allowed them to choose their favorite character on their wristband — for example, Superman, or Dora the Explorer, whatever they like,” Poh says. “To them, they were wearing a wristband. But there was a lot of complicated sensing going on inside the wristband.” Indeed, Picard says, the researchers actually lost five of their homemade sensors because hospital cleaning staff saw what they thought were ratty sweatbands lying around recently vacated rooms and simply threw them out.

For the study at Children’s Hospital, the sensors were housed in wristbands depicting characters selected by the patients.

Image: M. Scott Brauer

“Some of these children have many, many seizures every day, and they actually suffer as much from overreaction to these seizures as, potentially, from not reacting to something dangerous,” says Stephan Schuele, the director of the Epilepsy Center at Northwestern University’s Medical Faculty Foundation, who was not involved in the research. “So I think the result is very valuable, particularly in this population, because it doesn’t respond 20 times a day to any seizures. It only responds if you do have a very, very severe seizure. And it seems to be reliably responding to that.”

Schuele cautions that the new research “makes the assumption that we do have a neurophysiologic marker for SUDEP, which is EEG suppression,” and that assumption is “a little bit controversial.” “But overall,” he adds, “we do think that it’s probably the best marker we have so far.”

Picard is continuing to investigate the possibility that initially intrigued her — that the devices could predict seizures. In the meantime, however, her collaborators at Children’s Hospital are conducting a study that will follow up on the one reported in Neurology, and a similar study is beginning at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Rather than sweatbands with TV and comic-book characters, however, the new studies will use sensors produced by Affectiva, a company that Picard started in order to commercialize her lab’s work.

Researchers from MIT and Harvard have recently been testing a better way to analyze epileptic seizures that doesn’t require an EEG cap or an invasive implant.

traditional EEG Watch Like Sensor as Effective as EEG in Measuring Seizure Severity

Traditional scalp-worn electroencephalogram (EEG)

Sympathetically mediated electrodermal activity has been suggested as containing enough information to profile a seizure. So the research team, doing a study at Children’s Hospital Boston, has shown that using a wrist worn watch-like sensor that measures the electrical conductance in the skin is as effective as EEG in determining the severity of a seizure.

More from MIT:

The realization that the wrist sensors might be of use in treating epilepsy was something of a fluke. “We’d been working with kids on the autism spectrum, and I didn’t realize, but a lot of them have seizures,” Picard says. In reviewing data from their autism studies, Picard and her group found that seizures were sometimes preceded by huge spikes in skin conductance. It seemed that their sensors might actually be able to predict the onset of seizures.

At the time, several MIT students were working in Picard’s lab through MIT’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP); one of them happened to be the daughter of Joseph Madsen, director of the Epilepsy Surgery Program at Children’s Hospital. “I decided it was time to meet my UROP’s dad,” Picard says.

In a project that would serve as the basis of Poh’s doctoral dissertation, Madsen agreed to let the MIT researchers test the sensors on patients with severe epilepsy, who were in the hospital for as much as a week of constant EEG monitoring. Poh and Picard considered several off-the-shelf sensors for the project, but “at the time, there was nothing we could buy that did what we needed,” Picard says. “Finally, we just built our own.”

“It’s a big challenge to make a device robust enough to withstand long hours of recording,” Poh says. “We were recording days or weeks in a row.” In early versions of the sensors, some fairly common gestures could produce false signals. Eliminating the sensors’ susceptibility to such sources of noise was largely a process of trial and error, Picard says.

Source : http://www.neurology.org/content/early/2012/04/25/WNL.0b013e318258f7f1.abstract

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