Each week PSFK.com with its partner Boehringer Ingelheim brings you a snapshot of Five Innovative Ideas that are reshaping the health care industry. This week’s innovations include an augmented reality app to assist surgeons and a smartphone paired lamp tuned to your sleep cycles.
Augmented Reality App Guides Surgeons During Tumor Removal
A new iPad app from Fraunhofer Institute for Medical Image Computing MEVIS in Germany is using augmented reality technology to help surgeons remove liver tumors without damaging critical vessels within the organ. A CT scan is performed before the surgery and the imaged vessels are identified with accompanying software. This information is then transferred to an iPad, which can be used during the procedure. The surgeon can navigate the imaged liver to see where the vessels are, and if the camera is turned on and pointed at the exposed liver the app automatically superimposes the vessel structure of the organ onto the live picture.
Smartphone Lamp Wakes Up Users During Light Sleep Phases
The iwaku is a smartphone-connected lamp that eases sleepers into the morning by detecting light sleep phases and waking users with a beam of light. The Netherlands-based startup has created a sleek, ovoid device that links to users’ smartphones via a Bluetooth Low Energy connection. Through the companion app, sleepers can set the approximate time they want to be woken up, at which point the light will slowly begin to brighten up their room. The lamp is compatible with apps such as Sleep Time, which use the accelerometer in smartphones to detect sleep phases, adjusting the alarm time to ensure users wake up during a light sleep phase. The app can also be used to set music to accompany the light.
Head-mounted 3D Video Display Gives Surgeons An Inside View
The HMZ-T2 from Sony is a head-mount image processing unit which gives surgeons virtual X-ray vision by means of an endoscope feeding images to a pair of head-mounted monitors. This setup allows surgeons to view high definition 3D images from inside the patient while carrying out laparoscopic surgery. Laparoscopic surgery is a less invasive alternative to more conventional procedures, only requiring small incisions that reduce the chance of infection and stress on the patient. Sony’s head-mounted image processor uses a 3D monitor that connects to a surgical laparoscope, allowing surgeons a complete view of the procedure from the inside, while reducing overall trauma on the patient.
Smartphone App Offers A Pocket Sized Optician’s Clinic
Peek is a new smartphone app being trialed by Dr Andrew Bastawrous of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The app utilizes the smartphone camera to scan the lens of the eye for cataracts, as well as administer a basic vision test, check for disease by using the camera flash, and store patient data on the phone with GPS coordinates. The technology could allow opticians to easily administer care in remote areas far from medical facilities.
Health Monitoring App Turns Vital Signs Into Personalized Music
BioBeats is a startup that converts users’ vital signs into custom-tailored music to help keep them meditating, running or fighting a disease – a unique combination of health-tracking and entertainment. By collecting people’s vital information and working alongside musicians to create ‘adaptive media’ – media that reacts in real time to the body’s environment and vital signs – the the app hopes to help people stay healthy, give them encouragement to stay engaged with their wellness regimens, or beat an illness they are currently dealing with. Potential applications include slowing down a song if your heart-rate gets too high while running, or preventing yourself from falling asleep during meditation.
PSFK has partnered with Boehringer Ingelheim to bring you a steady stream of inspiring news and ideas in the health and wellness space. Once each week, we will be posting an article on PSFK.com. If you would like to gain access to the full stream of content, please check out Boehringer Ingelheim’s Facebook Page, where they are publishing a regular stream of inspiring and informative content.