This week’s innovations include a home testing kit for the flu and an online course that is teaching tattoo artists to spot cancer. Innovative stories from the world of wellness.
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 a home testing kit for the flu and an online course that is teaching tattoo artists to spot cancer. Be sure to check out Boehringer Ingelheim’s Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages to stay on top of all things health.
San Diego, California-based technology company Cue has recently revealed a new health tracking device that people can use to test and analyze tiny samples of their biofluids at home. Cue allows users to have their biofluid samples tested and analyzed in real time and in any location. To use the device, people simply need to collect a tiny sample of biofluid — such as a drop of blood, saliva or nasal swab — with the sample wand that comes with the health tracking device and then slide the sample into the cartridge. In just a few minutes, Cue can analyze the sample and send the results via Bluetooth to the Cue smartphone app. The deep health tracker is built with an advanced composite microfluidic system and state-of- the-art sensors to enable it to convert a biological sample into information that is useful and significant to the user. With Cue, users can track five health and lifestyle indicators: inflammation, influenza, vitamin D, fertility, and testosterone.
A new project in brazil called Tatuador Consciente is teaching tattoo artists how to detect signs of melanoma and other skin cancers while they’re inking. the project initially trained up 200 tattoo artists from across Brazil with help from the A C Camargo Cancer Center. The students were taught how to identify marks on the skin that can be signs of the presence of skin cancer, or of potential risk from harmful UV rays. The idea is that the tattooists will be able to give their customers a quick check that could help them catch cancer early without requiring them to visit a dermatologist. The initiative has since moved online, where a further 250 artists have completed their diploma at no cost. Some customers have even been made aware of early signs of skin cancer thanks to the course, and the website enables young people to find a qualified tattoo artist near them.
Scientists at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston University developed a ‘bionic pancreas’ to free some people with diabetes from the daily ordeal of managing their disease. The wearable, experimental device passed a real-world test, constantly monitoring blood sugar and automatically giving insulin or a sugar-boosting drug as needed. The device improved blood-sugar control more than standard monitors and insulin pumps when tested for five days on 20 adults and 32 teens. Unlike other artificial pancreases in development that just correct high blood sugar, this one also can fix low sugar, mimicking what a natural pancreas does.
Physicians at California health care-provider Dignity Health are using Google Glass to double the amount of time they spend seeing patients daily. The wearable computer is outfitted with software that automatically enters data generated during exams into electronic medical records. Physicians say the technology reduces by more than two-thirds the time spent documenting patient visits. Dignity physicians can now document patient visits in 15 minutes — far less than the two hours they previously spent after every shift typing data into a computer. Overall, The amount of a doctor’s time spent daily with patients has risen to 70% from 35%, showing the effectiveness of the wearable computing device in doctor’s daily lives.
A recent collaboration between HealthSpot and MedAvail is using telepresence robots to improve patient-doctor relationships over long distances. The user experience begins at a HealthSpot station with private, walk-in kiosks that offer patients instant access to medical diagnostics from board-certified doctors via videoconferencing and interactive, digital tele-health tools. The stations are located in remote locations where there is no existing retail pharmacy, along with a MedAvail MedCenter — currently in pilot phase in Illinois. After visiting the HealthSpot station, a provider will have the ability to send the users’ e-prescription to the MedCenter for fulfillment. The MedCenter will then support the dispensing of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications to the customer, hopefully providing a seamless and easy experience.
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, Twitter and Pinterest pages, where they are publishing a regular stream of inspiring and informative content.