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So far Amber Aimedis has created 3 blog entries.

Dementia – Developments In Care

 

New developments in Healthtech are happening all the time. Here is one which has hit the news headlines recently that really sounds very interesting.

 

Dementia Research

Researchers at a Japanese University have developed an AI system that can help to diagnose dementia.

The system that they have devised is able to detect the very early signs, much earlier than traditional methods. This means that patients can be made aware of potential problems very early on. Giving them more time to take  full advantage of treatment options, and so have a better long term outcome.

 

Currently, diagnosing dementia can be time consuming, expensive and distressing for patients. Traditional scans are used in conjunction with cognitive function tests, to check the function of the brain.

A global ageing population means that now more people are developing dementia, so there is a real need for quick, effective diagnosis that can lead to an earlier intervention.

New Developments

A group of researchers who are based at Osaka University and The NARA Institute of Science and Technology have discovered that it is indeed possible to detect the very early signs of dementia . And that  it is possible to do this with AI, quickly, effectively and in a non invasive manner. This helps patients save time, money and more importantly have a much less stressful experience.

 

This  technique uses machine learning in such a way that it is possible to study the way that elderly people speak when answering simple questions from a computer avatar.

The AI system is able to create a dialogue with elderly patients. It then records  their speech patterns, language, and faces. From this information it is then able to complete an evaluation from analyzing gaze, response times,  intonation, and language used.

After just six questions, the AI system was able to identify which patients in a control group did suffer from dementia, with a success rate of over 90%.

 

Future Potential

The senior research author Takashi Kudo said, “If this technology is further developed, it will become possible to know whether or not an elderly individual is in the early stages of dementia through conversations with computer avatars at home on a daily basis. It will encourage them to seek medical help, leading to early diagnosis.”

 

One of the main advantages here, is that not only is the success rate of the test already high, with a potential for early and accurate diagnosis,  it can be a test which is very easily conducted at home. There is no need to visit any medical center, or Doctors office. This convenience can only be a positive thing – often travelling  can be a factor in determining whether an elderly patient feels well or confident enough to undergo traditional methods of testing.

 

This is an excellent example of how advances in the health tech industry mean  that healthcare is now becoming much more accessible. And more importantly, here is a major improvement in diagnosis and treatments for a whole range of issues. Patient care with regards to dementia is one of these areas which can benefit hugely.

 

By |2018-10-03T22:18:14+02:00Oktober 3rd, 2018|AI in news, News|0 Comments

Wearables – Friend or Foe?

Wearables – Friend or Foe??

Earlier this week, Apple launched the latest version of the Apple watch.

 This is one of the first mainstream devices available to the public that can carry out ECG tests. Obviously there is the ability to detect heart conditions such as arrhythmic beating and low heart rates.

This exciting development is a real indication of our need and demand for wearable devices such as this. The smart health watches have really increased in popularity over a very short space of time.

We are fast becoming a worldwide community for whom healthcare, and taking the responsibility for our own health is now the norm. The days where generations before us were reliant on the family doctor are becoming more distant, as we now plug into our devices and search for our health solutions online.

 

But Could There Be A Problem??

This all sounds extremely positive. However, the chair of the Royal College of Surgeons Commission on The Future of Surgery has warned us of potential problems with our technological age.

 

Richard Kerr believes that the influx of health information to patients does have the potential to create problems.

He warns that Doctors and Hospitals will see more patients who may be both “confused and scared” about health information that they have accessed.  Kerr states that “..the NHS will need to be ready to handle an influx of patients with potentially valid concerns about their risk of falling ill in the future.” – as reported in Engineering and Technology.

 

Essentially this will lead to the “worried well” to be concerned about potential medical issues. Issues that they may not experience for many years.  While prevention is both key and the best solution, we do need to draw a balance between unnecessarily worrying about future possibilities.

 

So this is essentially, where the technology side of the health industry, and the human side of the industry need to meet!  Wearable technology is a fantastic development in our health care.  We do need to be very careful as to how this technology is used or misused. And it is an issue that Aimedis takes very seriously.

 

There is always worry about the health industry becoming impersonal. An institution fueled by AI robots with no compassion or concern  for the people who use it.

But ask any medical student studying to become a doctor . Yes it’s factual and sometimes detached. But a lot of study time is spent on how to communicate with patients, how to care and truly make a patient feel at ease.

 

At the end of the day – we need to ensure there is a balance between the technology, and the human!

The technology is enhanced by the human touch.  Just as the doctors’ work and research is undoubtedly enhanced by the available technology.

 

It’s an amazing time to be in the healthtech industry, and a challenging time as well.

By |2018-09-22T21:33:27+02:00September 22nd, 2018|General, News|0 Comments

Aerosols – Are They Back for Good

Aerosols – Are They Back for Good?

Let’s face it – aerosols have got quite a bad reputation in our culture at the moment.

After their use in abundance during the ‘80’s (remember that hair!), to their bad publicity in the 90’s and their blame in the destruction of the ozone layer with the negative impact on the environment.  It really would take something pretty spectacular to redeem the poor aerosols reputation.

Well, it looks like science may have found just the solution!

 

A team of researchers from MIT have found a use for aerosols which is not only extremely useful, but beneficial for both our health and the environment.

They have managed to develop a spray which contains nanobots.  These are essentially tiny sensors which can be used for a whole range of tasks – even diagnosing health issues.  Their research was published here in Nature Nanotechnology.

 

So how does it work?

Each sensor in the spray contains two parts.

The first part is a tiny molecule called a colloid, which can remain in liquid or air indefinitely.

The second part is a complex circuit, which contains a chemical detector, and can also produce its own power needed to collect data.

Researchers have managed to graft these two parts together and have converted them into a spray form, which we know as an aerosol.

 

So what does this mean in our day to day life?

Well, it is possible for the engineers to spray the aerosol down a pipeline if they were looking for a breach on the pipelines system for example a crack or hole in the pipe. They can then use the data from the aerosol to exactly pinpoint where there is a problem, such as an encounter with a chemical which should not be there which would indicate where there is a potential breach in the pipe.

This process would have otherwise required a manual inspection of the exterior of the pipe which could be  time consuming, labor intensive, costly and not to mention physically difficult.

But what does this mean for health?

The MIT team noted that this exact same technology could be used to diagnose health issues. For example – The nanobots could travel along a patient’s digestive tract gathering data, and relaying it to a medical professional. The potential here is that the nanobots would be able to flag up a problem or a potential problem helping to diagnose the patient in the least invasive way possible.

 

Does this sound like the stuff of dreams?

Well yes it does! But don’t forget that not so long ago, wearable devices such as trackers that we now use daily to monitor blood pressure, heart rate and even sleep patterns were once seen as impossible technological devices, reserved for Hollywood films and science fiction.

 

At the end of the day, health care and technology are both advancing together at a phenomenal rate. At Aimedis, part of our focus is on harnessing these technologies, and using the technology available through wearable devices to improve patient monitoring and care.

Aerosol nanobots may be here and a part of your routine health care diagnostics sooner than you think!

 

By |2018-09-12T22:28:46+02:00September 12th, 2018|General|0 Comments