3D printed organs allow surgical pre-planning

A British hospital was the first in the word to use 3D printing to pre-plan a complicated transplantation of an adult kidney into a small child. Doctors scanned the father’s kidney and his son’s abdomen and 3D printed both so that surgeons could find out if the transplant was even possible, and then work out the best way to insert the organ. In similar cases where surgeons are worried that transplant organs will not fit, subjects need to be be placed under anaesthesia so that a surgical exploration can be carried out to determine feasibility. But with 3D printed models of the patient, the need for surgical exploration can be reduced because pre-planning can happen before the patient is on the operating table. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2018/05/17/surgeons-use-3d-printing-check-dads-kidney-would-fit-sons-abdomen/

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Sleep and exercise could prevent Alzheimer’s

The brain’s cleaning system has been observed working naturally by scientists for the first time in research that may help in the fight against Alzheimer’s. Researchers have been able to use MRI scanners to watch in real time as spinal fluid flushes waste products out of the brain and circulates them alongside blood vessels, to be removed by the body. Alzheimer’s disease is characterised by the build-up of waste products, and some scientists hypothesise that it could be caused by the brain’s inability to clean itself. This finding could explain the link between Alzheimer’s and poor sleep and exercise. https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/the-times/brains-cleaning-system-raises-dementia-hopes/news-story/ba28a4f9b2810cf8cd5b31380bcc5afb?

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A retirement village calculator

A new retirement village calculator developed by business analysts is designed to protect seniors from making devastating financial mistakes. The free calculator takes a complex range of fees such as entry fee, ongoing fees and exit fee, and calculates a simple ‘equivalent monthly rent’ for the years of residence. A second version of the app will be aimed at people who advise consumers considering retirement villages, such as lawyers and financial planners. www.rvcalculator.org

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Predicting your brain age from your sleep

A number of mental health diseases (e.g. Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, epilepsy, bipolar disorder, major depression) are associated with a brain age that is older than the person’s chronological age. A simple way to determine brain age could potentially serve as a marker for such impairments, but today brain age is measured using expensive MRI processes. Researchers in the US have shown that by measuring the patient’s EEG during sleep they can predict their brain age. With an ageing population, cheap predictors of potential impairments become more important. Measuring EEG’s is potentially something that could be done at home with relatively low-cost equipment. https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1805/1805.06391.pdf

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A new hair look

A new hair look

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A vet to your home

The Vets on Call app will enable pet owners to connect with nearby vets to book in-home consultations for their pets. This means you don’t have to transport your pet to a clinic. You search for an appointment for the time and date that suits you, select a vet who is available and detail the issue being faced by the pet. The app generates a price for the visit before securing the appointment. Visits can be scheduled from 6am to 11pm. They also give you complete access to your pet’s health record – it’s saved in your profile. http://vetsoncall.pet/

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A DNA test that’s helpful in treating depression

According to the National Institutes of Mental Health 50 percent of people diagnosed with depression use a medication to treat it. The right drug can radically improve patients’ quality of life; the wrong one can actually make their symptoms worse. A new genetic test called GeneSight analyzes 12 genes from a sample to predict how a person will respond to more than 55 psychotropic medications (drugs designed to affect a patient’s mental state). A study has showed that patients in the GeneSight segment were 50 percent more likely to achieve “remission” (a score in the “normal” range) than patients in the control group. https://futurism.com/genesight-dna-test-treating-depression/

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World first- lung cancer surgery blasts tumour without puncturing skin

Surgeons at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London used GPS-style technology to reach a tumour on a lung, without using cuts or needles, or needing to puncture the lung. After inserting a catheter through the patient’s mouth, the surgeons were able to use 3D images to guide them to the tumour and blast it with a targeted dose of microwave energy. Footage shows the tumour exploding, not unlike the target of a missile strike, or an enemy in a computer game. https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/the-times/lung-cancer-surgery-blasts-tumour-without-puncturing-skin/news-story/5d9ffdc13d8bcd365ac1ceb81ca1ca05

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Assessing your health while you perform routine activities

Some startups have devised quantitative methods to diagnose diseases or assess mental health while you complete routine activities, like talking on a smartphone, typing on a keyboard, or scrolling through a website. Non-intrusive measurements that extract data from our daily routines show great promise for the future of healthcare because they allow large data sets to be collected at minimal cost. www.spectrum.ieee.org/biomedical/diagnostics/tech-watches-you-for-digital-symptoms-of-brain-disorders

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The first bionic kidney- replacing the need for dialysis

Scientists from the University of California have created the first bionic kidney that can replace damaged kidneys. This kidney is a perfect replica for a human kidney and should save millions of lives. The bionic kidney can be put into the human body by plain surgery and so far it has been shown to work effectively with everyone. It filtrates toxins from the blood in the same way as human kidneys. www.tehvibes.com/technology/by-2019-the-first-bionic-kidney-will-discard-the-need-for-dialysis/

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