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Keep on breathing ... Notes from TEDMED 2010 (part 1)

TEDMED 2010 kicked off last Tuesday night with a performance by opera singer Charity Tilleman-Dick.  At first I thought, "Well, she has a lovely voice, but what does that have to do with anything?"  Then she started to tell her story, and what an incredible story it is.  In short, Charity is still alive—and able again to perform—as a result of the double lung transplant she received more than a year ago at the Cleveland Clinic.

Freezing Ourselves: Medicine of the Future?

When I was nine, I used to wonder whether it would be more painful to freeze to death or burn to death. I vividly imagined both scenarios, and decided that freezing would be the way to go - less pain overall.

Twenty-five years later, I'm coming back to the idea of freezing people, but as a way to save lives instead of a way to die.

Smart Underwear May Prevent Ulcers

Underwear doesn't seem like the sort of product that really needs to be made "smart." For those with spinal cord injuries, however, a new prototype from Canadian researchers could dramatically improve their health by using sensors to measure body functions and smartly stimulating muscles by delivering mild electrical currents to paralyzed muscles in order to prevent ulcers and other similar problems.

Coming soon to a tumor in you—an RFID sensor

The FDA has approved a new generation of RFID sensors for use during radiation therapy. The tiny devices (2mm in diameter, 18mm long) are injected into a breast or prostate tumor and send back readings to an external receiver via RFID.

It's kind of like open heart surgery, but without all the mess

Want to see how your heart works?  Check out TheVisualMD.com ("Your virtual wellness information center") for some cool 3-D visualizations that integrate state-of-the-art medical imaging with computer-generated animation.  Cardiovascullar health is the therapeutic area that has the most videos available, but the site is expanding its offerings into other areas, including urology and neurology. This video will give you a better understanding of what an arrhythmia looks like (I mentioned arrhythmias in yesterday's post).  If you really do want to see at least a little bit of a bloody mess (it's not that bad, but then again, I am not squeamish about such things), you can watch this real kidney transplant.  Cool, eh?

The future of medicine is wireless

A couple of weeks ago, the (then interim, now full-fledged) president and CEO of CardioNet, Randy Thurman, declared that the company is

leading what we believe is a revolution in healthcare - wireless medicine. . . . In summary, the convergence of healthcare and information technology is resulting in one of the most important trends for the next twenty years - wireless medicine - and CardioNet is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this unprecedented opportunity over the long term.

(These statements were made in the context of fourth quarter and year-end results--the company reported 65% revenue growth in 2008.)

Medical data on the go

In an immediate effort to follow up on my recent pledge and to share new developments in mobile health, here's a quick item about an interesting smartphone app. mVisum's tag line is "Medical data delivered to the palm of your hand . . . Anytime -- Anywhere." (For those of you familiar with our Global Health Economy map, you'll remember that "anytime, anyplace health" was a key driver we identified on the map; it is a theme that we returned to at our conference on Mobile Health.)

The impact of medical tourism on medical devices

The Center for Business Intelligence (CBI) will be hosting a webinar on this topic on February 26th, 2008. According to the website , the webinar will address important questions medical tourism raises for the medical device industry:

Intel continues to play with global health

Back in July, I wrote about Intel's plans to make health care more techno-savvy. Yesterday, I came across a headline in India eNews: "Intel helping spread school health." Thanks to Intel, a girls' high school in the southern state of Tamil Nadu became the first school in India to have a health monitoring program; the program will soon be launched nationwide.

Your heart rate monitor watch will soon be obsolete . . .

I was cruising for something to blog about when I came across this headline: "DIY pervasive health monitor keeps tabs on your vitals." Do-it-yourself health? Persuasive technology? Six months ago, I wouldn't have had any idea of what those terms meant (nor would you have ever found me blogging). But I have learned a lot during my relatively short tenure at IFTF, and now I can recognize a Health Horizons blog-worthy story when I see one.

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