Critical & general care 2007

Dräger introduces anaesthesia system for MRI environment
Dräger Medical has introduced the Fabius MRI, its latest generation of  anaesthesia solutions designed specifically for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The system is also suitable for other applications involving magnetic fields such as a cardiac catheterisation laboratory or proton therapy. 12 December 2007

Electronic growth hormone injection device gains US approval
EMD Serono, Inc. has received US FDA approval of its easypod delivery system for the administration of Saizen, a treatment for growth hormone deficiency. 23 November 2007

Maquet Critical Care introduces new anaesthesia system
Maquet Critical Care has introduced the Maquet Flow-i, an anaesthesia system that combines advanced ICU ventilator performance with state-of-the-art anaesthesia delivery. 22 November 2007

Submersible keyboard aids fight against hospital infection
Devlin Electronics has launched a washable keyboard specifically designed to help health services tackle the problems of hospital-acquired infections. 5 November

Sugar biosensor could help diabetics continuously monitor blood glucose
A postgraduate student at Kalmar University in Sweden has designed biosensors that monitor the concentration of sugars in fluids. These sensors could be further developed to monitor blood sugar in diabetics. 17 October 2007

Ozone cleaning system answers superbug crisis
A major city hospital in the UK has become the first in the National Health Service to invest in a revolutionary cleaning system that helps reduce the environmental reservoir of resistant organisms such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile. 10 October 2007

Bird flu evolving into human virus
A team of researchers from the US, Japan and Vietnam, has identified that a single change in a protein of the H5N1 avian flu virus will enable it to infect the respiratory tract — a first step to spreading quickly from person to person. 9 October 2007

Air purifier could eliminate MRSA from hospitals says Tri-Air Developments
Tri-Air Developments has developed an air purifier that can kill the MRSA ‘superbug’ and other bacteria and viruses, including H5N1, within minutes. The unit simulates the natural purification properties of fresh air to ensure the continued protection of the hard-to-reach places, such as ceilings, fittings and ventilation ducts. 4 October 2007

Hydrogen peroxide spray system controls MRSA and C. difficile in hospitals
Netherlands-based TNO and Infection Control have developed a system using hydrogen peroxide that can effectively disinfect a hospital room in four hours. It can kill resistant forms of bacteria, including MRSA and Clostridium difficile. 3 October 2007

Mobile phone users show slowed brain activity
Frequent mobile phone use slows brain function, according to a recent study, but they also showed better focused attention. No firm conclusions can be drawn as to whether these effects are to be considered an adverse health effect or not. 1 October 2007

The smart skin patchCrospon licenses drug-delivery system based on HP inkjet printer technology
The technology which is based on an inkjet printer head, enables painless, controlled release of one or more drugs in a single patch applied to the skin. 28 September 2007

Mice with glowing liversGlowing mice illuminate diabetes
Mice given a customised firefly gene that causes their livers to glow in the presence of key chemicals formed during glucose metabolism could help the development of new diabetes drugs. 26 September

1.5 million unnecessary child deaths from diarrhoea 
Diarrhoea is still one of the most common reasons for the high child mortality rates in many low and middle-income countries despite two decades of global efforts to control it. One fifth of all the deaths amongst children under the age of five that are reported every year are caused by serious diarrhoea. 17 September

Diabetes combined with heart disease a growing problem in Europe
Recent large surveys of patients with heart failure have shown that diabetes in such patients was also present in 30-40% of cases. This combination of disorders worsens the long-term health risks for patients and complicates the management of those with acute and chronic heart failure. 12 September 2007

NHS Scotland rolls out nationwide diabetic retinopathy screening service
NHS Scotland has completed the roll-out of a country-wide diabetic retinopathy screening service to help prevent the large number of cases of blindness caused by diabetes. 23 August 2007

Staffordshire digital eye-screening programme on target to screen 35,000 diabetics
The Staffordshire Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Service, which is part of the UK's screening programme, is averaging 4,000 patient screenings per month and is on track to exceed its target of screening over 35,000 diabetes patients this year. 21 August 2007

Speech and therapy software for speech disabled
The Touch & Talk system is a speech communication and therapy tool for patients suffering from stroke, autism, cancer and other speech communication disabilities. 5 August

Public need more help in managing their chronic diseases
Eight out of ten adults in the UK would be willing to self-manage a chronic condition, according to a new survey, but many of those who already do fail to manage their condition properly. 30 July 2007

Arkray launches blood glucose monitoring system in US. 27 July 2007

MedSy launches anti-stammer device in the UK
The SpeechEasy anti-stammer device is custom made to fit completely within the ear canal and is almost invisible. 19 July 2007

Vitamin D deficiency leaves millions at risk of numerous diseases and disorders
Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most commonly unrecognized and easily preventable medical conditions, according to Dr Michael Holick, one of the foremost authorities on vitamin D in the US. 19 July 2007

Mental stimulation reduces risk of Alzheimer’s disease
A five-year study of older people has found that how often old people read a newspaper, play chess, or engage in other mentally stimulating activities is related to risk of developing the disease. 2 July 2007

First Dräger Award for Intensive Care Medicine bestowed
The European Society of Anaesthesiology (ESA) has presented the first Dräger Award for Intensive Care Medicine to the Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany. 13 June 2007

Growing Alzheimer’s epidemic could cripple healthcare
The rapidly increasing number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease could cripple healthcare services in the next few decades. In 2006, 26.6m people were suffering from Alzheimer’s disease worldwide and could rise to 100m by 2050. 11 June 2007

Breakdown of myelin in brain implicated in Alzheimer’s
New research suggests that it is the breakdown of myelin, a fatty coating of nerve cells, that promotes the build-up of toxic amyloid-beta fibrils that eventually deposit in the brain and become the plaques which have long been associated with Alzheimer’s disease. 24 May 2007

Enhanced MR-guided focused ultrasound improves treatment of uterine fibroids
Women undergoing MR-guided focused ultrasound experience rapid and sustained relief from their condition and have a reduced need for alternative, invasive treatments in the future. 17 May 2007

Virtual reality helps MS patients walk better
A virtual reality device that combines combines a wearable, cell phone-sized audio component and a visual feedback apparatus to improve walking speed and stride length in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis has been developed at the the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. 10 May 2007

Philips and Misys collaborate in home telemonitoring solutions
The companies intend to develop an integrated software platform that will enable care agencies to provide high quality care to chronically ill patients at home, including the remote monitoring of patients’ health status to provide operational efficiencies. 10 May 2007

Debiotech and STMicroelectronics in partnership to manufacture microfluidic insulin pump
The nanopump, which relies on microfluidic MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical system) technology, is a breakthrough concept that allows a tiny pump to be mounted on a disposable skin patch to provide continuous insulin infusion. 1 May 2007

Dental X-rays of carotid artery not enough to estimate stroke risk
A review of research on the detection of calcified tissue in the carotid artery by dental x-rays has found that the technique does not give enough evidence to estimate a patient’s stroke risk. 30 April 2007

Abbott launches FreeStyle Lite blood glucose monitoring system
Abbott Diabetes Care has launched its FreeStyle Lite blood glucose monitoring system that allows people with diabetes to test quickly and more easily. 27 April 2007

Smart phone for dyslexics reads aloud from text files and images
CapturaTalk is a new device aimed at people with dyslexia and other forms of reading and writing difficulties. It reads aloud any text from a file a user has saved in memory or from an image the user has taken with the integrated camera. 19 April 2007

Door lock and bell with GSM phone aids emergency response for elderly
The GSM Doorbell, developed by Dutch company Waleli, is a mobile phone application that allows people to answer their doorbell, talk to visitors and even open the door, whether they are at home or not. 17 April 2007

EaglePicher releases world’s smallest implantable medical battery
The battery is based on proprietary new cell construction. It’s small size enables devices to be deployed via a minimally-invasive catheter procedure rather than traditional implantation surgery. 14 March 2007

Redsense blood loss detection device gains EU approval
Redsense Medical’s fibre optic device for blood loss detection during haemodialysis has been approved for sale in Europe. 13 March 2007

Osteoporosis measurement software for PACS
Medstrat has announced the integration of CompuMed's OsteoGram bone mineral density (BMD) measurement software for osteoporosis screening, diagnosis and monitoring with its echoeSYSTEM PACS software suite. 11 March 2007

€12m European SOPRANO project to develop technology for  independent living for older people
The Service Orientated Programmable Smart Environments for Older Europeans (SOPRANO) project will develop affordable, smart IT-based assisted living services aimed at promoting independence for older people, improving quality of life and addressing the issue of an ageing population across Europe. 13 February 2007

Project to combine biology and engineering to create soft-bodied robots
Researchers at Tufts University in the USA have launched a multidisciplinary initiative focused on the science and engineering of a new class of robots that are completely soft-bodied. These devices will make possible advances in such far flung arenas as medicine and space exploration. 12 February 2007

Smiths Medical launches medication control software for infusion pumps
Smiths Medical, part of the global technology business Smiths Group, has received 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for software that makes programming pain management infusion pumps simpler and safer. 1 Feb 2007

sponge in microwave ovenMicrowave ovens can sterilise kitchen sponges
Microwaving kitchen sponges and plastic scrubbers — known to be common carriers of the bacteria and viruses that cause food-borne illnesses — sterilizes them rapidly and effectively, according to University of Florida (UF) engineering researchers. 31 Jan 2007

Home blood-pressure monitor market to reach $1bn by 2010
The world market for home-use digital blood pressure monitors is worth almost $800 million. The increase in hypertension and use of telehealth will lead to growth of 6.7% per year, taking it to $1 billion by 2010, according to a report by InMedica. 30 Jan 2007

Consumer electronics companies move into over-the-counter healthcare devices
Consumer electronics companies are exploiting the growing demand for devices and services that help people remain trim, fit and mentally alert, according to a report by UK analysts Wireless Healthcare. 15 Jan 2007

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