Medical Devices

Where Virtual Reality Fits in Modern Medicine

Virtual reality represents the massive potential of innovative technology; so significant, in fact, that we have come to rely on virtual reality more than we may even imagine. In recent years, the medical field has been inundated with the positive aspects of virtual reality in our work and our patients’ lives. It may be assumed that, as a medical training organization dedicated to the continued use of human specimens, we have our misgivings about the integration of virtual reality into medicine. Not so. Here, we discuss a few of the areas in which VR is changing lives for the better.
Virtual Reality in the Healthcare Industry
Pain Management
There seems to be a prevalence of chronic pain and other instances in which pain management is paramount these days. In particular, virtual reality has proven beneficial for burn victims. In this instance, VR is used as a form of distraction therapy during wound care and physical therapy sessions. According to reports, patients playing entertaining VR games during these sessions are able to tolerate their treatment exceptionally well thanks to the blocking of pain pathways in the brain.
Stroke Recovery
It is well-understood that stroke and traumatic brain injury patients are under a time-crunch in terms of rehabilitation. The sooner that this begins, the more likely the patient is to regain the functions that were impaired by their injury or event. Innovative use of virtual reality is helping patients discover new ways to move fingers and limbs. Ultimately, the experience with VR leads patients to greater optimism and resiliency, through which the nervous system is better able to recover.
Exposure Therapy
For individuals being treated for anxiety, PTSD, and phobias, virtual reality holds particular value. Using VR, therapists can create triggering scenarios in […]

Mobile App Provides Assistance in Emergency Situations

Medical professionals are nearly always “on,” even when off the clock. The instances of physicians acting in a volunteer role are high, and this presents unique challenges that may affect the outcome of urgent medical support. Here, we discuss how a new mobile app is improving the way care is provided in unexpected situations.

It is safe to say that, even with the extensive training they receive, most healthcare professionals are not familiar with the protocols and the resources available to achieve emergency stabilization in settings such as air travel. According to one study, which was presented at the annual meeting of The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, physicians who used technology during practice simulations of in-flight medical emergencies performed with greater confidence and efficacy.

In the study by Jump Simulation in collaboration with the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria, physicians used the airRx mobile app. This app is currently the only point-of-care technology designed to handle in-flight medical events. The app presents 23 of the most common emergency situations that occur, including the roles of the flight crew and medico-legal implications for health care professionals who volunteer to assist.

The study took place in a mockup setting in which patients, flight attendants, family members, and passengers were portrayed by actors. Participating physicians, who had no emergency training, were placed into two groups: one that had the availability of the airRx app, and one that had no external assistance. Physician volunteers were rated by trained observers who measured performance using a Critical Action Checklist. Additionally, physicians reported their sense of confidence before and after their simulations.

On both fronts, physicians who used the mobile app faired better than those who did not. The trained observers rated […]

August 15th, 2018|Medical Devices|0 Comments|

Interesting New Info on Breast Implants

The longer the medical profession performs a particular procedure or type of treatment, the more we learn about it. In this case, we are interested in new details about breast implants that were reported at presented at EHRA EUROPACE — CARDIOSTIM 2017. Specifically, a study performed by cardiologists at Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco suggests that breast implants could impede the accuracy of echocardiography.

Echocardiography is a diagnostic test that measures electrical activity in the heart. It is an important test for emergency room cases, and within cardiology practices, so the recognition of limitations imposed by breast implants is vital to patient care. Researchers in the Monaco study sought to determine the degree of impact implants may have on ECG testing because ultrasound waves in this test cannot penetrate through implant structures.

A total of 48 women were involved in the study; 28 of them had breast implants at the time of the study, and 20 did not.  Health examination before study participation confirmed the absence of structural heart disease in all women. The electrophysiologists who read ECG recordings on all women were not informed of the presence of breast implants, nor other patient data, including the presence of structural heart disease, sex, and age.

Study results included:

In the control group without implants, only one ECG was interpreted as abnormal, and only by one of the two electrophysiologists. That translated to 5% of the entire group.
In the breast implant group, abnormalities were noted by one electrophysiologist in 38% of ECGs. The other reported abnormalities in 57% of readings.

These findings led researchers to conclude that abnormalities in electrocardiography are more likely to be noted in women with breast implants.

The specific abnormalities that were found are also […]

August 15th, 2017|Medical Devices|0 Comments|

The Types of Electrical Stimulation Therapists can Implement to Assist Their Patients

Electrical stimulation, or e-stim, is a common practice among chiropractors, physical therapists, and sports medicine practitioners. This therapeutic modality is valuable to clinical success, which is why it pays to know how to use it in the most efficient manner. Here, we will explore the 4 methods of electrical stimulation in physical rehabilitation.

Pain and inflammation. When electrical stimulation is used to minimize swelling and discomfort around an injured joint, it is referred to as interferential stimulation. The method incorporates 2 currents which interfere with pain signals at a sensory level. Used in the treatment of low back, shoulder, knee, and ankle injuries, this method of stimulation has been a mainstay in rehabilitation since the mid-60s.
Soft tissues and connective tissues: pre-mod. Pre-mod may be introduced into therapy as an adjunct to manual modalities such as trigger-point release or Graston therapy. This method is common in the treatment of a tendon or ligament, as well as for muscle tears. It can reinforce physical and mechanical changes, and also decrease pain.
Russian. This method of muscle strengthening was developed by Russian physician Dr. Kots. The motor stimulation of muscle tissue causes contraction that can improve strength in a muscle after injury or surgical treatment. Due to the immediate contraction of muscles, it is necessary to develop precise techniques for this type of electrical stimulation in order to avoid patient discomfort.
Hi-volt tissue stimulation. This method of electrical stimulation involves positive and negative forces that can promote wound healing and improve comfort. It is especially valuable to patients with circulatory conditions that would naturally inhibit tissue healing and new tissue production.

Electrical stimulation methods are valuable in the clinical setting, and are quite complementary to rehabilitation modalities […]

The Use of Electronic Health Records Is Improving Patient Outcomes Across the Board

Medicine has evolved so much in the past century that it may feel overwhelming trying to keep up with the current pace of innovation. However, health care practitioners do well to maintain focus on the aspects of their practice that could be improved. While medical personnel may be quick to learn a new technical skill, the administrative side of the practice is proving to be just as vital to better patient outcomes. Here, we will look at how electronic health records, or EHRs, can hasten the diagnosis and treatment of disease while reducing medical errors.

In one national survey of physicians showed that:

94% of healthcare personnel appreciate the immediate availability of records at the point of care.
88% believe that clinical benefits improve with the use of EHRs.
75% believe that they deliver a better quality of care thanks to patient EHR.

Logically, patient history is an important aspect of quality care, and in reaching a diagnosis for a new condition. Having the necessary, comprehensive data at your fingertips provides you with the big picture you need to diagnose with accuracy.

Reducing Errors and Improving Outcomes with EHRs

The modern day health record does more than track a patient’s history, it “computes” it, thus reducing error and improving outcomes for each patient. Here’s how:

The EHR records data such as allergies and medications. Additionally, the electronic record will automatically check for potential problems at any time a new medication is prescribed. The clinician is alerted of any contraindications or conflicts.
When potential safety issues are exposed, care providers are able to avoid serious consequences and provide a higher standard of care to individual patients.
The digital transfer of health information in the EHR assists physicians in delivering […]

Use of C-arm Equipment in the OR

The mobile C-arm is nothing new. This valuable piece of diagnostic equipment was first developed in the mid-fifties. Since that time, general medical technology and the way imaging has been conducted has evolved at a rapid pace. Now, surgeons and operating room technician benefit from a greater potential for flexibility in a variety of cases.

What is a C-arm?
A C-arm is an x-ray machine designed for specific use. It’s “C” shape is comprised of an x-ray source on one end and, on the other, an x-ray detector. The device is most often used in the surgical environment, capturing accurate images in real time to facilitate efficient, expedient procedures. The C-arm seems to have greater capability and accuracy than a standard portable x-ray machine, making it an appealing choice for surgeons and their patients.

Some of the applications for which a C-arm is well suited include cardiology and vascular surgery, trauma medicine, orthopedics, and general surgery. The high resolution images that are immediately produced by the device give the surgeon and technical staff the feedback they need to monitor surgical progress and make prompt corrections if necessary. Enhancing the accuracy of the surgical procedure benefits clinical practice in the area of efficiency, and benefits the patient in terms of an expedited recovery. Consequently, there is a positive impact in the area of cost-savings for the providing hospital or surgical center.

How it Works

A C-arm x-ray machine is a mobile device that features a flat panel that detects images and a powerful generator. The versatility of the machine stems from axles that swivel vertically and horizontally, which means that images can be captured from multiple different angles. The energy that penetrates tissues transfers images that are immediately visible on […]

Understanding Knee Arthroscopy

Knee problems can cause severe pain and make it harder for patients to stay mobile, active, and healthy. One tool for addressing knee injuries and other knee problems is a surgery known as knee arthroscopy. Keep reading to learn more.

What happens during the surgery?
During this procedure, various types of anesthesia are used to keep the patient comfortable and prevent pain. Then small cuts are made near the knee and a saline solution is usually injected into the area. A camera that is attached to a very small tube will be inserted into the knee through the small incisions that have been made. This allows the surgeon to see inside the knee and operate using small tools without causing as much trauma to the knee. Patients can usually return home the day of the surgery. For simpler conditions, recovery can be quite quick and many patients can return to normal activities shortly after the surgery. If a more serious issue has been corrected, recovery time may be increased.

What conditions can be treated with this procedure?
Knee arthroscopy is used to treat a variety of problems. Some conditions that can be addressed through this procedure include:
• A patella (kneecap) that is misaligned
• Torn, damaged or inflamed ligaments in the knee and leg
• Torn meniscus—the cartilage that cushions the bones in the knee
• Broken or damaged cartilage in the knee joint
• Damage to bones in the knee

Damage to the knees can occur because of sports related injuries, falls, or wear and tear over time. This damage can immobilize people, make them more vulnerable to future falls, keep them from participating in sports, and hinder everyday life.

Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive way to correct many problems in […]

February 15th, 2016|Medical Devices|0 Comments|

Medical Devices Used In The Home

While many medical devices are used in hospitals and other health care facilities, a number of medical devices are also used every day in normal households. Keep reading to learn more about medical devices that are commonly used at home.

What medical devices are commonly used at home?
Medical devices used at home can be as simple as contact lenses or as complicated as an Artificial Pancreas Device System. It is wise to used medical devices that are approved by the FDA so that you can ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. Common medical devices used at home include:

Breast Pumps—used to extract breast milk from nursing mothers. Breast pumps can relieve pain caused by excess milk and make it easier for women to provide their babies with breast milk even when they are away at work or travelling.
Contact lenses—used to correct vision. Contact lenses are very common and allow people to see better without using glasses.
Hearing aids—used to help those with hearing loss communicate and hear things around them.
Blood glucose meters—used to help those with diabetes and other blood sugar issues monitor the amount of sugar in the blood and prevent health problems that are related to low or high blood sugar levels.

Above are just a few of the medical devices often used in the home. People who plan on using these devices, or other medical devices at home should understand how to use them safely.

Tips For Safely Using Medical Devices In The Home
People who plan on using medical devices at home should take the following steps to ensure safety:

Ask your doctor if you have any questions about your medical device.
Follow instructions precisely.
Keep instructions accessible so you can reference them as […]

January 15th, 2016|Medical Devices|0 Comments|