Tag Archives: Technology

New Diabetes Technology: Abbott’s Freestyle Libre 3 Glucose Monitor Review

Abbott Laboratories newest continuous glucose monitor is now available at participating retail pharmacies and through durable medical equipment suppliers. The Freestyle Libre 3 was approved by the FDA in June and is a step up from previous Abbott systems.

Abbott Laboratories and Dexcom are the leaders in the CGM market, which hit $5.1 billion in revenue in 2021 and is expected to reach $13.2 billion by 2028, according to Vantage Market Research. Abbott’s CGM systems, called FreeStyle Libre, generated $3.7 billion in revenue last year, with 4 million users globally.

CNBC’s Erin Black, a type 1 diabetic, tested out the Libre 3 for over a month. Here is her review.

Technology: How AI Can Improve Diagnostics (GAO)

Each year, medical diagnosis errors affect the health of millions of Americans and cost billions of dollars. Machine learning technologies can help identify hidden or complex patterns in diagnostic data to detect diseases earlier and improve treatments.

Several machine learning (ML) technologies are available in the U.S. to assist with the diagnostic process. The resulting benefits include earlier detection of diseases; more consistent analysis of medical data; and increased access to care, particularly for underserved populations. GAO identified a variety of ML-based technologies for five selected diseases

  • Certain cancers,
  • Diabetic retinopathy,
  • Alzheimer’s disease,
  • Heart disease,
  • COVID-19

Most technologies relying on data from imaging such as x-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, these ML technologies have generally not been widely adopted.

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Colorectal Cancer: ‘Miss Rate’ Lowered 50% Using AI

“Colorectal cancer is almost entirely preventable with proper screening,” says senior author Michael B. Wallace, M.D., division chair of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and the Fred C. Andersen Professor at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. “The substantial decrease in miss rate using AI reassures health care providers on the decreased risk of perceptual errors.”

The most relevant cause of post-colonoscopy colorectal cancer (CRC) is the miss rate of colorectal neoplasia — the rate at which neoplastic lesions are not detected in a screening or surveillance colonoscopy. Some studies suggest that 52% to 57% of post-colonoscopy CRC cases are due to missed lesions at patients’ colonoscopies. It’s estimated that 25% of neoplastic lesions are missed following screening colonoscopy.

Mayo Clinic Gastroenterology and Hepatology, in collaboration with colleagues from around the world, found that using artificial intelligence (AI) in colorectal cancer screening produced a 50% reduction in the miss rate for colorectal neoplasia. Results of the study were published in the July 2022 edition of Gastroenterology.

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Stroke Care: Deep Brain Stimulation ‘Pacemaker’ Restores Hand Movement

Deep brain stimulation for patients who experience a stroke.

Deep brain stimulation is a surgical procedure that involves implanting electrodes in the brain, which deliver electrical impulses that block or change the abnormal activity that cause symptoms. (Courtesy: Cleveland Clinic)

“He had limited use of his hand. It really wasn’t functioning,” explains Andre Machado, MD, PhD, who is Chairman of the Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institute. “He couldn’t do as much manual work, with both hands, and that was a limitation for his quality of life.”

For the study, Joe first underwent two surgical procedures — one to insert the DBS device under the skin of his chest, just below the collarbone, and the other, to implant the DBS electrode in a part of the cerebellum called the dentate nucleus. Once activated, the device, called an implantable pulse generator, serves as a specially-calibrated pacemaker for the brain, stimulating it to try and enhance motor rehabilitation.

COMMENTARY:

Many times in science, application precedes understanding. Deep brain stimulation, either by electrical or magnetic pulses is a good example.

It is not at all understood how the brain really works, much less how electrical and magnetic stimulation in the brain works. It may stimulate or slow down neural impulses, or interrupt the incoming signals or the outgoing messages. Are there any other possibilities?

At least it does work, Apparently.

One thing for certain is that deep brain stimulation is preferable to previous treatments, which produced small, destructive, irreversible lesions in the brain. At least these stimulations can be stopped if they don’t work.

I enjoyed this posting, since it reignited my interest in the cerebellum. This amazing Organ has more neurons than the rest of the brain combined, represented by innumerable small granule cells. I wasn’t even aware of the dentate nucleus, which is an island of cerebral cortex-like neurons in the white matter of the cerebellum. Apparently the action of the cerebellum is orchestrated through this and a couple of other islands of neurons. All of the coordination, movement, and thought processing accomplished in the cerebellum takes place through these nuclei.

It was also fascinating to learn of a patient who has complete lack of a cerebellum, and suffers only some mild incoordination and speech problems. Apparently, absent the cerebellum, the rest of the brain is largely capable of taking over the function of the missing cerebellum. Once the brain is formed, However, and dependent upon the cerebellum, damage to this organ causes a great deal of coordination, movement, and balance problems.

I’ll put another plug-in for sleep, diet and exercise, as well as being careful with your body. Prevention is far better than treatment.

—Dr. C.

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Technology: Smart, Voice-Assisted Operating Rooms

Are Amazon Alexa and Google Home limited to our bedrooms, or can they be used in hospitals? Do you envision a future where physicians work hand-in-hand with voice AI to revolutionize healthcare delivery? In the near future, clinical smart assistants will be able to automate many manual hospital tasks—and this will be only the beginning of the changes to come.

Voice AI is the future of physician-machine interaction and this Focus book provides invaluable insight on its next frontier. It begins with a brief history and current implementations of voice-activated assistants and illustrates why clinical voice AI is at its inflection point. Next, it describes how the authors built the world’s first smart surgical assistant using an off-the-shelf smart home device, outlining the implementation process in the operating room. From quantitative metrics to surgeons’ feedback, the authors discuss the feasibility of this technology in the surgical setting. The book then provides an in-depth development guideline for engineers and clinicians desiring to develop their own smart surgical assistants. Lastly, the authors delve into their experiences in translating voice AI into the clinical setting and reflect on the challenges and merits of this pursuit.

The world’s first smart surgical assistant has not only reduced surgical time but eliminated major touch points in the operating room, resulting in positive, significant implications for patient outcomes and surgery costs. From clinicians eager for insight on the next digital health revolution to developers interested in building the next clinical voice AI, this book offers a guide for both audiences.

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Technology: The Lancet Digital Health – July 2022

Covid-19: Can A Vaccine Be Developed That Lasts?

“Roughly two and a half years into the pandemic, White House officials and health experts have reached a pivotal conclusion about Covid-19 vaccines: The current approach of offering booster shots every few months isn’t sustainable.

Though most vaccines take years to develop, the Covid shots now in use were created in record time—in a matter of months. For health authorities and a public desperate for tools to deal with the pandemic, their speedy arrival provided a huge lift, preventing hospitalizations and deaths while helping people to escape lockdowns and return to work, school and many other aspects of pre-Covid life.”

Hospital Tech: The Johns Hopkins Stroke Center

The mantra of The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Comprehensive Stroke Center is “time is brain.” Innovations and teamwork help ensure that this mantra applies to all stages of stroke recovery. Take a peek into the multifaceted treatment strategies offered by the center’s team of experts.

These include stroke risk screenings, hyperacute emergency treatments, innovative hospital care such as digital therapeutics, early rehabilitation, programs to ensure smooth transitions to home, and cutting-edge clinical research. The Stroke Center team is on a mission to improve the life of every patient who has had a stroke. #Stroke #JohnsHopkins

Emergency Care: Flying Intervention Team Use In Acute Ischemic Stroke

In a nonrandomized controlled intervention study published in JAMA, researchers in Germany assessed whether deployment of a flying interventional team, consisting of a neurointerventional radiologist and an angiography assistant, was associated with a shorter time to endovascular thrombectomy for patients in rural or intermediate population areas in Southeast Bavaria.

This video explains the study design. Click https://ja.ma/FIT for full details.

COMMENTARY:

Stroke prevention by a healthy lifestyle, including a good diet, regular exercise, and sleep is of course preferable to treatment.

However, stroke still claims more than 100,000 lives per year in the United States, and is a major factor in disability.

Recognition of a stroke is the first crucial step, and has been discussed in DWWR previously; FAST is the Menmonic and guiding principle. Ask the patient to smile, and it may be assymmetric, with one side drooping. Ask the patient to raise both arms, and one may drift down. Ask the patient to repeat a simple sentence, and he may be unable to do so. And above all be speedy, since time is of the essence, and treatment must take place within a very few hours.

Modern medical centers in large cities frequently have a team dedicated to treating stroke. The patient goes for a CT or MRI while  the Catheter team assembles. An intravenous clot dissolver, tPA, is often used, or possibly a catheter is inserted into an artery and guided to the  proper location. Sometimes the clot is mechanically removed as in the accompanying video.

The helicopter stroke response team featured in the posting is one aspect of the speed that is so essential; any delay will result in death, sometimes permanently, of brain cells.

Acute Heart attack treatment is basically similar to stroke, and was the pioneering venture into the interventional radiology described above. Also, the heart may be the source of the clots that lodge in the brain, especially from atrial fibrillation.

Please enjoy the following video which shows how mechanical clot removal is achieved.

—Dr. C.