Medical Devices & Technology

Medical Devices & Technology Articles

High-tech calls for help: Understanding gadget limits

Gadgets that can call for help in an emergency—such as a "smart" speaker, a mobile phone designed for older adults, or an alert button—have limitations. For example, a smart speaker has a limited listening range, and may not hear if someone is calling for help from another room. Smartphones and alert buttons won’t do any good if they aren’t being worn or if they’re not within reach. It’s best to learn about gadget limitations before investing in one. (Locked) More »

How accurate are wearable heart rate monitors?

Smart watches and wrist-worn fitness trackers that estimate a person’s heart rate appear to be reliable in people with a range of different skin tones. But their accuracy may vary during different types of everyday activities. More »

Take monitors to heart

A heart rate monitor can be a valuable fitness tool by helping people exercise better, smarter, and safer. Wearing the device can increase motivation, improve exercise benefits by ensuring workouts reach sufficient intensity, and help people with heart issues watch their exertion levels more closely. (Locked) More »

Bargain or beware? Tips to buy gently used medical equipment

There are several points to consider when getting used home medical equipment, such as whether an item has been sanitized, whether it’s adjustable, whether a seat cushion will provide the proper support, and whether any accompanying motors or batteries are working properly. It’s important to do a thorough assessment of the item or hire a technician who can do it. If equipment doesn’t seem to fit the user or if it has missing parts, one should keep looking for other options. (Locked) More »

Harnessing CRISPR to stop viruses

As reported online Oct. 2, 2019, by Molecular Cell, a Harvard team was able to use the gene editing tool CRISPR to kill certain viruses, including the influenza virus, in a laboratory dish. More »

When the heart beats too slowly

Bradycardia, defined as a heart rate is below 60 beats per minute, is common in older adults, usually after age 70. Most people don’t experience symptoms, but those who do may feel dizzy, lightheaded, fatigued, breathless, or confused, and may faint. The condition may result from normal, age-related degeneration of the sinoatrial node, the heart’s natural pacemaker. Another underlying cause is a problem with the atrioventricular node, located in the center of the heart. (Locked) More »

Transforming the treatment of diabetes

A program that uses a smartphone app and telemedicine to provide frequent virtual office visits for people with diabetes may help them manage their disease more effectively. People in the program also receive a glucose monitor to test their blood sugar and use the app to send their results to a cloud-based server, where clinicians can review the results. The app also provides detailed lifestyle intervention plans, including an animated figure that demonstrates exercises and menus that include common foods that people eat everyday but with less carbohydrate, more protein, and smaller portions. More »