Medical Devices & Technology

Medical Devices & Technology Articles

How do doctors evaluate treatments for heart disease?

Research on drugs, diets, and devices to treat or prevent cardiovascular disease includes clinical trials and observational studies. In clinical trials, volunteers are randomly assigned to receive either the new treatment or the comparison, which may be a placebo (an inactive therapy) or a treatment that’s already available. Observational studies follow a large group of people over a long period of time and gather information on diet, exercise, and medical and family history, for example. All studies have strengths and weaknesses, but the evidence from clinical trials is the most trustworthy. (Locked) More »

Simple home medical gadgets to protect your health

The modernization of standard home medical devices has made monitoring health easier than ever. These gadgets include thermometers, scales, blood pressure monitors, and pulse oximeters. Gadget features that are especially helpful for older adults are easy operation and large, lighted readouts. It’s important that some home medical devices, such as blood pressure monitors and pulse oximeters, have a seal of approval from an accredited agency, such as the FDA for pulse oximeters or the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation for blood pressure monitors. (Locked) More »

How do I measure exercise intensity?

Many experts recommend monitoring maximum heart rate to gauge exercise intensity. An easy way for people to measure their maximum heart rate is to use formulas based on their age. (Locked) More »

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 »