Medical Devices & Technology

Medical Devices & Technology Articles

The new generation of wearable medical alert systems

Wearable medical alert systems summon emergency help with the touch of a button. They are becoming more popular now that many older adults are comfortable using electronic technology. Basic options work only within range of a base unit kept in the home. Other options include cellular technology that works anywhere and the ability to detect if the wearer has fallen. When choosing an alert system company, one should look for a deal with no long-term contracts, low activation fees, no cancellation fees, discounts for add-on services, free replacement for equipment that’s not working, and operators available 24 hours a day. (Locked) More »

Too old for a stent?

People in their 80s who have angina may be candidates for an angioplasty plus a stent, especially if they have symptoms despite taking the maximum doses of medications for their heart problem. (Locked) More »

Keeping the heart in the right rhythm

Pacemakers have become a staple of cardiovascular care. The devices have gotten smaller, safer, and more reliable over time. For some people, a pacemaker is needed to prevent death. It is also used to improve cardiac function and quality of life. (Locked) More »

Replacing an aortic valve without open-heart surgery

For people with a stiff, failing aortic valve, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) offers a shorter, easier recovery than surgical replacement of the valve. TAVR is currently approved only for people in whom surgery is too risky. But refinements to the devices and the procedure itself (which is increasingly being done without general anesthesia) are driving a trend toward the use of TAVR in a broader group of people.  (Locked) More »

Sleep apnea solutions that lower cardiovascular risks

In obstructive sleep apnea, the tongue or throat tissue blocks the airway. This causes the person to briefly stop breathing many times a night. Sleep apnea also appears to raise the risk of cardiovascular problems. Therapies that help keep airways open during sleep, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), can improve quality of life and lower cardiovascular risks. (Locked) More »

Vanquishing varicose veins

Varicose veins that cause few symptoms may be controlled with exercise and support hose. They can be eradicated with new minimally invasive outpatient procedures. (Locked) More »

Cellphone safety with a pacemaker

People who have a pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) should keep cellphones and smartphones at least five to seven inches away from the device. Doing so helps prevent the rare possibility of interference between the two devices. More »

Getting an MRI if you have a pacemaker

Most implanted cardiac devices (pacemakers and defibrillators) can be damaged by MRI scans. But special protocols and newer, MRI-friendly devices now allow some people with pacemakers to undergo MRI scanning when necessary. More »

Better health with smartphone apps

Downloadable software programs, or apps, for smartphones and tablet computers can help people monitor and improve their health. Apps collect information on the user that can be used to support healthy behaviors. Apps may also provide access to health information, such as healthy diets and workout routines. Some apps enable the user to share information with other users or with health care providers. Scientific proof that using apps actually improves health is sparse right now. They work best when the user is strongly motivated to change. (Locked) More »