Medical Devices & Technology

Medical Devices & Technology Articles

Get a heart monitor

Many people with heart disease are otherwise fit and have been cleared by their doctors for vigorous exercise. But some work out too vigorously, while others aren’t working out hard enough. Proper use of a heart monitor is the best way to get the maximum benefit from exercise. The monitor helps people stay “in the zone”—60% to 70% of peak heart rate. Although the rule of thumb is that peak heart rate is 220 minus your age, it is far more precise to have peak heart rate measured by a physician during a stress test. (Locked) More »

Stents work well in women

Stents used to open blocked arteries and restore blood flow are safe and effective in women. The newest-generation drug-coated stents seem to work best at preventing a heart attack or stroke. (Locked) More »

From the cutting edge: Patch heals heart

A bioengineered collagen patch allows the heart to do something it can't do by itself: regenerate heart muscle killed by a heart attack. It works in mouse studies, and may in the future be used to deliver stem cells or medicines directly to the heart. (Locked) More »

Pacemaker safe after age 90

Age alone should not be a barrier to pacemaker implantation—even for some people over age 90, according to a Harvard-based study. It’s one of a few studies to guide clinical decisions for people in their 90s—a population that will quadruple to eight million Americans by 2050. The data suggest that a person’s health status and other underlying conditions are more important for determining the success of pacemaker implantation than age itself. (Locked) More »

Ask the doctor: How should I treat a torn meniscus?

Surgery called partial meniscectomy has been the traditional way to correct a torn meniscus in people with osteoarthritis. However, new research suggests people with this condition may be able to try physical therapy before resorting to surgery. (Locked) More »

Heart: Implantable defibrillators: Simple fix may save lives

Small changes to the setting of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) can reduce inappropriate shocks and can lower the risk of death. This may help cut down on the problem of ICDs going off for heartbeats that aren’t dangerous or deadly. Unnecessary shocks can be painful, and there is some evidence that frequent inappropriate shocks weaken heart muscle and make a bad situation worse, increasing the risk of death. People with an ICD implanted in the past are advised to check with their doctors to find out if there is a need for the ICD settings to be adjusted. (Locked) More »

Some computer downloads for better health should be avoided

Health applications (apps) for mobile health are not yet regulated. That means there’s no way to know which apps are accurate and reliable and which are technological snake oil. Harvard experts warn against using cellphones to diagnose or treat any conditions. They recommend using health apps that act as a tracker or calculator. They also recommend checking to see who produces the app, how often the app is updated, and if it provides references for the information it offers. (Locked) More »

Building a better stent

Researchers are trying new ways to prevent stents from clogging with cells or attracting blood clots. Their goal is to develop a stent that can be used in any person to prevent a heart attack. Some new designs include stents coated with innovative drugs or two drugs, stents that expand to fit tightly against the artery wall, stents covered with mesh, and stents that dissolve after their coating is used up. (Locked) More »