Medical Devices & Technology

Medical Devices & Technology Articles

Boost your hearing aid success

When buying a hearing aid, it’s easy to be distracted by price and technology. Experts recommend that consumers insist on hearing aids they can make too loud with no feedback, as well as a volume control to adjust the device to the desired loudness. Basic devices may have enough technology for a person’s needs. Sometimes a larger, more powerful aid will do the job better than a small device. Audiologists know dozens of tricks to make sure a hearing aid will be comfortable and work properly. Hearing aids purchased on the Internet do not come with the assistance of an audiologist to help make sure it’s properly adjusted. (Locked) More »

ECG? There's an app for that!

People with heart disease will soon be able to transmit information about their heart rhythm to their doctor's office using an iPhone app. (Locked) More »

High tech ways to better shoe fit

High-tech machines in specialty shoe stores can provide information that leads to buying a better-fitting shoe. Foot scanners are usually computerized mats that map the pressure points on the soles of the feet and determine a person’s arch type. Gait analyzers record the characteristics and support needs of feet in motion. A trained salesperson with an understanding of shoe construction and the mechanics of mobility must interpret the data from the tests to help get the fit just right. (Locked) More »

Vascular stent now, stable later?

Research shows that having a stent or stents put in now along with standard drug therapy significantly reduces the need for emergency interventions later, compared with treating stable CAD with medications alone. Determining when a stent is needed in someone with stable CAD and when medications and healthy lifestyle are still adequate depends on the severity of symptoms. Doctors consider the desired activity level of the individual (active versus sedentary), the type and number of blockages in the artery, and the presence or absence of other medical conditions, such as weak heart muscle. (Locked) More »

An easier way to replace a heart valve

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a new procedure that is making a big difference for people with aortic stenosis—severe narrowing of the main outlet valve from the heart (the aortic valve). Open-heart surgery has been the historical way to treat this problem. But some people aren’t candidates for such invasive surgery because of other serious medical conditions or older age. With TAVR, there’s no need to open the chest. Instead, a catheter takes the replacement valve through the leg artery to the heart. Patients who previously would have died are now being saved by this procedure. (Locked) More »

Reduce your stroke risk

It’s important to get obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) diagnosed and under control. OSA is a condition that occurs during sleep, when a person stops breathing for a few seconds because his or her airway is blocked. A person with untreated OSA has an increased risk of having a stroke, a fatal stroke, and a second stroke compared to those without sleep apnea. Treatment includes weight loss, oral appliances, surgery, and a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, which uses air delivered through a mask to prevent the airway from closing. (Locked) More »

Can we reverse Alzheimer's?

Two new approaches to treating Alzheimer’s disease offer hope for meaningful treatment in the near future. One is PBT2, a drug that prevents metals in the brain from driving the production of plaques and tangles that kill neurons. Another is Neuro AD, a therapy that challenges a person to solve problems on a computer right after it uses noninvasive electromagnetic energy to stimulate the brain region required to give the answer. It doesn’t cure the disease, but it appears to make the brain circuits work better, which can lead to a striking improvement in cognitive abilities for daily tasks. More »

New wireless defibrillator approved

A newly approved wireless implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) may be alternative to a traditional ICD for people at risk for an infection of the wires placed into the heart or those with blocked or narrowed coronary veins. The new device, called a subcutaneous ICD (S-ICD), may also be useful for people who are at risk for a life-threatening arrhythmia, but who do not need the device to pace a slow or fast heart rhythm—capabilities the S-ICD does not have. (Locked) More »

Breakthrough in mitral valve treatment

When the structures surrounding the mitral valve deteriorate and loosen, the valve is no longer able to open and close properly. As a result, blood backs up in the heart and lungs, causing severe fatigue with minimal activity. New devices are enabling doctors to repair the mitral valve structures without the need for open- heart surgery. One of the many devices in development, MitraClip, is now being tested in clinical trials in the United States.   (Locked) More »