Health:

Innovations in Cancer Technology

Illustrating-Technologies

According to the American Cancer Society, U.S. statistics indicate that in the year 2014, physicians will diagnose 1,665,540 new cases of cancer. Of these patients, the disease will claim the lives of 585,720 people. In the ongoing fight against various forms of cancer, researchers continue developing treatment methods and technologies every year. Conventional methods in decades past have involved using chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Advancements in these techniques continue. But, some of the latest innovations offer a newer approach.

Cancer Drug Research and Development

Oncologists advise that there are hundreds of disease processes that are considered cancer. While falling under specific categories, various cancers require individual forms of treatment. Scientists continually develop medications that eradicate cancer cells. While making strides and new discoveries, the research involved is long and difficult. Some medications change the genetics within malignant cells to inhibit growth and development. Other formulations annihilate the cells directly. Chemotherapeutic agents may affect the inner workings of cells that lead to death from starvation. Still others might influence the cells to self-destruct. Once developing a medication, researchers must test the formula on animals. If successful, human clinical trials may begin. After thorough evaluation processes, a formulation may receive approval. However, the entire process from inception to acceptance often takes more than a decade. Of all the drugs under development, it is estimated that one out of 10 preparations actually become available for treatment.

Illuminating Brain Tumors

When diagnosed with operable brain tumors, surgeons strive to remove as much of the mass as possible without causing damage to delicate surrounding tissue. Malignant cells often appear similar to healthy tissue, which poses a problem. Recently however, researchers devised a way to differentiate between normal and malignant cells using a form of bioluminescence. A hand full of medical facilities across the country are in the process of evaluating the technique that involves a liquid known as 5-ALA tumor fluorescence. Prior to surgery, a patient drinks the specially formulated liquid. As the compound circulates throughout the body, molecules target cancerous cells. Under a blue light, healthy cells remain blue. However, malignant cells become fluorescent pink. In this way, surgeons are more apt to remove perimeter tumor cells that might ordinarily be missed and lead to future regrowth.

Anti-Cancer Vaccines

Chemotherapy medications are created to kill a variety of cancer cells. Unfortunately, the formulations are not without a host of side effects and often damage healthy tissues. Researchers are involved in devising a type of immunotherapy that will treat individual malignancies in different people with minimal repercussions by enhancing the body’s immune system. The proposed vaccines will not only initiate a T-cell response in the presence of cancer cells, but will additionally encourage an ever expanding attack when cells mutate or change, which will broaden the immune system’s capabilities. The hope is that after receiving a vaccination, immune cells will become stronger and more aware. The response would also become individualized based on specific tumors. If successful, the innovations might lengthen survival time without the need for current hazardous treatments.

Health:

Rising Technology for Successful Chiropractic Offices

Mixing massage, pressure and spinal adjustments into one treatment plan, chiropractic techniques have been practiced for decades with minimal technology aiding the professional. As more gadgets enter the marketplace every month, innovative chiropractors are seeing the benefits for their practice and loyal patients. From direct to indirect technology, adjusting the spine has become even more precise and relieving.

Not Just X-rays

Whether you’re a stellar athlete or a typical office worker, the body confronts poor posture and repetitive movement each day. Chiropractors used to rely strictly on exams and x-rays for diagnoses, but newer technology makes certain body parts clearer for treatment. Foot scanners depicting posture and weight distribution tells the chiropractor volumes about daily movement. They can adjust the feet and spine for patients to walk taller and straighter. This technology can be used at each appointment to see improvements in real-time.

Merging Care and Social Media

Chiropractic technology isn’t just about treatment equipment, but also includes communication with clientele. Practices readily employing social media stay in patients’ minds to encourage more visits. Professionals can post informational blogs, tweets and updates to better patients’ lives. Just a basic update puts the practice’s name in the person’s mind, making it possible for a new appointment to be scheduled. Even harness new clients as updates are shared or commented on. The virtual world has endless opportunities.

Space Technology for the Medical Profession

One of the main duties for chiropractors is evaluating the spine. Professionals in the past had to manually feel and diagnose a patient based on experience, schooling and talent. Today, chiropractors supplement their training with vertebrae scanners. With a patient lying comfortably on a table, the scanner bounces a signal off vertebrae to have a more precise calculation of necessary adjustments. They can even print a copy of the findings to place in a patient’s chart, making the information concrete for future reference.

More than a Table

Patients are more comfortable than ever with technologically advanced adjustment tables. There’s no need to haul yourself onto the table anymore. Simply stand with your back against the table and it lays you down automatically. Adjustments for the chiropractor are simple as well, moving an arm or head up and down with air-cushioning mechanisms for the most comfortable experience. Some tables even have speakers embedded in the construction for soothing music during the visit.

Advanced Techniques

Technology is also advancing the basic chiropractor visit. Regardless of the available equipment, chiropractors must still adjust a person with their bare hands. Technology revealing new ideas and discoveries about the human body allows professionals to alter and enhance their adjustment practices. A slight change in adjustment angle, for example, could alleviate a pain that was otherwise a chronic issue. Technology brings education and experience together for happy patients.

Let your chiropractor take your body to more comfortable places with advanced tables and adjustment techniques. From basic soothing music to the newest body scanner, practices incorporating today’s technology are seeing better results and more loyal customers treated each day.

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last update: November 1, 2014

Health:

5 Ways to Reduce Headaches Triggered by Digital Screens

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Sometimes our technology can do more harm than good. Those who suffer from chronic migraines can sometimes suffer when a headache is triggered by the bright lights of computer, TV, or mobile device screens. But since we must regularly interact with these technologies in our personal and professional lives, it can seem impossible to escape screen-time. Here are four steps you can take to alleviate tech-induced migraines.

Dim Brightness

A majority of devices now come with brightness adjusters so that you can dim the glow let off by a digital screen. Sometimes harsh lights can trigger painful headaches. Learn how to customize the brightness controls on all of your devices, so that you can control these settings with ease.

Invert Colors

This unique setting allows you invert the colors displayed on your computer or mobile device screens. This can be particularly beneficial if you’re reading long documents with black text on white backgrounds. Inverting the colors allows you to read white text on black backgrounds instead, which might reduce the amount of strain on your eyes. The invert colors option can usually be found in the accessibility settings of various operating systems.

Antiglare

Sometimes lights in your vicinity can reflect off of your computer monitor. These painfully bright lights might trigger eye strain or headaches. Invest in an antiglare screen cover to avoid these hassles. Antiglare products and also reduce the amount of glare you experience while using a laptop outdoors.

Don’t Use Screens while in Motion

Many people can develop a headache due to motion sickness, especially if they use mobile devices while riding in a vehicle. Using your cellphone in a bus or in the passenger seat of a car might seem like a tempting way to pass the time during a long commute. However, your eyes can become strained while trying to focus on text during a ride.

Naturopathic Medicine

Headaches can often be relieved by natural treatments. Processes such as biopuncture can help reduce the amount of tension in your body. As your muscle release and relax, you can experience a reduction in headaches.

Tension headaches and migraines caused by technology use can become debilitating, preventing you from finding comfort at home or at the office. Headaches can be caused by straining your neck or eyes while using technology. Treat these issues by calibrating the settings on your screen and experiment with all-natural care.

 

Health:

How Rapidly Advancing Technology Helps Cancer Patients Today

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Technology has enjoyed no better application than in the medical field, which has found uses for new systems and technologies at almost every phase of operation. Many patients, especially those with various forms of cancer, are benefiting from the advanced technologies used in health care.

Chemotherapy, catheters, imaging technology, and robotics are among the latest technologies used in treating cancer patients.

Radiology

Imaging technology plays a major role in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Radiology has made it easy for doctors to monitor tumors and other forms of cancer within the human body and effectively monitor cancerous cells that would have previously gone unnoticed.

Radiology has evolved into a distinct field with many people specializing in the study and use of this imaging technology.

Robotics

This fast-developing technology has been adopted widely in cancer treatment. Robotics has been incorporated into surgical procedures to remove tumors and tissues affected by cancer. It enables doctors to perform precision operations that are minimally invasive for cancer patients.

Catheters

This technology is used to administer chemotherapy on cancer patients. Catheters enable doctors to administer chemotherapy directly into patients’ peritoneal cavities.

A catheter is a tube-like device placed on the chest of cancer patients that stays on throughout their treatment. Apart from being used to administer chemotherapy, catheters can also be used to draw blood.

They make it possible for doctors to draw blood from cancer patients and administer chemotherapy in a painless manner.

Cloud technology

Being a risk-averse industry, health care is beginning to use cloud technology to store patients’ health information. According to cloud technology researcher Clonav, medical institutions are adopting cloud technology to store sensitive information due to better cloud security, lower costs, and the growing need for medical institutions to share patients’ information between them, including that of cancer patients.

Security concerns that prevent the adoption of cloud technology in other industries are magnified in health care due to the sensitive and private nature of patients’ data as well as the heavy fines that medical institutions face if such data falls into the wrong hands.

Ambulance computer-aided dispatch

The use of technology in treating cancer patients begins before he or she arrives at the hospital. Ambulance computer-aided dispatch makes it easier for cancer patients to gain access to local emergency services.

In addition, this technology helps health-care institutions to determine the type of ambulance to send to certain addresses. This technology is designed to support cancer patients’ decision-making.

Vital sign monitoring

This technology has enhanced the abilities of first responders, such as emergency medical technicians and paramedics, to monitor vital signs of cancer patients while transporting them to the hospital. Vital sign monitoring can be used both in the field and in emergency departments and critical care units to monitor cancer patients.

Vital sign monitoring technology can be programmed to activate an alarm when a cancer patient’s vitals suddenly change. Some of the vital signs monitored by this device include blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration.

Evidence-based guidelines

This technology is designed to assist doctors, nurses, and other health-care professionals to provide care that is in alignment with the needs of their cancer patients. Evidence-based technology empowers doctors to use the most recent expert recommendations to treat cancer patients.

Health:

4 Medical Advancements Optimizing Lifestyles

It’s hard to believe there was a time when testing your blood glucose levels was painful and a huge ordeal, or an era when those on oxygen therapy weren’t able to fly. The advances in medical technology are phenomenal, offering better lifestyles and convenience for patients around the world. However, most people don’t look very closely at these advancements unless they or someone they know relies on it. Here’s a look at some of the best advancements in recent history and how they’ve changed lives for the better.

1. Oxygen machines and accessories

Today’s options for oxygen therapy trump those of even a few years ago. Now, the machines are lightweight, designed to be carried with ease, feature impressive battery lives and there are portable options which are FAA-approved for flying. For patients who rely on science for the quality of oxygen they need, suddenly the world’s most taken for granted “free” resource can be a challenge.

2. The modern EPIpen

The number of people with life threatening allergies is on the rise, including the influx of nut allergies in very young children. Obviously, education and personal management is crucial when addressing allergies, but sometimes mistakes are made. Today’s EPIpen offer an easy to carry, simple to conceal option for those with fatal allergies. The effectiveness and ease of use has opened up a world of opportunities, allowing patients (some for the first time) to travel and engage in activities worry-free.

3. Saliva-based blood glucose testers

Type-1 diabetics especially have to keep a close eye on their blood glucose levels, but fear of needle pricks has made life nearly debilitating for some. The invention of saliva-based blood glucose testers has made this sometimes painful multi-daily activity moot for many. It’s also been a lifesaver for parents of diabetic children.

4. YAG Laser therapy

For many years, there were no advances in the laser therapy dentists and endodontists used, which lead to root canals failing, extra pain, time and money from patients. However, the latest YAG Laser device offers more comprehensive dental pulp cleanings and has streamlined the entire root canal process. It’s lessened the instances of failed root canals and provides a faster chair experience for patients.

From improved pregnancy tests to digital x-rays that severely cut down on radiation exposure, the wonder of medical advances are popping up at lightening speed. If you’re unhappy with your current medical device or gadget, talk to your doctor and start researching potential alternatives.

 

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Health:

4 Tech Rules for Your Workout

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You want to look like a terminator at the gym because of your perfectly toned body, not because of all the wires poking out from your ears and armbands. Sometimes technology can be a great way to optimize your workout, but sometimes it can distract you from doing your best. How can you strike a balance and use tech wisely at the gym? It’s time to set a few rules.

It doesn’t matter if you prefer a crossfit gym, big box gym or the local hole in the wall boxing gym to get your sweat on. No type of workout is going to be beneficial if you’re too distracted to make the sessions count. Consider adding these rules to your next workout, right up there with your personal water goals and getting in those BCAAs.

1. Do cardio at least once per week with no iPod

However you get in your cardio (treadmill, running outside, elliptical, row machine, etc.), if you’re dependent on having music blasting in your ear, shake things up. Try at least one day per week with no music. Your body will start to respond to other stimuli and you’ll get a break from your addiction. Long-term learning to do cardio by natural outside influences (such as passing cars) or your heartbeat can help improve your workout because the “pace” is always difference.

2. Leave your phone in the locker

If your excuse is that your music is on your phone, get a separate mp3 player with no Wi-Fi access. You’re going to check that text, email or Facebook notification and it’s going to interrupt your workout. It can also distract you as you rush through your last 10 minutes to reply. Unless you’re expecting a true emergency call, it can wait for an hour.

3. Take calories counters, etc. with a grain of salt

Even the most high tech heart rate monitors and calorie counters might potentially be off. They can be used occasionally as a general measurement, but they’re not your workout bible. Instead, rely on how you feel, how out of breath you are and manual heart rate checks.

4. Take out the ear buds

Like at the airport, some people use ear buds as a way to tell people, “Don’t talk to me.” Sometimes you need total alone time at the gym, but if you do this non-stop you’re missing out on something big: the supportive community at your fingertips. You can learn a lot from your fellow gym rats.

Health:

How Pharmacy Technology Helps to Save Lives

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While you can still find the occasional pharmacist who uses a mortar and pestle, this field of expertise is increasingly technology-oriented. From inventory checking to ordering and tracking drug interactions, pharmaceutical technology has many implications for saving lives. Participants in insurance plans such as Medicare Part D Plans can rest assured knowing that this technology offers benefits with each prescription drug order.

Drug Interaction Checkers

Some prescription medications interact with others or with foods, supplements and vitamins that you’re already taking. Drug interactions may reduce the efficacy of one or more of the medications, which in some cases can be deadly. According to this article, many pharmacies are offering a variety of drug interaction checkers that both you and your pharmacist can use. Drug interaction checkers are available on mobile apps so you can determine whether or not it’s safe to take an over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory, non-steroidal drug such as ibuprofen along with your diabetes medication, for example. If you participate in a Medicare Part D program through a retail pharmacy, your pharmacist should also be able to inform you of potential interactions at the time you pick up your prescription.

Allergy Trackers

Allergies to medications are a serious risk to anyone. A medication allergy can develop at any time, even if you’ve used that medication before. Automated drug allergy tracking offers your health care team a way to keep track of your drug allergies so they can avoid prescribing any medication with those ingredients. Information technology systems are quickly advancing in their ability to prevent these types of medical errors, explains this article. By participating in a Medicare Part D plan and keeping all of your prescriptions at the same pharmacy, you can also help to prevent medication errors.

Automated Medical Records Systems

As the field of health care information technology continues to grow, patient medical records are increasingly automated. The use of electronic medical records helps to track your information, allow sharing between your different providers and maintains a comprehensive listing of all your current medications, recent procedures and medical statistics, explains this article. This means that the pharmacy where you receive your Medicare Part D prescription drug discounts can receive electronic submissions from your primary care physician and any specialists on your care team. You may enjoy the benefits of reduced paperwork and less time spent waiting at the pharmacy or doctor’s office thanks to this technology.

Mail Delivery Services Through Medicare Part D Programs

Many participants in Medicare Part D plans enjoy the savings that these plans offer. To save even more, you can arrange for your prescriptions to be delivered through the mail. According to this article, you can go online to request your refills and the technology systems will automatically process and fill your order. Today’s technology features systems that check to make sure you receive the correct prescription medication before your current supply runs out.

Science:

Streamlining the Moving Process with Cutting Edge Technology

Although many people in the Windy City look forward to the prospect of moving to a new residence, these same individuals tend to dread the prospect of the move itself. The process of finding reputable Chicago movers, getting the contents of a home packed up and actually making the move is a closely orchestrated task that can easily go awry.

As is the case with so many other aspects to day-to-day life in the 21st century, dynamic technological developments now exist that are designed to make the moving process substantially more manageable, according to this article. As a prelude to beginning the moving process, a person should consider what applications and resources exist to keep the process moving smoothly.

Organizing the Move: Leaving Nothing Behind

A residential move runs far more smoothly when it is organized from the beginning. Unfortunately, in many instances, a move becomes nothing less than a confused, rushed and muddled experience.

When the decision to relocate is made, a person is wise to obtain one of the moving-management applications that are available on the market today. MoveMe.com is a prime example of this type of application designed to bring a sense of order to the moving process from conception to completion. Another similar type of product is the House Move application. Both products are available for download to smartphones.

These moving-management applications represent relatively comprehensive solutions. In addition, these applications provide resources for after the move.

Technology and Scheduling a Move

A surprisingly common complaint lodged against at least some moving companies in the Chicagoland area, and across the United States, is the failure of a mover to show up at the scheduled time. Indeed, the Chicago Better Business Bureau logs a number of complaints annually about movers that do not show up at all.

Although this issue involves only a limited number of moving professionals, scheduling-related mistakes are always a possibility even with the most reputable moving companies. One meaningful solution that is lowering the possibility for errors in the scheduling of a moving company involves the introduction of more interactive appointment technology.

Historically, movers were scheduled through phone calls. With more interactive, Internet-based scheduling technology, a person in need of a mover can submit a request easily online. From that point forward, a person planning a move can access the appointment and track the processing of the request. Moreover, this type of system automatically sends appointment confirmations not only to the person relocating but to the team at the moving company as well. In addition, the system enables the customer to directly contact the moving company through email or live chat.

Some companies have enabled live updates. Like a package, movers can identify where along the route their belongings are, and they can estimate arrival time much more closely. This is very handy for those who are moving to a new area. The experience can be complicated, but there are tools available to make it go much more smoothly.

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