A Nintendo Wii style device could transform traditional ultrasound technologies
When playing the Nintendo Wii with his son, Duke University professor Joshua Broder realised the potential the technology could hold in transforming traditional ultrasound technologies.
Utilising a microchip, the controller gains the ability to track the position and movement of a user with precision, and could therefore transform what is currently an existing, and vastly expensive procedure, and enable the production of high resolution, complex 3D images.
The patented 3D-scanner is currently undergoing essential clinical trials, but would become a cost effective, precision led solution. Built as an ‘add on’ for traditional probes, the technology could provide millions of savings for acute healthcare facilities, and become a cost-effective, accessible tool for developing nations, which will provide the required accuracy in detecting abnormalities.
Developed by both Duke and Stanford University, it is hoped that the 3D imaging technology is able to hit the market within two years.
"With trauma patients in the emergency department, we face a dilemma," explains Broder. "Do we take them to the operating room not knowing the extent of their internal injuries or bleeding, or do we risk transporting them to a CT scanner, where their condition could worsen due to a delay in care?
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“With our new 3D technique, we hope to demonstrate that we can determine the source of bleeding, measure the rate of bleeding right at the bedside and determine whether an operation is really needed."
"With 2D technology you see a visual 'slice' of an organ, but without any context, you may mistake it for another part, or mistake one disease process or injury for another," he continues. "These are all problems that can be solved with the added orientation and holistic context of 3D technology.
“Gaining that ability at an incredibly low cost by taking existing machines and upgrading them seemed like the best solution to us."
"We've tried it on all types of ultrasound machines and it's worked every time without any previous testing. After a quick arc or twist of the probe, the software churns out a 3D image in a matter of seconds."
Bringing patient care from bench to bedside will further healthcare’s move towards patient-centric care and the adoption of new technologies to further this approach.
NHS care homes are better than private, report finds
A new survey has found that 60% of people with parents in NHS care homes believe the quality of care has improved, compared to just 49% of respondents with parents in private care facilities.
The survey was conducted by Kepler Vision Technologies, an AI-driven company formed at the University of Amsterdam. It was carried out among UK adults with parents over the age of 75.
Respondents cited more capable care staff and better monitoring systems as being the main reasons for improvement.
However those who do not have parents in assisted living facilities had a different viewpoint - in this case only 35% of respondents believe that NHS facilities are improving, compared to 32% who believe it is only improving in the private sector.
Only 18% of people whose parents live with them or independently believe care home staff are able to look after residents to a good standard.
Kepler Vision say this difference in opinion is due to perceived budget cuts and financial pressures, with 67% of people commenting that a lack of funding has had a negative effect on care in both NHS and private care facilities.
Other key findings of the survey include:
* Out of those who say quality has declined in care homes, 69% say the NHS is dealing with budget cuts and increased financial pressure, while 65% also said that the private system is dealing with these pressures too
* 55% said that they or their parent have money saved specifically to pay for their future care
* 35% said the idea of their parent in a care home makes them feel frightened, although 32% say it makes them feel secure
* 52% are worried about their parent catching COVID
* 47% are worried about their parent being lonely
* 46% are concerned they could fall over alone
The announcement of this research follows the UK government's decision to delay presenting its social care budget till the autumn.
Commenting on the research, Dr Harro Stokman, CEO of Kepler Vision Technologies said: “While it is good to see that people recognise the importance of staff and face-to-face interaction in elderly care, the huge gap in opinion between those with parents in care and those without shows that there are unfair negative perceptions around the residential care space.
"More can and should be done by care homes to give people the confidence that their relatives will receive the very best care - by highlighting the excellent work of staff and how well they are able to monitor resident’s needs with easy-to-use technology.”