Amazing things are currently happening in a field that gets little attention, and that’s a shame. Some of the current breakthroughs in medical technology, both big and small, may well be saving or improving the lives of the disinterested general public in future. For example:
- Social Media Saves The Day?
Neurosurgeon Paolo Zamboni needed subjects and lots of them, to test a theory he had to relieve pain in MS sufferers. He proposed a type of experimental surgery that involved inserting a balloon to relieve neck nerve pressure. But in order to obtain verifiable results, the surgery would have to be performed on many subjects. Where was he going to find enough volunteers? As Zamboni prepared a paper to appear in The Journal of Vascular Medicine word leaked out on his study and subject needs onto the Internet, and from there onto various social media sites. The results? Hospitals and patients responded overwhelmingly, and Zamboni soon found himself with a large international pool of subjects. “Using these sites to generate a call to medical action and for assistance is an idea with great potential. As with anything on the Internet however, caution must be used. It will be interesting to see the protocols developed to use this as a medical resource,” said Jason.
- Literally Reading The Mind
Neurologists and neurosurgeons are very excited about UCLA’s development of the STEM microscope. Able to take 250 pictures a minute and track brain neuron activity as it’s happening, the STEM microscope may make life changing differences for thousands of neurological patients. Researchers are anticipating huge advances in treatment for various mental illnesses and autism based on information the STEM can provide. “The STEM microscope is an exciting new technology that will provide both better diagnoses and treatments for mental illness” says Jason Hope.
- Building A Better Biopsy
There is exciting news concerning biopsies and their subsequent test results. Biopsies are universally dreaded by patients due to the prospect of surgery, and the long wait for test results. But researchers at Michigan State University are now experimenting with using laser microscopes to collect data on moles and some forms of cancer. “The scanning eliminates the pain and invasiveness of traditional surgery. The results of the scanning are obtained immediately, making this a huge improvement in obtaining biopsies”, said Jason Hope. And such a procedure brings even better news for patients. If the laser microscope used is calibrated properly, it can also determine how drugs are being absorbed and used by the body, meaning more effective use of drug treatment.