Technology That Redefines Our World

Medical Device to Prevent Heart Attack

Medical Device to Prevent Heart Attack

Mar 25, 2013

A new device currently being designed in Switzerland looks like it may hold enormous potential for the future of medical care. A research team at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne is currently in the process of refining a tiny 14-millimeter robot instrument which would be implanted in an individual’s bloodstream and monitor a wide range of different elements of their blood composition. At present, the device is intended to measure the presence of up to five different types of compounds, though future improvements could increase that number.

The reason this appears so promising for the future of medical care is that one of the molecules which could be traced by the device, troponin, is released by the body several hours before a heart attack occurs. As soon as the device detects this molecule, it could send an alert to the individual’s smartphone, through Bluetooth capabilities, which would let them know that a heart attack is imminent.

There are a wide range of different reasons why this could prove amazingly effective in preventing fatalities from heart attacks. For one, it could allow individuals to get medical attention before the attack occurs, which could help to prevent most of the worst consequences of a cardiac event. Furthermore, it could help to prevent medical mistakes like doctors failing to diagnose a heart attack, which remains a serious problem today.

While the technology isn’t available to the public yet, one more feature stands out in showing its revolutionary potential: estimated costs for the device are less than one dollar.

MRI Fingerprinting

MRI Fingerprinting

Jan 30, 2013

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has been an invaluable tool in improvements of medical diagnostics. However, the fundamental approach to the use of MRI has, for the last 50 years, been largely static. All that may soon change with the development of what its creators call Magnetic Resonance Fingerprinting (MRF).

Traditional MRI diagnoses are typically restricted to exploring a single problem (cancerous material in lung tissue, for example). However, MRF diagnoses would, if properly calibrated, potentially be able to test the full range of tissues in the human body simultaneously, vastly increasing the amount of diagnostic data available to physicians and increasing the likelihood of detecting diseases earlier and more frequently. As a result, patient care could be significantly improved.

Failure to diagnose diseases such as cancer and other progressive conditions is an unfortunately common example of medical malpractice, so the potential that MRF presents for doctors and patients alike represents an exciting development in medical technology.