Archive for the ‘HEALTH MEDICAL DIET’ Category


Monday, October 13th, 2014


Researchers are working on putting sensors in glass so smart devices can do more to monitor users’ health. Photo: Lisa Maree Williams

Imagine if an app in your phone or tablet could take your pulse or measure your blood sugar just when you touch the screen, without any added hardware. New developments in the construction of screen glass might mean such technologies are on the way.

Scientists at Corning, makers of the popular Gorilla Glass found in millions of handheld devices, and Canada’s Polytechnique Montreal, have released a study about building light-based sensors into the physical structure of glass used for device screens. The sensors are placed in stackable layers using finer detail than ever before.

The technology means apps can get more accurate readings from far more sensors than just those already placed under screens to detect a touch or swipe. It uses laser to inscribe wave-guides into the glass that use photons of light to describe the transmission of information.

“[It] can be used to transmit information encoded on to the light, in other words, sense its environment to ascertain the properties of a material placed near that surface,” said Dr Alan F Evans, Corning’s research director.

The team behind the system has already built two prototype applications. The first is a temperature sensor based on interferometer technology, which reads body temperature from the touch of a finger.

The other is a unique authentication system that uses tiny dots to scatter infrared light that can be read by the device’s camera. The pattern of scattered light can then be transposed into ones and zeros read as binary data, making strings of characters of up to a quadrillion patterns.

“It’s like a permanent and unique barcode on every smartphone that’s very difficult to counterfeit and also not easily seen, so doesn’t intrude with the operation of the phone,” Dr Evans said.

With the possibility of more detailed sensors built into an interface substrate like a touchscreen, it potentially makes every glass surface a computer.

The research brings us a step closer to Corning’s own speculative short film series A Day Made of Glass, where computers are embedded in surfaces from kitchen walls to the dashboards of cars.

Of the industries set to receive a boost, observers say wearables will particularly benefit as we demand more responsiveness and accuracy from devices.

“I see this advancement being even more useful for wearables like glasses and watches,” says Joanan Hernandez, founder of Montreal developer Mollejuo AR Studio, which makes mobile apps to help guide travellers in unfamiliar cities.

“Putting transparent sensors on glasses and watches will reduce the circuit box needed for these devices, which in turn will make them more attractive and easier to wear.”

The basis for laser-inscribed wave-guides opens the field to even more circuits based on light. When the glass can distinguish between materials or even within a specific material, the possibilities are endless.

Putting food on your phone to see if it’s been washed in contaminated water or spitting on your screen to see if you have a cold coming on might not sound socially acceptable today, but phones and tablets are soon set to do much more than take calls, send emails and play games.


Henry Sapiecha

black diamonds on white line


Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Smart phone app can now diagnose you for skin cancer

A mobile phone app that allows people to analyse their moles for cancer risk is a good tool, but should not be relied on in isolation, the Cancer Society of New Zealand warns.

Skin Scan, an application for iPhones, allows users to take photos of their moles and find out whether they are likely to be cancerous.

Released by Romanian company Cronian Labs, the technology

can be downloaded for $5.49.

The Cancer Society of New Zealand has applauded the technology as a way of reminding people to look after their skin and seek medical help for any changes to the appearance of moles.

Using specific mathematical algorithms, the tool calculates the mole’s shape and surrounding skin by building a structural map to reveal tissue growth patterns that help to identify abnormal developments.

It also takes into account the user’s age and gender.

It returns with a green, yellow or red result – showing whether the lesion is a low, medium or high risk of being cancerous.

Cancer Society health promotion manager Dr Jan Pearson tried the device and was impressed that it included the recommendation of visiting a doctor, but said more could be done for consumers.

“It listed some doctors’ surgeries, but not many. It’s designed more for an Australian market.”

But it also stores photos, so any changes to the mole over time can be monitored.

Pearson said that’s what people need to be aware of most, for everyone’s skin looks different.

“For melanoma, which is the most serious skin cancer, there are a number of different things that might be a melanoma. There’s a whole range of changes.”

But while the application makes it easier for people to monitor their moles, they should not rely on the technology alone, Pearson said.

“It could miss stuff, so my advice would be that if you’ve noticed any changes, see a doctor.

“You do need to detect it early.”

Those more at risk of developing skin cancer – particularly people with a number of moles, who have been seriously sunburnt in the past, or who have a family history of melanoma – should be extra careful, she said.

“Get someone to check the areas you can’t see yourself.

“That’s one of the things with skin cancer is you can see it.”

Specific changes to be wary of were a changed or new freckle, a mole which won’t heal, a spot which looks different from those around it and a spot which has changed size, shape or colour within the last few months.

One pitfall with the application was that it was not compatible with all iPhone cameras, because older models did not provide the quality image required.

“I tried it with an iPhone 3 and the camera wasn’t good enough, but I might have another play,” Pearson said.

“We’d be cautious to recommend it, but hopefully, it will make people more aware that they have to look after their skin and look for any changes.”

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012


(Reuters) – Tired of long waits at the hospital for medical tests? If Korean researchers have their way, your smartphone could one day eliminate that — and perhaps even tell you that you have cancer. 

A team of scientists at Korea Advanced Institute of Science of Technology (KAIST) said in a paper published in Angewandte Chemie, a German science journal, that touch screen technology can be used to detect biomolecular matter, much as is done in medical tests.

“It began from the idea that touch screens work by recognizing the electronic signs from the touch of the finger, and so the presence of specific proteins and DNA should be recognizable as well,” said Hyun-gyu Park, who with Byong-yeon Won led the study.

The touch screens on smartphones, PDAs or other electronic devices work by sensing the electronic charges from the user’s body on the screen. Biochemicals such as proteins and DNA molecules also carry specific electronic charges.

According to KAIST, the team’s experiments showed that touch screens can recognize the existence and the concentration of DNA molecules placed on them, a first step toward one day being able to use the screens to carry out medical tests.

“We have confirmed that (touch screens) are able to recognize DNA molecules with nearly 100 percent accuracy just as large, conventional medical equipment can and we believe equal results are possible for proteins,” Park told Reuters TV.

“There are proteins known in the medical world like the ones used to diagnose liver cancer, and we would be able to see the liver condition of the patient.”

The research team added that it is currently developing a type of film with reactive materials that can identify specific biochemicals, hoping this will allow the touch screens to also recognize different biomolecular materials.

But confirming that the touch screen can recognize the biomolecular materials, though key, is only the first step.

Since nobody would put blood or urine on a touch screen, the sample would be placed on a strip, which would then be fed into the phone or a module attached to the phone through what Park called an “entrance point.”

“The location and concentration of the sample would be recognized the same way the touch of the finger is recognized,” he added.

There are no details yet on a prospective timetable for making the phone a diagnostic tool, however.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Sunday, January 30th, 2011

Calling all heroines & heroes:

Fire Dept app could help save lives

By Paul Ridden

13:25 January 26, 2011

Around three hundred thousand people in the U.S. are said to suffer sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) each year, so with survival rates standing at less than eight percent and brain death taking a grip just four to six minutes after an attack, every second counts. The San Ramon Valley Fire Department is therefore calling on members of the public who have been trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to help. A new location-aware iPhone app has been developed that notifies registered users within the 155 square-mile (401.5 sq km) San Ramon Valley, California region when their skills are needed to save lives.

If a cardiac emergency happens in a publicly accessible location, the freely available iPhone app developed by the San Ramon Fire Department will use the smartphone’s GPS capabilities to identify registered users trained in CPR in the vicinity and let them know that someone nearby needs help. It will also direct the local heroes to the exact location of the closest public access Automated External Defibrillator.

“The creation and deployment of a smartphone application that notifies trained bystanders of nearby cardiac arrest events completely redefines the traditional meaning of a witnessed arrest by expanding awareness over a much broader area,” said Fire Chief Richard Price. “Providing actionable, real-time information during a sudden cardiac arrest emergency, including mapping the victim and rescuer locations, along with the nearest AED locations, is the quintessential use of GPS technology on a mobile phone today.”

Users are offered the choice of incident notification by type and can also use the app as “a virtual window into San Ramon Valley’s 9-1-1 dispatch center.” They can also use the app to view the current status of incident alerts, including information about when the professionals are due to arrive at the scene. The Fire Department also utilizes the technology to communicate with over 700 members of the Community Emergency Response Team.

A limited version of the app has been in public testing for the past six months with more than 22,000 iPhone users, and has now been released as full version 2.0.3 to the iTunes store. It will run on any iPhone or iPad running iOS 4.2 or later.

The initiative has been applauded by the American Heart Association. “Fast action can save a life when someone collapses during a cardiac arrest,” said Dr. Junaid Khan. “CPR can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.” It’s also received a warm welcome from numerous other organizations, including the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Contra Costa Emergency Medical Services and the National EMS Management Association.

For those who don’t live in the area of coverage, you can let your curiosity get the better of you and download the app to listen in to what’s going on. However, with Chief Price confirming that the technology is to be shared with other public safety agencies around the globe, similar initiatives may soon pop up in your area too.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Handyscope turns an iPhone

into a digital dermoscope

By Darren Quick

20:08 January 23, 2011

Call me crazy, but I’ve always found some peace of mind knowing that the latest medical gadget scanning some worrisome part of my body isn’t an accessory for a smartphone, but costs in the millions of dollars and is the result of years of expensive research and development. However, as someone who has more than their fair share of moles dotted all over their body, I’m willing to make an exception for the handyscope. Consisting of an optical attachment and an accompanying app, the handyscope turns an iPhone into a digital dermoscope to provide an instantaneous up close look at potential skin cancers.

  • An iPhone slides into the handyscope
  • The handyscope digital dermascope accessory for iPhone
  • The handyscope lens features built-in LEDs
  • The handyscope digital dermascope accessory for iPhone

The handyscope features a case into which an iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4 slides so that the iPhone’s camera aligns with the handyscope’s lens system. The device is then placed flush against the patient’s skin, which is illuminated by polarized light from the built-in LEDs. The device features a standardized zoom and auto-focus with images captured with a single tap using the iPhone app.

The images can be immediately viewed full screen with a magnification of up to 20x and saved with another tap. The shooting date and time is automatically recorded with saved the images, while patient data and other comments can also be added manually. The data is all encrypted and can be password protected so there’s no doctor/patient privilege privacy concerns.

One of the big pluses of the device, aside from its portability, is the ease with which images of suspicious moles can be shared with colleagues or uploaded to a second opinion service where world-renowned specialists can weigh in with their view.

“We developed the handyscope for all doctors who want to have the possibility to take pictures of the skin and work with them later. It is an alternative for those who miss the ?capture-and-save-function’ when using conventional handheld dermatoscopes,” explains Andreas Mayer, chief executive officer of FotoFinder.

The handyscope has its own in-built 2400mAh battery pack, which will keep the LEDs running for up to eight hours and can be recharged with the standard iPhone USB cable.

FotoFinder will launch the handyscope in February at the 69th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology in New Orleans. Health professionals can order the handyscope for 1,166.20 euro (approx. US$1,590), while the app costs US$11.99 through the iTunes App Store.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Friday, January 21st, 2011

Water fall:

texting woman

who stumbled

into mall fountain

threatens to sue

January 21, 2011 – 1:14PM

Texting woman falls in fountain, sues mall

A woman accidentally fell into a fountain while text messaging and is now suing the shopping centre.

A US woman whose fall into a shopping centre fountain has become a viral video sensation is threatening to sue the mall.

Cathy Cruz Marrero, 49, was texting on her mobile phone when she tumbled head first into a shallow fountain in a mall in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, this month.

“I saw the water coming at me, I could see the pennies and nickels at the bottom of the fountain and then I was in it,” Marrero told local newspaper the Reading Eagle.

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Oblivious ... Cathy Cruz Marrero texts while she walks towards the fountain.
Oblivious … Cathy Cruz Marrero texts while she walks towards the fountain.

A video of her fall, which was captured on the centre’s CCTV cameras, was posted on YouTube and has since attracted more than 1½ million views. Laughter could be heard on the footage while it was being played.

Marrero, who works at a store in the centre, told US television network ABC’s Good Morning America she had initially laughed at her fall but added that no one had taken her feelings into consideration when they posted the video on the internet.

“It shows in the video. Nobody went to my aid. Not one single person … it could have been anybody’s mother. It could have been a senior citizen falling and would they have gotten the same treatment as I did?” she asked.

Stumble ... Cathy Cruz Marrero walks into the side of the shallow fountain.
Stumble … Cathy Cruz Marrero walks into the side of the shallow fountain.

“I didn’t get an apology, what I got was, ‘At least nobody knows it was you.’ But I knew it was me.”

Marrero’s lawyer, James Polyak, said they suspected someone in the mall’s security office recorded the footage on a mobile phone.

“We intend to hold all responsible parties accountable whether that means requesting or demanding an apology – certainly requesting an explanation for why this happened, how this happened,” he said.

Head first ... Cathy Cruz Marrero falls towards the water.
Head first … Cathy Cruz Marrero falls towards the water.

Marrero, who has convictions for theft from the 1990s, is free on $US7500 ($7600) bail for theft by deception and receiving stolen property charges from 2009, the Eagle reported.

She is due back in court in April and could face six months of house arrest and be forced to wear an electronic tag.

Marrero admitted to Good Morning America‘s host George Stephanopoulos that she did learn a lesson from her fall.

Making a splash ... Cathy Cruz Marrero's leg flails in the air as she goes under the water.
Making a splash … Cathy Cruz Marrero’s leg flails in the air as she goes under the water.

“Do not text and walk,” she said.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Friday, January 21st, 2011

Green group

accuses Apple of

not being green

January 21, 2011 – 9:33AM

iPhone maker Apple was criticised by Chinese green groups for lax corporate oversight of its suppliers in China, leading to poor environmental and work safety standards that poisoned dozens of factory workers.

Apple, which announced blockbuster profits and a dazzling outlook for iPhone and iPad sales earlier this week, continues to be dogged by accusations of aggressive pricing and secretive supply chain management in Chinese factories where they now assemble most of their products.

“We’ve found that Apple isn’t honouring its commitment in ensuring its supply chain’s work safety and environmental responsibility and giving dignity and respect to the workers,” said Ma Jun, of the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) which published a detailed report on Apple supply chain malpractice this week, in conjunction with other green groups.

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“[Apple] only care about the price and quality [of their products] and not the environmental and social responsibility issues. In some ways they drive the suppliers to cut corners to win their contracts,” Ma said.

Apple said it had a rigorous auditing regime and all its suppliers were monitored and investigated regularly.

“Our supplier responsibility reports document the progress of our extensive auditing program since 2006,” an Apple spokeswoman said.

Foxconn suicides

Last year, Apple’s main China supplier Foxconn was hit by over a dozen worker suicides that critics blamed on harsh factory conditions and a militaristic culture. Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs has denied the allegations, saying that Foxconn is not a sweatshop.

Many Western multinationals – including toymaker Mattel which suffered a toxic lead paint scandal in 2007 – have struggled to regulate product quality across scores of suppliers in knotted Chinese supply chains, but the report said Apple’s standards fell far short of its status as a leading global brand.

“It’s not easy to control [the supply chain] but peer brands are doing a lot more [than Apple] to deal with this,” said Ma.

The nine-month survey “The other face of Apple” found that at least 49 factory workers in eastern China working in factories assembling products for Apple, had fallen ill.

Lianjian Technology in the eastern city of Suzhou which the green group claims is one of Apple’s major touchscreen suppliers, was accused of using N-Hexane, a toxic solvent, to clean touch screens, leading to at least 47 factory workers being poisoned.

Another company named by the green group as a user of N-Hexane was Taiwan-based touchscreen chip maker Wintek. A Wintek spokesman said it had stopped using the chemical and all its employees had recovered.

“Apple’s lack of responsiveness eventually made us quite shocked. It’s the whole complacency that it doesn’t have to be accountable to the NGOs, to the communities, even to the poisoned workers,” Ma said.


Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha