Virtual Reality

Study looks at Google Glass to bring toxicology specialists to remote emergency rooms

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School have found that Google Glass, a head-mounted streaming audio/video device, may be used to effectively extend bed-side toxicology consults to distant health care facilities such as community and rural hospitals to diagnose and manage poisoned patients. Published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology, the study also showed preliminary data that suggests the hands-free device helps physicians in diagnosing specific poisonings and can enhance patient care.

“In the present era of value-based care, a toxicology service using hands-free devices, such as Google Glass, could conceivably expand its coverage area and enhance patient care, while potentially decreasing overall treatment costs,” said Peter R. Chai, MD, toxicology fellow at UMass Medical School. “Our work shows that the data transmitted by Google Glass can be used to supplement traditional telephone consults, validate bedside physical exams, and diagnose and manage patients.” Continue reading

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Computer Simulations

Computer simulation predicts development, progress of pressure sores

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have devised a computational model that could enhance understanding, diagnosis and treatment of pressure ulcers related to spinal cord injury. In a report published online in PLOS Computational Biology, the team also described results of virtual clinical trials that showed that for effective treatment of the lesions, anti-inflammatory measures had to be applied well before the earliest clinical signs of ulcer formation.

Pressure ulcers affect more than 2.5 million Americans annually and patients who have spinal cord injuries that impair movement are more vulnerable to developing them, said senior investigator Yoram Vodovotz, Ph.D., professor of surgery and director of the Center for Inflammation and Regenerative Modeling at the Pitt School of Medicine. Continue reading