Our Top Trending Medical Business News Ideas for 2016

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This year is about to wrap up and MedBloggerCode wants to look back on some of the biggest trends and issues that affect North Americans welfare. The below list reflect some of our top picks as well as our own individual interests.

For any suggestions please email us – info@medbloggercode.com

Our Top Picks

Medical Options for Motorhome Residents

Why Picking the Best Skates is Essential for Good Health

 

Medical Materials You’ll See in the Future

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The modern medical community is constantly changes. New products can changed the landscape and what is considered normal practice.  Anti-bacterial materials and products have taken over the US medical industry with a huge percentage of US medical suppliers opting for high-quality polymers that provide anti-microbial protection.

flowersFrom putties to plastics the future holds some interesting developments.  In a recent report at Medical Plastic News, they described a new flower-based product, “Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have created a type of putty that can transform over time because of an internal clock. The university team, led by professor Sergei Sheiko, tweaked the molecular structure of a conventional soft polymer to create a material that could be programmed to change shape.

Polymers feature molecules that lie next to each other and which can uncoil and slide past each other, making the material flexible. Only a small proportion of links between molecules in a polymer are permanent, which allows the material to return to its original form when stretched. The researchers found that they could modify the rate of a polymer’s shape-shifting properties, which allowed them to control how the material changed over the course of several hours. To demonstrate the material’s ability, the researchers created designs that changed shaped over time. They created a delivery box that opened on one side when it reached its destination. More impressively postgraduate student, Qiaoxi Li created a flower out of multiple parts which were activated at different times to create the effect of blooming. The effect is stunning and displays how the material can be programmed to change shape at different times and intervals.

The material could be particularly useful in biomedical engineering. Medical implants could be designed to be easily inserted into the body, before changing shape inside. The result would be a fairly non-invasive surgery.”

While inventions like this are amazing. It’s important to realize that with rapidly expanding nanotechnology, 3-D printing and ever lower barriers to entry for medical printing we have seen more smaller industries enter the once expensive and closed medical product industry.

While shape-shifting properties seem to be a little bit too futuristic to believe, it’s well supported by science. In a recent report by Natural World News, ”

Scientists have developed a new shape-shifting material that transforms into any shape at a given time. To demonstrate this discovery, the researchers created an artificial flower bud made of the same material and programmed it to bloom or change shape at a chosen time. But apart from creating the lab-grown flower bud, the material could also be used in making medical implants that adopt the right shape at controlled rates inside the body. Scientists have long started developing shape-shifting materials. However, they typically require an external trigger to start changing form, such as a change in light levels, temperature or acidity. In certain situations, external triggers are not permissible or are ineffective, especially inside the human body. With this, Sergei Sheiko, a materials scientist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, created a material that has an internal clock, which allows it to transform at a given time. This allows the transformation to be modified and controlled over time.”

Perhaps changes like this seem a little bit too far fetched.  While it would be great to think that we can have materials that adjust and modify themselves to their surrounding, more simple applications and solutions can be found in combining research and already existing inventions. One area that comes to mind is medical printing known as Tyvek Printers that already produce medical products known as Tyvek Tags.

We’d like to know what you think. What will be the next big materials breakthrough in 2017?

 

Why Virtual Reality is the Future of Hospital Training

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medical-realities-vr-surgery

Thursday April 14, 2015 marked the virtual virtually conducted surgery in human history. Dr. Shafi Ahmed brought surgery well into the future with an operation broadcast that lasted three hours.  In a recent Business Insider interview Shafi explains,

“The entire operation, which lasted approximately three hours, was live-streamed on Medical Realities website for people without a VR headset. For those who have one, they could download the “VR in OR” app to get immersed in the 360-degree surgery room, right beside Ahmed as he removed cancerous tissue from a male patient’s bowel.  In addition to being a full-time surgeon, Ahmed is the co-founder of the site putting on the broadcast, Medical Realities. Two years ago he live-streamed another surgery using the augmented-reality powers of Google Glass.

Virtual reality has and continues to be used in multiple stages of healthcare, ranging from diagnosis to treatment e.g. rehab and counseling, surgery etc. It has also been used in training the next generation of paramedics, doctors, and other medical personnel, and has exhibited great potential from doing so. So what makes VR in health care so attractive? Well, there are several which are related to preventative medicine, surgical/medical training, and counseling which we look at below.

Virtual reality in medical training

Virtual reality is used in medical schools and other similar settings as a means of instruction and education and most importantly – simulated real-time experience. It allows medical practitioners to acquire understanding and knowledge about the human body by interacting within a virtual environment. Here, medical students can carry out ‘hands on’ procedures but in a controlled and safe environment where they are able to make mistakes and learn from them devoid of risk to the patient. By interacting with a virtual patient, they get to learn the skills that they can then apply in real-life situations.

Virtual reality in paramedic training

Virtual training is also used to equip paramedics and other similar personnel with the necessary life saving skills, but without placing them or their patients at risk. This also has huge insurance and liability implications for medical establishments.  This is done by interacting with a simulated emergency or accident in a virtual environment with minimal risk. These scenarios are quite realistic and allow them to experience high pressure situations and respond in a controlled manner.

Virtual reality in dentistry

Virtual reality training is not only confined to medical schools as dentistry is another area where it plays a vital role. For instance, there is a program commonly referred to as ’HapTEL’, based on haptics (Greek meaning for touch) which is used to train dentists. This virtual dentist’s chair is characterized by training scenarios in which students are shown a set of 3D teeth that they are required to work on. They could be asked to perform a range of procedures such as tooth fillings using a virtual drill that replicates the pressure and movement of a real drill, all of which are enabled by force feedback. This feedback is usually in the form of subtle pressure changes which enables participating students to adjust their technique accordingly.

Virtual reality in preventative medicine

Virtual training can be used to educate patients about the benefits of adopting positive lifestyle changes e.g. exercise, healthy eating, moderate alcohol intake, quitting smoking etc. This is in line with the emphasis on educating people about making positive changes about their health which should, in the long run, reduce the risk of illnesses, most of which can be avoided. Both fully immersive and desktop CAVE systems can be used in the demonstration of the effects of negative lifestyle habits such as what smoking does to the body.

Virtual reality in Counseling

Counseling is yet another area where virtual training has been used in hospitals. A classic example is in the treatment of phobias e.g. a fear of public speaking where sufferers are able to build up their confidence and learn skills in a virtual environment. Phil Carey, one of the pioneers of Sydney’s Corporate Videography industry explained that,

Virtual reality allows operators to engage in any environment without the absence of danger. The results allow for more streamlined training that can be monitored and more easily improved upon.”

Carey Seen Below in this video explains exactly how he uses VR for both corporate and medical training:

It can also be used to treat people who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) such as soldiers who have served on the front lines. Here patients can be taught various techniques for dealing with their symptoms using virtual reality. This can take the form of head mounted displays (HMDs) or a pair of virtual reality glasses, data gloves, and input devices e.g. joysticks.

How Too Much Screen Time is Damaging Your Health

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The rapidly developing tech world has opened us up to new possibilities. We interact with one another in real-time at the press of a button, or via moving pixelated pictures. The whole world is available to us via a digital screen, and sometimes we are unaware of how much time we spend with our eyes glued to one (or two, or three—who uses just their computer these days?)

Research has shown that too much screen time can have serious effects on one’s health over time. While it is nearly impossible to eliminate one’s screen time entirely (it is the 21st century after all), here are a few reasons you might consider cutting down on how many hours a day you spend looking at your smartphone, tablet, computer, etc.

Screens cause eye strain.

Possibly the most obvious effect of too much screen time, eye strain has become increasingly common over the last decade. Digital screens emit blue light, which has a significant effect on our circadian rhythms, especially if you are exposed heavily to it at night. Aside from keeping you awake (blue light suppresses the hormone melatonin, which is a key hormone needed for sleep), looking at a screen for too long—and especially in the dark—can strain your eyes and can even damage the retina over time.

A good rule of thumb for reducing eye strain is the “twenty” rule. If you have been glued to a screen for twenty minutes, look away and at an object at least twenty feet away, and fix your eyes on that object for at least twenty seconds.

The brain rewires itself according to screen addiction.

This takes longer to happen in adults than it does in children, but studies show that addiction to gadget use and the subsequent screen time can affect the brain’s grey matter. Grey matter is responsible for the transmission of signals from neuron to neuron. The more exposure to screens, the greater the chances for screen addiction, leading to an eventual decrease in grey matter that affects the way signals between neurons are transmitted. This later results in an overall decrease in cognitive performance. (Another way of putting it is: spending too much time looking at screens can, theoretically, make you stupid.)

Too much screen time affects metabolism.

A study in 2008 showed that people who generally spend more time looking at their screens are those who lead sedentary lifestyles. While metabolic syndrome is not strictly caused by looking at screens, the data showed a strong correlation between the amount of screen time and the subsequent development of metabolic syndrome caused by several hours of physical inactivity. The syndrome is a mix of acquired diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity—all of which you get from sitting still.

Another effect of spending several hours on a computer, tablet, or smartphone is poorer cardiovascular health, which leads to a greater risk for developing fatal heart disease later in life; in 2011, researchers found that adults who had plenty of screen time increased the likelihood of their death by a whopping 52%.

Exercise and a healthy diet—combined with actually logging off the tech—can help significantly reduce that statistic. If you’re going to be spending time in front of a screen, you may as well be outside. Why not try an setting up an outdoor movie theater and let the kids enjoy both nature and a great flick.

 

 

 

Three Legged Mobility: The Importance of Assisted Walking

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mobiilty aids

Needless to say, we are all destined to grow old some day. And in the twilight years of our lives, things, inevitably, start becoming more difficult for us in terms of mobility. When our limbs begin to be less responsive, mobility/walking aids and other such forms of assistance are, therefore, needed to support us. There are numerous disabled and elderly individuals out there who require support from mobility equipment in order to compliment their need to stay independent.

What are Mobility Aids?

These are equipment and devices that are intended to support the elderly or people who experience pain in weight-bearing joints due to disease or injury. In addition, mobility aids also provide users with numerous health benefits as they improve balance and assist the disabled to sit, stand, and keep moving.

Health Benefits of Mobility Aids

  • Improved balance and stability

Whenever the elderly walk over uneven surfaces, various obstacles can make it difficult for them to maintain proper balance. For instance, when they are going uphill, stepping on rocks, or hiking on loose dirt, proper support for balance and stability is essential. Mobility aids thus help in stabilizing body weight and consequently reducing the risk of slipping and falling. They also assist on hilly terrain by providing balance, especially when fatigue sets in and the muscles become less reliable.

  • Joint and back health

Mobility aids also help in the redistribution of the body’s mass by preventing a situation where all your weight comes down on your hips, knees, and back. They displace your body mass from your lower body and back and support it through the walking aid and your arms. This is greatly beneficial in reducing pressure on the muscles and joints and should be particularly helpful to those who suffer from back problems and arthritis.  Additionally, walking aids foster proper body posture, especially in the upper back. Proper posture is crucial as it redistributes mass evenly which improves back health and reduces the risk of injury.

  • Improved mobility

Walking aids drastically improve an elderly person’s mobility as it helps them maintain an active and healthier lifestyle. It is thus little wonder that these devices have gained such immense popularity among the elderly who use them to move around better and for any other things that they need to do. This gives them more confidence as they are likely to be more energized in their day to day activities.

  • Avoid falls and trips

Mobility aids can assist older people to not only maintain balance, but minimize their risk of falling. Falls are a common phenomenon in older people and the risk of falling invariably increases with age. A third of people aged 65 and over, rising to over 40% in those over the age of 80, fall each year, compared with 8% in the middle-aged.  This can be mainly attributed to psychological changes that are associated with the normal aging process which increase reflex times, reduce balance and, consequently, increase the risk of falling.

Undoubtedly, it can be quite depressing going through life feeling like you cannot do everything that active, healthy people around you are doing. With mobility aids such as the highly acclaimed 3 wheeled rollator, the elderly are assured of the best quality of life as simple tasks are made as easy as possible. Check out the 3 wheeled rollator reviews to see how mobility aids are benefitting those in need.

 

How to Become a Dental Nurse

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How to Become a Dental Nurse

For those who love science and are fascinated by the oral health sector, a career as a dental nurse is an absolutely good choice. Dental nurses work alongside dentists and therapists, providing help and direct support in matters regarding dental care and hygiene. From welcoming patients to handling surgical instruments, they help fix people’s smiles

Thanks to BC Soft Touch Dental for this great post.  If you’re looking for Bee Cave Dental they are your number 1 choice.  Check out their clinic to find a bee cave dentist.

Dental nurses play an important role in the oral health sector. Since they deal with a wide variety of dental patients, they need to be good in dealing with people.

What are the required people skills?

• A sociable person: as a dental nurse, one needs to relate well with people, understand them as they come in so as to be able to deal with their special needs

• Calm and supportive: the nurse needs a reassuring manner

• Great team skills: corporation is a must so as to get results

How to become a dental nurse

One can undergo full-time training by going through the college course or just receive training by working as beginner in a dental practice. No special qualifications are needed for one to start out as a trainee nurse although good GCSEs scores in Math, English and Science are an added advantage.

Both cases involve studying, registration and approval by the dentists’ council that is the General Dental Council upon attainment of the necessary qualifications.

This training includes theoretical and practical work. Therefore the full-training schedule will include 12 to 18 hours of practical work in an NHS organization or private dental practice. This practical work will include:

1. Record maintenance and taking care of patients

2. Dental radiography and infection control

3. First aid emergency services

4. Oral diseases and how to prevent them

5. Offering support during treatment

For qualification, one needs to undergo either of these approved courses:

• Foundation Degree in Dental Nursing

• Certificate of Higher Education in Dental Nursing

• National Diploma in Dental Nursing

• Level 3 Diploma in Dental Nursing

In addition to the above, one needs to display passion when dealing with patients, caring for them and possess good practical skill and other personal skills such as good eyesight, confidence, steady hands and above all be hardworking

What does a dental nurse do?

As aforementioned, dental nurses provide support to dentists in matters concerning dental care. This support ranges from taking patients record to handling and sterilizing the dental kit and includes:

• Preparation of materials such as those used for teeth filling

• Getting saliva and water out of the patient’s mouth during treatment

• Passing of instruments from the dental kit to the dentists or therapists

• Ensuring the patients are comfortable and relaxed

In addition to the above, the nurse helps out at the reception area. This is common during busy periods. The nurse sorts out and books the appointments and collects payment. It is common for them to apply their skills and reassure patients too to put them at ease.

Working hours

The working schedule is normal. Normal working hours, that is 9am to 5pm during weekdays i.e. Monday to Friday although this depends with the practice. Some open during evenings too and allow for part-time work sometimes.

A nursing uniform is a must have. In addition, surgical gloves and safety glasses are used to minimize the threat of cross-infection

Income

Those starting out in the NHS earn around 16000 euros while their qualified counterparts earn between 19000 to 22000 euros.