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Archive for the ‘personal health’ Category

AsthmaMD screenshot

AsthmaMD es un claro ejemplo de como los dispositivos móviles pueden ayudar en las tareas de personalización de la medicina y medicina basada en la evidencia.

La idea es muy sencilla, una aplicación en el iPhone en la que el paciente de asma puede ir guardando su estado y la medicación que toma. Una vez recogida la información se puede transmitir de forma sencilla al centro médico.

Medical doctor and researcher Sam Pejham, UCSF Medical School Clinical Faculty and Director of Tri-Valley Pediatrics is the creator of the new iPhone app. The free application allows users to easily and quickly log their asthma activity, their medications, causes of their asthma in the form of a diary. Users may share the diary and a color graph chart of their asthma activities with their physicians to be included in their medical records.

¿Qué beneficios se pueden obtener de todo esto?

Para el paciente: en  primer lugar  llevar un control sobre su propia enfermedad. Esto le ayudará no solo a conocerse mejor, sino que también le facilita la tarea de comunicarse de forma más sencilla, rápida y eficaz, cuando por ejemplo, visita a su especialista y le quiera contar como ha sido su evolución en los últimos meses.

Para los especialistas: si el paciente va registrando toda información acerca de su estado, de la medicación que toma, etc en su teléfono móvil, esta información se puede transmitir muy fácilmente a cualquier ordenador, de forma que el especialista podría ir siguiendo la evolución de su paciente de forma telemática o utilizar herramientas de ayuda a la decisión que detecten patrones o calculen estadísticas que le faciliten la toma de decisiones. De esta forma un médico dispone de información mucho más completa y detallada en lugar de simplemente esperar que el paciente llege a la consulta y le intente contar  lo que le ha pasado en los últimos 3 meses.

Para la sociedad: avance en la recopilación de una información que hasta ahora era imposible de obtener. Multitud de datos acerca de pacientes. Lo realmente interesante es que a partir de esa información se obtienen relaciones como la evolución de una enfermedad en una determinada región o en una determinada estación del año y se intenta encontrar una relación, por ejemplo entre  el tipo de plantas de la zona, a la humedad, a la comida y la efectividad de un determinado medicamento.  Obteniendo de esta forma un conocimiento mucho más completo y dificil de alcanzar por métodos empíricos. O por poner otro ejemplo, reunir información  acerca de la efectividad de un determinado medicamento sobre los pacientes de una determinada región.

Vía: TechChunch, AsthmaMD Helps Asthma Sufferers, Gathers Aggregate Research Data

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The yealthlife team has been lagging on updating its blog, we apologize to our followers. There’s a reason for this though, the yealthlife team works in a project of the 7th Framework Programme of the European Comission, and we just got done, a little over a week ago, with a technical review at Clinica Universitaria de Navarra, a well known clinic in Pamplona, Spain.

The project (www.perform-project.com) is about developing a comprehensive platform for the management of Parkinson’s disease patients. This includes a set of wearable motion sensors and a wide range of algorithms. The latter are used to identify and assess the severity of motor symptoms, profile the symptom’s patterns of appearance in each patient, keep track of the evolution of the disease and suggest better treatment regimes based on all this information and on the medication intake schedule of each patient.

One of the areas of the Information Society Technologies, one of the areas in which the European Commission invests heavily, consists in optimizing patient care processes for chronic diseases that are expensive to manage through the development of IT systems capable of constantly monitoring the status of the patient, generating alerts and providing advice to physicians on how to improve treatments.

Investing in optimizing healthcare related processes by taking advantage of Information Technologies seems to be a requirement for the long term sustainability of most of today’s healthcare systems. Both the cost and the number of people affected by chronic diseases have been, and will continue to be on the rise, for a long time.

Yealthlife comes into play in a similar niche, as it is similar to PERFORM in the way that both consist on integrating a technological platform (sensors, smart software, communications) to optimize care and improve quality of life for patients. The main difference is that PERFORM has been mainly envisioned as a R&D project, while yealthlife has been thought as going into the market right away, a more pragmatic approach. It’s also a big difference that PERFORM is limited to the frame of motor neurodegenerative diseases (i.e. Parkinson’s, ALS) while yealthlife is a comprehensive platform that addresses a variety sensors, a wide range of chronic diseases and the lifestyle of the user in general, even if he or she is not ill.

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Una parte muy importante del futuro de la medicina y la salud no se podrá ver a simple vista.  Desde hace décdas el sector tecnológico lucha por conseguir dispositivos que ofrezcan más funcionalidades, que cuesten menos, que ocupen menos espacio y que consuman menos.

La solución a todos estas necesidades surge es la tecnología de MEMS:

Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) is the integration of mechanical elements, sensors, actuators, and electronics on a common silicon substrate through microfabrication technology. While the electronics are fabricated using integrated circuit (IC) process sequences (e.g., CMOS, Bipolar, or BICMOS processes), the micromechanical components are fabricated using compatible “micromachining” processes that selectively etch away parts of the silicon wafer or add new structural layers to form the mechanical and electromechanical devices.

En resumen, los MEMS son pequeños dispositivos, en la escala de las micras y de los nanometros que funcionan como auténticos dispositivos electro mecánicos de tamaño natural. Este tipo de dispositivos combinados con la microfluídica permiten elaborar complejos dispositivos para por ejemplo análisis clínico, lo que se denomina el lab-on-a-chip:

 

Design, fabrication and cell-handling of microfluidic device for single cell electroporation


En este video se muestra un dispositivo MEMS que permite la realización de la  electroporación en una célula individual. La electroporación es un significativo aumento de la conductividad eléctrica y la permeabilidad de la membrana plasmática celular causado por un campo eléctrico aplicado externamente. Es habitual en biología molecular como forma de introducción de diferentes sustancias en células, como por ejemplo sondas moleculares, un fármaco que puede cambiar las funciones celulares o un fragmento de DNA codificante, como puede ser un plásmido.

 

DNA microarrays


Otro uso de los MEMS y la microfluídica es la de manejar dispositivos como estos microarrays en los que con una sola gota de sangre se puede estudiar la expresión o no de determinados genes.

 

DNA Lab on a Chip


Researchers at Duke University foresee devices no bigger than a wristwatch replacing the table-top sized machinery now used for monitoring enzymes in the bloodstream or measuring harmful chemicals in the environment. Learn more athttp://research.duke.edu/microfluidic/.

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Owen's Sleep Telemetry - Birth to 1 Month por allen fawcett.

So I just got done with a self study on my sleep time. A bit geeky, but it turned out to confirm something I had to learn the hard way.

I read for an adult, the average sleeping time per night falls somewhere around 7.5 hours a night on weekdays and 8.5 on the weekends. Variability in the measure is quite high from person to person and from night to night (Normal Human Sleep: An Overview, Carskadon M & Dement W). They also blame the high variability on genetics, prior sleep history, circadian rhythms, temperature, drug ingestion, pathologies… the baby waking up during the night, busy streets, roosters..

So I asked, well, where’s my somewhere?

To find out where it was, I wrote down how many hours I slept per day, for six months. I plotted it out and found that regardless of the oscillations, the weekly and monthly averages all fell pretty close to 7.3 hours.

Funny, because while I went to college I thought I could do with 5.

This served me to optimize my sleep/wake cycle. 5 hours a night was just trying to fool myself and it meant not keeping a healthy cycle. It meant falling asleep during class, feeling sleepy while driving, drifting away during conversations..

So this kind of information on your behavior, for your well being and for the optimization of your health is one of the thing’s yealthlife is about. yealthlife will save you hassles like writing down sleeping times every night. It will make it automatic and simple, and more importantly it will motivate you to do follow through.

Its like, now that we have ipods, listening to music on the go is just cool. Like how Starbucks is all over the place, and drinking a cup of cofee became a social event.

yealthlife’s about doing the same, but for your health.

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