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Future Health Technology
Posts relating to technology and innovation in healthcare
Curated by Daniel House
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Tiny DARPA implants could give humans self-healing power

Tiny DARPA implants could give humans self-healing power | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

A new military-sponsored program aims to develop a tiny device that can be implanted in the body, where it will use electrical impulses to monitor the body's organs, healing these crucial parts when they become infected or injured.

Known as Electrical Prescriptions, or ElectRx, the program could reduce dependence on pharmaceutical drugs and offer a new way to treat illnesses, according to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the branch of the U.S. Department of Defense responsible for developing the program. [5 Crazy Technologies That Are Revolutionizing Biotech]

"The technology DARPA plans to develop through the ElectRx program could fundamentally change the manner in which doctors diagnose, monitor and treat injury and illness," Doug Weber, program manager for DARPA's biological technologies office, said in a statement.

The implant that DARPA hopes to develop is something akin to a tiny, intelligent pacemaker, Weber said. The device would be implanted into the body, where it would continually assess a person's condition and provide any necessary stimulus to the nerves to help maintain healthy organ function, he added.

The idea for the technology is based on a biological process known as neuromodulation, in which the peripheral nervous system (the nerves that connect every other part of the body to the brain and spinal cord) monitors the status of internal organs and regulate the body's responses to infection and disease. When a person is sick or injured, this natural process can sometimes be thrown off, according to DARPA. Instead of making a person feel better, neuromodulation can actually exacerbate a condition, causing pain, inflammation and a weakened immune system.

 

 

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Samsung Wants to Be the Central Platform for All Wearables

Samsung Wants to Be the Central Platform for All Wearables | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

In the last year, Samsung has released three different smartwatches in an apparent attempt to iterate and get out ahead of the pack with a viable product that's actually useful. Today, we're getting a look at Samsung's master plan here: It wants to develop the central open platform for all the the data your wearables collect, and by extension to become the platform for which all of these devices are made. A bit like it's trying to be to wristables what Android was to phones.

 

Part of today's announcement is a piece of reference hardware called the Simband, a wristable designed for interchangeable body sensor modules. This isn't a consumer product yet, but Samsung thinks this is future of how we understand our bodies. Theoretically, any type of sensor could go in the device. Samsung hopes to use the reference design as the basis for developing and tweaking hardware and data processing algorithms.

 

The overall health and fitness concept is supposed to encompass not only hardware but also a standardized approach to health and body statistics, that'll allow manufacturers to develop new ways of collecting and processing data. Called the "Samsung Architecture for Multimodal Interactions" (SAMI), the new open cloud-based software platform for storing and bringing together data from disparate sources.

 

 

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‘Electronic skin' equipped with memory

‘Electronic skin' equipped with memory | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

Researchers have created a wearable device that is as thin as a temporary tattoo and can store and transmit data about a person’s movements, receive diagnostic information and release drugs into skin.

 

Similar efforts to develop ‘electronic skin’ abound, but the device is the first that can store information and also deliver medicine — combining patient treatment and monitoring. Its creators, who report their findings today in Nature Nanotechnology, say that the technology could one day aid patients with movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease or epilepsy.

 

The researchers constructed the device by layering a package of stretchable nano-materials — sensors that detect temperature and motion, resistive RAM for data storage, micro-heaters and drugs — onto a material that mimics the softness and flexibility of the skin. The result was a sticky patch containing a device roughly 4 centimeters long, 2 cm wide and 0.3 millimeters thick.

 

 

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Scientists use 3-D printer to help create prototype next-generation pacemaker

Scientists use 3-D printer to help create prototype next-generation pacemaker | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Washington University in St. Louis have developed a new device that may one day help prevent heart attacks.

Unlike existing pacemakers and implantable defibrillators that are one-size-fits-all, the new device is a thin, elastic membrane designed to stretch over the heart like a custom-made glove.

 

 

University of Illinois materials scientist John Rogers co-led the team that invented the new device.

He says they used high-resolution imaging, computer modeling, and a 3-D printer to create a plastic model of a heart. Then, they used that as a mold to make a thin, elastic membrane designed to fit snugly over the real heart’s surface.

Rogers compares the silicon version to the heart’s natural membrane, the pericardium.

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A New Tool That Seals Bullet Wounds in Seconds With High-Tech Sponges

A New Tool That Seals Bullet Wounds in Seconds With High-Tech Sponges | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

Caught in a fire fight, a soldier might hope for air support rained down from a Predator Drone, a kitted out AR-15 assault rifle, and soon, a tube full of high-tech cotton balls. The last item on the list might seem out of place, but the XStat syringe, filled with scientifically advanced sponges, can plug a life-threatening bullet wound in a matter of seconds.

 

Tourniquets are useful tools for injuries to extremities, but gushing wounds in the pelvis or shoulder require a different approach. The current standard of care is stuffing gauze into the wound. Not only is gauze not FDA cleared for this application, it’s often painful, imprecise, and ineffective, requiring field medics to repeat the agonizing process.

 

A company called RevMedx decided to approach the problem in a different manner after being inspired by expanding foams used to patch tires and walls. Realizing that foams wouldn’t be effective, they cut up ordinary sink sponges and stuffed them into wounded pigs. Their makeshift “medical device” worked, and a $5 million development

contract from the U.S. Army followed shortly thereafter.

 

With cash in hand, the first goal was to refine the sponges. Deceptively simple, each one is made of wood fibers, coated with a coagulant derived from shrimp, and then compressed to a quarter of their original size. Once inside the body, a combination of pressure caused by their expansion and coagulant applied throughout the wound combine to staunch the blood flow.

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Printing the Human Body: How It Works and Where It Is Headed

Printing the Human Body: How It Works and Where It Is Headed | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

The rise of 3D printing has introduced one of the most ground-breaking technological feats happening right now. The most exciting part, though, doesn't have anything to do with printing electronics or fancy furniture, but in producing human tissues, otherwise known as bioprinting. While it is still in its infancy, the future of bioprinting looks very bright and will eventually result in some major advances for society, whilst also saving billions for the economy this is spent on research and development.


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Peter Phillips's curator insight, November 27, 2013 1:55 PM

I can't see this saving money - but it will save lives. The technology to print exists. It is the question of how to develop stem cells into tissue types and then how to link these with the bodies complex control systems (nervous, circulatory and immune). in the best case scenario a grown organ will be recognised as self and the body systems will grow into them. However, organs are not toasters. Researchers are concentrating on easy things like skin grafts and ears at present, but like nano electronics, the future is full of potential and questions.

Steve Kingsley's curator insight, November 27, 2013 9:27 PM

Will HP buy Organovo, which invented and produces the NovoGen bioprinter?

Pamela D Lloyd's curator insight, November 29, 2013 5:46 PM

Such astonishingly wonderful ways to use the new 3D printing technology.

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Gelatin Bio-Ink May Allow Printing Of Organs And Tissue

Gelatin Bio-Ink May Allow Printing Of Organs And Tissue | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

German researchers have developed a new gelatin bio-ink that can be used by 3D printing technology to produce various tissue types, a breakthrough that brings the world one step closer to being able to print tissues and organs.

 

Scientists have long been working to improve methods and procedures for artificially producing tissue. In the current work, researchers at Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB) in Stuttgart, Germany, developed a suitable bio-ink for 3D printing that consist of gelatin-based components from natural tissue matrix and living cells. Gelatin is a well-known biological material derived from collagen that serves as the main constituent of native tissue.

 

The IGB researchers were able to chemically modify the gelling behavior of the gelatin to adapt the biological molecules for printing. This allowed the bio-ink to remain fluid during printing, instead of gelling like unmodified gelatin. Once the bio-inks are irradiated with UV light, they crosslink and cure to form hydrogels – polymers containing a large amount of water (just like native tissue), but which are stable in aqueous environments and when heated to 98.6 degree Fahrenheit – the average temperature of the human body.

 

The chemical modification of these biological molecules can be controlled so that the resulting gels have differing strengths and swelling characteristics, allowing researchers to imitate various properties of natural tissue – from solid cartilage to soft adipose tissue.

 

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The Avatar Will See You Now | MIT Technology Review

The Avatar Will See You Now | MIT Technology Review | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

Most patients who enter the gym of the San Mateo Medical Center in California are there to work with physical therapists. But a few who had knee replacements are being coached by a digital avatar instead.

The avatar, Molly, interviews them in Spanish or English about the levels of pain they feel as a video guides them through exercises, while the 3-D cameras of a Kinect device measure their movements. Because it’s a pilot project, Paul Carlisle, the director of rehabilitation services, looks on. But the ultimate goal is for the routine to be done from a patient’s home.


“It would change our whole model,” says Carlisle, who is running the trial as the public hospital looks for creative ways to extend the reach of its overtaxed budget and staff. “We don’t want to replace therapists. But in some ways, it does replace the need to have them there all the time.”

Receiving remote medical care is becoming more common as technologies improve and health records get digitized. Sense.ly, the California startup running the trial, is one of more than 500 companies using health-care tools from Nuance, a company that develops speech-recognition and virtual-assistant software. “Our goal is basically to capture the patient’s state of mind and body,” says Ivana Schnur, cofounder of Sense.ly and a clinical psychologist who has spent years developing virtual-reality tools in medicine and mental health.

 

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Cell Fibers Could Be Woven Into Organ Transplants of the Future

Cell Fibers Could Be Woven Into Organ Transplants of the Future | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

What will the organ transplants of the future look like? Researchers in Tokyo suggest something that resembles injectable strings able to integrate themselves organically into the human system. Scientists’ initial tests of this cell-laden fiber produced working heart, vein and nerve tissues, and even regulated diabetes in living mice.

 

The production process begins with a straw-like tube of modified gelatin called a hydrogel. This is filled with fibers made of natural proteins like collagen and fibrin, which are part of the extracellular matrix that gives animal cells their structure. Within the fibers are primary cells, such as endothelial cells, myocytes or nerve cells.

 

The result of this combination is a kind of safe space for cells to grow. The fibers create a life-like microenvironment in which the cells can function and interact with each other just like normal cells would, while the hydrogel protects them from the body’s immune response. The researchers tested out ten different kinds of human and rat cells inside the fiber, which organized into their respective 3-D patterns and started doing their jobs. The heart muscle cells contracted. The blood vessel cells formed vein-like tubes. The nerve cells made synaptic connections.

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The Human Body—In 'Google Map' Form

The Human Body—In 'Google Map' Form | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

Curious about how a disease gets started? Researchers may soon be able to “street view” the inner workings of the human body.

 

An international group of researchers have successfully created the most comprehensive map of the human metabolism, called Recon 2, which details how the body’s converts food into energy, and assembles all of the hormones and proteins that contribute to a normal day’s work for cells and tissues.

 

Genes may form the foundation of the human condition, but it’s their activity, in the shape of the products they make — from enzymes and hormones to nutrients and signalling factors — that dictate how cells interact with each other, and how body systems, such as the way we breakdown food into energy, operate.

 

By putting together how genes and their products interact across entire networks, he and his colleagues are confident that Recon 2 could help to expose some of the still mysterious causes of diseases like cancer and diabetes, as well as lead to better treatments.

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Scientists Use Stargazing Technology in the Fight Against Cancer

Scientists Use Stargazing Technology in the Fight Against Cancer | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

At first sight, an image of deep space and a slide of cancer cells may not appear to have much in common. However by using technology used to identify distant galaxies to spot rogue cancer cells, a team of scientists in the U.K. have managed to bridge that gap.

 

Scientists at the charity Cancer Research UK teamed up with researchers from the Institute of Astronomy in 2010 in an unlikely collaboration that could radically improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

 

The first results of that collaboration were published in the British Journal of Cancer on Wednesday. Researchers were able to adapt techniques used by astronomers for picking up faint objects of interest out of dense images of the night-sky to pick out differences in stained tumor samples.

 

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2013/02/27/scientists-use-stargazing-technology-in-the-fight-against-cancer/#ixzz2MFHHlRXy

 

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The Robot Will See You Now

The Robot Will See You Now | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

IBM's Watson—the same machine that beat Ken Jennings at Jeopardy—is now churning through case histories at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, learning to make diagnoses and treatment recommendations. This is one in a series of developments suggesting that technology may be about to disrupt health care in the same way it has disrupted so many other industries. Are doctors necessary? Just how far might the automation of medicine go?

 

 

Harley Lukov didn’t need a miracle. He just needed the right diagnosis. Lukov, a 62-year-old from central New Jersey, had stopped smoking 10 years earlier—fulfilling a promise he’d made to his daughter, after she gave birth to his first grandchild. But decades of cigarettes had taken their toll. Lukov had adenocarcinoma, a common cancer of the lung, and it had spread to his liver. The oncologist ordered a biopsy, testing a surgically removed sample of the tumor to search for particular “driver” mutations. A driver mutation is a specific genetic defect that causes cells to reproduce uncontrollably, interfering with bodily functions and devouring organs. Think of an on/off switch stuck in the “on” direction. With lung cancer, doctors typically test for mutations called EGFR and ALK, in part because those two respond well to specially targeted treatments. But the tests are a long shot: although EGFR and ALK are the two driver mutations doctors typically see with lung cancer, even they are relatively uncommon. When Lukov’s cancer tested negative for both, the oncologist prepared to start a standard chemotherapy regimen—even though it meant the side effects would be worse and the prospects of success slimmer than might be expected using a targeted agent.

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How Silicon Valley Envisions The Future Of Health Care

How Silicon Valley Envisions The Future Of Health Care | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

Predicting the future of health care is a tricky business. At any point, there could be a big breakthrough in, say, cancer research, throwing the whole thing off. Or a new technology could come along in another sector, disrupting health care just as a side effect (much like the smartphone has already done). FutureMed, a weeklong program from Singularity University for doctors and others in the health care industry, looks at the ways that technology could change health care in the coming years. I spent a day at Singularity’s classroom (located at the NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley) to soak up some of the predictions. Here are some of the biggest takeaways.

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Researchers successfully 3D print blood vessels, a 'game changer' for artificial organs

Researchers successfully 3D print blood vessels, a 'game changer' for artificial organs | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

Hundreds of thousands of people die annually because the demand for organs far exceeds the donor supply. Artificial organs could save those lives — and scientists just made a huge breakthrough in the field by “bio-printing” artificial vascular networks.

 

Researchers from the University of Sydney, MIT, Harvard, and Stanford have successfully bio-printed blood vessels, offering 3D-printed organs access to nutrients, oxygen, and waste-disposal routes, according to a study published Monday.

 

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Living organ regeneration 'first'

Living organ regeneration 'first' | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

The thymus, which is critical for immune function, becomes smaller and less effective with age, making people more susceptible to infection.

A team at the University of Edinburgh managed to rejuvenate the organ in mice by manipulating DNA.

 

Experts said the study was likely to have "broad implications" for regenerative medicine.

 

The thymus, which sits near the heart, produces T-cells to fight off infection.

 

However, by the age of 70 the thymus is just a tenth of the size in adolescents.

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First comprehensive atlas of human gene activity released

First comprehensive atlas of human gene activity released | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

A large international consortium of researchers has produced the first comprehensive, detailed map of the way genes work across the major cells and tissues of the human body. The findings describe the complex networks that govern gene activity, and the new information could play a crucial role in identifying the genes involved with disease.

 

“Now, for the first time, we are able to pinpoint the regions of the genome that can be active in a disease and in normal activity, whether it’s in a brain cell, the skin, in blood stem cells or in hair follicles,” said Winston Hide, associate professor of bioinformatics and computational biology at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and one of the core authors of the main paper in Nature.

 

“This is a major advance that will greatly increase our ability to understand the causes of disease across the body.”

 

The research is outlined in a series of papers published March 27, 2014, two in the journal Nature and 16 in other scholarly journals. The work is the result of years of concerted effort among 250 experts from more than 20 countries as part of FANTOM 5 (Functional Annotation of the Mammalian Genome). The FANTOM project, led by the Japanese institution RIKEN, is aimed at building a complete library of human genes.

 

Researchers studied human and mouse cells using a new technology called Cap Analysis of Gene Expression (CAGE), developed at RIKEN, to discover how 95% of all human genes are switched on and off. These “switches” — called “promoters” and “enhancers” — are the regions of DNA that manage gene activity. The researchers mapped the activity of 180,000 promoters and 44,000 enhancers across a wide range of human cell types and tissues and, in most cases, found they were linked with specific cell types.

 

“We now have the ability to narrow down the genes involved in particular diseases based on the tissue cell or organ in which they work,” said Hide. “This new atlas points us to the exact locations to look for the key genetic variants that might map to a disease.”


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Eli Levine's curator insight, March 28, 7:27 PM
There it is. As it is in our genes, so too is it in our individual psyches and societies. Check it out!
Martin Daumiller's curator insight, March 29, 12:27 PM

original article: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v507/n7493/full/nature13182.html

 

 

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What if drugs were machines? Red light, brain probes and the future.

What if drugs were machines? Red light, brain probes and the future. | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

Ed Boyden is the head of the Synthetic Neurobiology group at the MIT Media Lab, where he works on tools to map, control, record — and maybe even someday build — the brain. Boyden has worked on optogenetics, a technique which deploys light-sensitive molecules to the brain and then applies light to them to “turn on” and “turn off” certain cells. The technology has been used to attempt to better understand blindness and Parkinson’s disease — and even to manipulate memories in mice. But as optogenetics becomes more and more precise, what’s next?

We asked futurist and venture capitalist Juan Enriquez, always game to speculate about how to build future-enhanced humans, to continue a conversation he started with Boyden on stage at TED2011. Over the phone they caught up on the nature of modern neurotechnology, Boyden’s work over the past three years, future applications of optogenetics and something exciting and scary called a “brain co-processor.”

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Colonoscopy in a pill: FDA approves bite-size camera - NBC News.com

Colonoscopy in a pill: FDA approves bite-size camera - NBC News.com | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

A kinder, gentler approach to one of the most dreaded exams in medicine is on the way: U.S. regulators have cleared a bite-size camera to help screen patients who have trouble with colonoscopies.

The ingestible pill camera from Given Imaging is designed to help doctors spot polyps and other early signs of colon cancer. The Food and Drug Administration cleared the device for patients who have had trouble with the cringe-inducing colonoscopy procedure, which involves probing the large intestine with a tiny camera embedded in a four-foot long, flexible tube.

 

The Israeli company's technology, developed from missile defense systems, uses a battery-powered camera to take high-speed photos as it slowly winds its way through the intestinal tract over eight hours. The images are transmitted to a recording device worn around the patient's waist and later reviewed by a doctor.

 

While Given's wireless, image-beaming system may sound like science fiction, it's actually more than a decade old. In 2001, the company received FDA approval for a similar device used to get a close-up view of the small intestine.

 

At that time, analysts expected Given's approach to grow into a direct competitor to traditional colonoscopy. But company studies found that images taken by the mini-camera were not quite as clear as those from the in-office procedure. As a result, the company has pursued a more limited market for its device: patients who have trouble undergoing standard colonoscopies.

 

The FDA on Monday cleared the company's PillCam Colon for patients who have experienced an incomplete colonoscopy. Given estimates 750,000 U.S. patients are not able to complete the procedure each year, due to anatomy issues, previous surgery or various colon diseases.

 

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Real-World Star Trek Tricorder Raises $10.5 Million in Funding

Real-World Star Trek Tricorder Raises $10.5 Million in Funding | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

The real-world device inspired by Star Trek's tricorder just took one step closer to becoming a reality.

 

Scanadu, the startup behind a small handheld scanner that measures a patient's vital signs like heart rate and temperature, announced $10.5 million in funding from multiple investors on Tuesday. Relay Ventures led the new investment, which included former Yahoo cofounder and CEO Jerry Yang, that brings the company's total raised to $14.7 million. This will be used to expand the Scanadu team as it seeks FDA approval for the device called Scanadu Scout, said CEO Walter De Brouwer.

 

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Wearable Devices Nudge You to Health

Wearable Devices Nudge You to Health | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

You’ve heard of the Quantified Self movement? It’s the rise of watches, clips and bracelets that monitor your physical activity, sleep and other biological functions. The idea is that continual numerical awareness of your lifestyle works to motivate you: to park farther away, to get off the subway one stop sooner, to take more stairs. You study the graphs, you crunch the numbers, you live a longer, healthier life.

 

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A new search engine is dedicated to the diagnosis of people with rare diseases

A new search engine is dedicated to the diagnosis of people with rare diseases | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

It takes an average of nine years for a rare disease patient to get an accurate diagnosis, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders. That amount of time can be very frustrating for many patients and their families.

hat may change, thanks to a new search engine, FindZebra.com, dedicated to the diagnosis of rare diseases. Unlike popular search engines like Google and Bing, FindZebra’s algorithm only curates rare disease information available from authoritative specialized resources. This is different from Google and Bing, which search the entire web using algorithms based on a variety of other factors, sometimes delivering results with little relevancy.

 

FindZebra has had a lot of success in getting easy-to-find accurate information compared to typical search engines, according to a study in the International Journal of Medical Informatics. This type of information can lead to more cures of these rare diseases and, ultimately, more lives saved

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Self-Tracking Apps To Help You 'Quantify' Yourself

Self-Tracking Apps To Help You 'Quantify' Yourself | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

Technology has made it easier than ever to track your activity levels, your sleep cycles, how you spend your time, and more. The self-trackers who near-obsessively capture and analyze their own data are part of a growing "Quantified Self" movement.

 

Interested in giving self-tracking a try? Self-tracker Peter Zandan, an executive at Hill+Knowlton Strategies who headed up a panel on Quantified Self this year at South by Southwest, helped us curate this list of apps and devices to get more data feedback from your daily life.

 

If you're just getting started, the most "mainstream" self-tracking devices are the Fitbit, Jawbone UP, and Nike Fuelband. Apple's getting in on this wristband-tracking market with its iWatch, which is expected to come out at the end of this year.

Daniel House's insight:

Audio story on NPR

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This Electronic Temporary Tattoo Will Soon Be Tracking Your Health

This Electronic Temporary Tattoo Will Soon Be Tracking Your Health | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

FitBit too bulky? Why not glue a sensor array to your skin?

 

The quantified self goes nanoscale with a stick-on silicon electrode network that could not only change the way we measure health metrics, but could enable a new form of user interface. And the researchers behind it aim to have the device available in the next few weeks through a spinoff company, MC10.

 

The development takes wearable technology to the extreme, designed as a non-invasive diagnostic sensor that could be used to measure hydration, activity, and even infant temperature. It bonds to the skin, somewhat like a temporary tattoo, flexing and bending in sync with your skin the way you wish a Band-Aid would. How? Researchers at the University of Illinois, Dalian University of Technology in China, and the University of California at San Diego made it really, really small.

 

With a thickness of 0.8 micrometers at the widest — around one-thousandth the diameter of a human hair — the thin mesh of silicon actually nestles in to the grooves and creases in your skin, even the ones too small to see. Being small helps, but it’s also important that the silicon is laid out in a serpentine pattern and bonded to a soft rubber substrate, allowing the stiff material to flex, a little bit like an accordion.

 

 

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Hayley Regalado's curator insight, March 21, 2013 10:54 PM

Human and technological integration.

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Freescale's Insanely Tiny ARM Chip Will Put the Internet of Things Inside Your Body

Freescale's Insanely Tiny ARM Chip Will Put the Internet of Things Inside Your Body | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

Chipmaker Freescale Semiconductor has created the world’s smallest ARM-powered chip, designed to push the world of connected devices into surprising places.

 

Announced today, the Kinetis KL02 measures just 1.9 by 2 millimeters. It’s a full microcontroller unit (MCU), meaning the chip sports a processor, RAM, ROM, clock and I/O control unit — everything a body needs to be a basic tiny computer.

 

The KL02 has 32k of flash memory, 4k of RAM, a 32 bit processor, and peripherals like a 12-bit analog to digital converter and a low-power UART built into the chip. By including these extra parts, device makers can shrink down their designs, resulting in tiny boards in tiny devices.

 

How tiny? One application that Freescale says the chips could be used for is swallowable computers. Yes, you read that right. “We are working with our customers and partners on providing technology for their products that can be swallowed but we can’t really comment on unannounced products,” says Steve Tateosian, global product marketing manager.

 

The KL02 is part of Freescale’s push to make chips tailored to the Internet of Things. Between the onboard peripherals and a power-management system tuned to the chemistry of current generation batteries, the KL02 is intended to be at the heart of a network of connected objects, moving from shoes that wirelessly report your steps (a natural evolution of Nike+) to pipes that warn you when they are leaking.

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NIH: Taking the sting out of vaccination - polymer multilayer tattooing for DNA vaccines

NIH: Taking the sting out of vaccination - polymer multilayer tattooing for DNA vaccines | Future Health Technology | Scoop.it

This might be a new way to get a shot. Funded in part by the NIH, this vaccine patch [1] is coated in a thin film that literally melts into the skin when the patch is applied. The film contains DNA, rather than protein, which is absorbed by the skin cells and triggers an immune reaction. It seems to be effective in animal models. DNA vaccines are attractive because they may not require refrigeration like typical protein vaccines and can be stably stored for weeks. And, though this patch looks spiky, the length of the needles can be adjusted so that they don’t reach the skin layers that contain nerves. Thus: no pain at all.

 

[1] Polymer multilayer tattooing for enhanced DNA vaccination. Demuth PC, Min Y, Huang B, Kramer JA, Miller AD, Barouch DH, Hammond PT, Irvine DJ. Nat Mater. 2013 Jan 27.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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