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Geek Therapy
How Geek Culture is saving the world. Can geeky, nerdy, and techy things help heal the world? Absolutely. | For the Geek Therapy Podcast and more, visit http://www.geektherapy.com.
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Star Trek’s Tricorders Are Almost Here

Star Trek’s Tricorders Are Almost Here | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

As Star Trek nears its 50th anniversary, most of its imagined technologies remain light years away. But several startups and research projects claim they can approximate the functions of the tricorder, that handheld device used to instantly diagnose a disease or analyze the atmosphere of an alien world. Just how close are they?

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Enrico De Angelis's curator insight, July 5, 4:30 AM
SciFiction (and wizardtech in fantasy) still the best source of ideas for innovation ...!!!
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Comic books have something to teach future doctors

Comic books have something to teach future doctors | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
Researchers at the University of Toronto are using graphic novels in medical classrooms to teach future doctors about humanizing illness.

 

In addition to the stalwart Manual of Clinical Oncology, medical students may soon see the comic book Cancer Vixen: A True Story on their required reading list.

 

Researchers are using graphic novels as a teaching tool to communicate the ethical and emotional complexities of illness, disease and trauma to medical students.

 

With their self-effacing protagonists and cutting black humour, graphic novels often capture the reality of being sick, or knowing a loved one who is, better than dry textbooks and earnest self-help memoirs.

 

“Cartoons and comics were dismissed as a trivial medium, but we realize now they are extremely sophisticated,” says Allan Peterkin, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto. “It’s about that interplay between the words and the text. You’re using different parts of the brain to read carefully, just as you’re doing to diagnose in the clinic.”

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5 Ways to Instantly Connect With Doctors

5 Ways to Instantly Connect With Doctors | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

New mobile health apps are springing up to save the day — connecting doctors on standby with patients who need them the most.

 

We’ve rounded up five medical apps and websites that connect users directly to doctors. With tele-health apps, patients can call, text or privately message licensed physicians online for immediate help. Patients have an instant connection to knowledgable specialists. This industry won’t replace primary care physicians, but it will come in handy when sudden sickness strikes.

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Medical Comics are the basis for future learning

Medical Comics are the basis for future learning | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America and the Children’s Hospital in Boston have each produced comicbooks targeted for young children who suffer from ailments that adversely affect their lives, but which the child might not be able to understand when presented in a “typical” fashion. These two comic books Pete learns all about Crohn’s and Colitis and Amy Goes Gluten-Free A young person’s Guide to Geliag Disease. Each of these comics deals with their specific issues in a fashion that is easily understood and digestible for younger readers. Both comics are written by Hilarie Staton and illustrated by Joe Staton, and both combine both traditional comicbook storytelling as well as through text, checklists, crossword puzzles and other kid-friendly methods.

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Scientists invent real "Doctor Who sonic screwdriver"

Scientists invent real "Doctor Who sonic screwdriver" | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

Researchers at Dundee University claim to have invented a real-life Doctor Who-style sonic screwdriver. The new ultrasound technology could help real doctors treat patients more effectively.

 

"This experiment not only confirms a fundamental physics theory but also demonstrates a new level of control over ultrasound beams which can also be applied to non-invasive ultrasound surgery, targeted drug delivery and ultrasonic manipulation of cells," said Dr MacDonald.

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MIT Researchers Create Star Trek-Style Needleless Injections

MIT Researchers Create Star Trek-Style Needleless Injections | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have pulled a page from Star Trek‘s book and have developed a technique for giving shots without a needle, much like the injections Dr. McCoy delivered on the starship Enterprise.

 

MIT scientists, led by Professor Ian Hunter, have figured out a way to inject medicine using a high-pressure jet to deliver specific amounts of medicine to variable depths beneath the skin, reports the Daily Mail. It’s a step up from existing needleless transdermal devices, such as nicotine patches, which are limited to medicinal doses tiny enough to be delivered via the skin’s pores. This means that the new needleless injections can be used on individuals of all ages and with a variety of doses and medications.

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A Doctor Hacks His iPhone To Detect A Parasite That Plagues Billions

A Doctor Hacks His iPhone To Detect A Parasite That Plagues Billions | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

While researching victims of intestinal worms in Tanzania, Canadian infectious disease specialist Isaac Bogoch didn’t always have access to a microscope to search for signs of hookworms and other parasites in stool samples. So, he taped an $8 glass lens over his iPhone’s camera, and suddenly had 50 times the magnifying power.


The resulting microscope (iMicroscope?) was able to detect parasite eggs in stool samples with nearly 70% accuracy (the normal microscope gets it right 87% of the time), and was able to detect some worms with up to 80% accuracy.

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Mom's wrong! Video games could help you

Mom's wrong! Video games could help you | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

An estimate of $100 million has been spent on global research and development of “serious” games, ones that focus on health, education, scientific exploration, engineering or something other than pure entertainment, said Ben Sawyer, co-founder of Games for Health and the Serious Games Initiative, a project of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.He expects the field to grow significantly during the next two to three years.

 

“We are going to find many ways to improve our health through the delivery of treatment or diagnosis with games and (the) training of medical people,” said Debra Lieberman, director of Heath Games Research. Even as researchers and developers try to figure out what ailments to solve, Lieberman said that even the simplest video game can help cut down on trips to the doctor’s office by providing helpful medical information. Or, perhaps, performance on a game can be shared with a doctor who can then recommend treatment.

 

“I do think the day is coming when games (will be) prescribed to patients and it will be part of the medical record to track how much you play,” she said. “It can be shared with medical providers so they could find out how you are doing.” Maybe there will be a new healthy games section added to the local video store.

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New Test Smells Cancer on Your Breath

New Test Smells Cancer on Your Breath | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

First unveiled on June 2 at the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago, this cancer-detecting breathalyzer system, which is still awaiting clinical trials, is able to conduct prescreening for both breast cancer and lung cancer. Developed by scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the cancer breathalyzer could drastically reduce costs for American patients, while enabling expanded screening in countries with inadequate infrastructure and taboos against mammograms.

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High-tech approaches long dreamed of but not possible to fight cancer emerge

High-tech approaches long dreamed of but not possible to fight cancer emerge | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

New research shows a sharp escalation in the weapons race against cancer, with several high-tech approaches long dreamed of but not possible or successful until now.

 

The field continues to move toward more precise treatments with fewer side effects and away from old-style chemotherapy that was “like dropping a bomb on the body,” Dr. Richard Pazdur said.

 

Other doctors, including Pfizer’s cancer drug development chief, Dr. Mace Rothenberg, noted progress on new diagnostic tests to predict which drugs will work for which patients. Cost, time and difficulty have kept many of them from being practical in everyday settings for cancer patients, but “a lot of these barriers are falling,” Rothenberg said.

 

“Every time we say ‘this technology is 5 to 10 years off, we’ve been wrong” and progress has come sooner, he said.

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Glasses Could Help the Blind See like Geordi La Forge in ‘Star Trek’

Glasses Could Help the Blind See like Geordi La Forge in ‘Star Trek’ | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

The goal of the research team, located at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, is to be able to treat 85% percent of clinically blind people, including the ability to restore sight to partially blind people without messing up what vision they already have. According to the Al Jazeera report, testing with blind subjects is planned to start within the next two years.

 

Currently, the research team’s prototype looks a DIY version of Geordi’s visor, but the ultimate plan is to build a pair of ordinary-looking glasses outfitted with two digital cameras: one outside to capture images of the surrounding environment and one inside to track the movement of the eyeballs.

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A Game to Help Doctors Ask Tough Questions

A Game to Help Doctors Ask Tough Questions | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
The game, which is in its final phase of testing, is aimed at primary care and family doctors, who often feel uncomfortable and unqualified assessing their patients in this regard.

 

“This isn’t something medical students have traditionally been trained for,” Dr. Fleming said. “These are hard conversations to have.”

 

The game encourages doctors to adopt a more collaborative and less accusatory approach with patients, Dr. Olsen said. “The goal is to build rapport,” he said.

 

The video game was designed based on research by Dr. Michael F. Fleming at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and draws on technology used by the F.B.I. to train agents in interrogation tactics. It teaches doctors to look for warning signs of drug abuse, like a history of family problems, and to observe nonverbal signs of nervousness, like breaking eye contact, fidgeting and finger-tapping.

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