Friday, 23 September, 2016

Innovations that caught my attention recently-#Healthtech

No. 1- Lyme bacteria use the same technique as White Blood Cells to navigate and move in blood vessels


In an interesting case of convergent evolution Lyme bacteria use the same technique as White Blood Cells to navigate and move in blood vessels.To zip through the bloodstream and spread infection throughout the body, the bacteria that cause Lyme disease take a cue from the white blood cells trying to attack them. Both use specialized bonds to stick to the cells lining blood vessels and move along at their own pace, biologist Tara Moriarty and colleagues report September 6 in Cell Reports.

“It’s really an amazing case of convergent evolution,” says Wendy Thomas, a biologist at the University of Washington in Seattle who wasn’t part of the study. “There’s little structural similarity between the molecules involved in these behaviors, and yet their behavior is the same.”


No.2- Wearable Robot for people who lost their hand function


This wearable robot helps disabled patients regain control of their hands. The system consists of a glove that fits between the index finger, middle finger and thumb. Patients who have lost their hand functions due to injuries or nerve-related conditions, such as stroke and muscular dystrophy, now have a chance of restoring their hand movements by using a new lightweight and smart rehabilitation wearable robot.





This is what one customer wrote as feedback after going through the demo-

"To have personally come back from a spinal cord injury - to be able to walk again still blows my mind. changed my view on this power vessel called a body. I love my body- stretchmarks, cellulite and all. It is a wonderful machine. My passion is to continue to educate people on the word function and to truly explore what it means. Much of our society is based on the "look of things" and not the "function" it has damaged the very essence of life for many. This is a wonderful demonstration of dedicated people. Thank you for the service you have provided for many.."

No. 3 Stroke prevention Implant


I have seen many innovations that help predict a stroke and send info to a Doctor remotely to take action and rehabilitate.This new innovation called "Watchman" can be inserted in less than an hour and could save your life. A lot of people might think that it is like striking one thing off their list to worry about. However, good diet and exercise is something still beneficial and should be maintained.
The newly FDA-approved Watchman device is a small implant that reduces the risk of stroke and blood clots.

The blood thinner Warfarin is the standard way doctors try to prevent clots and strokes in patients with irregular rhythms, but the Watchman implant stops blood clots where they start. The majority of clots form in a pouch called the left atrial appendage.

When people have atrial fibrillation in the upper chamber of their heart, known as the atrium, it does not pump, but instead it quivers and that is why the appendage fills with blood. It does not squeeze out the blood and that's how clots are formed.

The Watchman is deployed through a vein in the right leg where the pouch is and it plugs the opening. "Blocking off this pouch is as good as, if not more effective, than taking the blood thinner Warfarin, which is the only other option that many of these patients have," said Dr. Shephal Doshi with the Pacific Heart Institute.

Doshi started the first clinical trial seven years ago. The procedure may not be for everyone with an irregular heartbeat, but it's another option that can be life changing for so many.













Credits:
Hashem Al-Ghaili
Science age
Sciencenature/FB page
Sciencedaily

Thursday, 15 September, 2016

Let us go back in time- Let's go natural.


Yes this post of mine is not around Healthcare Marketing, Digital Innovation or Community Health programs.

I thought to write about this particular topic after studying trends related to people's ill health and the food we eat, the cosmetics we use and the bad additives that have done enough bad to us already. I remember those times when my Grandma used to mix Glycerine with rose water and it used to be our skin care staple for winters. Dry some Indian gooseberry and heat it up with home made coconut oil to get luscious locks.

Things were simple, fresh and homemade. Now Grandma is long gone and we are buying such products off the shelf knowing little about additives like mineral oil, LLP (Light Liquid Paraffin Oil ), perfumery compounds, preservatives and what not.People who have no connect to the cosmetics and food industry know very little about such compounds and need to be educated. For them a good brand name like Bajaj, Dabur or Patanjali serves the purpose. However, it is time that we take our home shopping a bit more seriously. The question is how? How many of us read labels? Do we have the time to?

Well, we have to make time. Our kids are suffering from rashes, baldness, premature greying and severe health problems. Mineral oils used in hair oils are associated with Cancer. Most of the commercially available hair care products today use harmful, potentially carcinogenic ingredients.

I was surprised to see that almost all hair products my sister was using lately had POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL (PPG/PEG) and Formaldehyde (probable carcinogen and irritant found in nail products, hair dye, fake eyelash adhesives, shampoos) in them.

Well, labels on cosmetics and body care products are a tough code to crack. The industry is so shockingly unregulated that it’s usually impossible to trust the claims that manufacturers place on their products.A word such as “natural” can be used by anyone for anything. Even “organic” is misleading. Companies are supposed to use an organic label only if all ingredients are certified-organic, but they can also say it’s “made with organic” if it contains a minimum of 70 percent certified-organic ingredients. Plus half of the chemicals are not tested, not listed and never discussed.

Hydroquinone: Asians are crazy about lightening creams-you will find this in most of these creams. Rated most toxic on several databases, and linked to cancer and reproductive toxicity.

Lead: Known carcinogen found in lipstick and hair dye, but never listed because it’s a contaminant, not an ingredient.

Parabens: Used as preservatives, found in many products. Linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity.

Paraphenylenediamine (PPD): Used in hair products and dyes, but toxic to skin and immune system.

Phthalates: Plasticizers banned in the EU and California in children’s toys, but present in many fragrances, perfumes, deodorants, lotions. Linked to endocrine disruption, liver/kidney/lung damage, cancer.

Mercury: Known allergen that impairs brain development. Found in mascara that asians are again crazy about.

Mineral oil: By-product of petroleum that’s used in baby oil, hair oil, moisturisers, styling gels. It creates a film that impairs the skin’s ability to release toxins.

Oxybenzone: Active ingredient in chemical sunscreens that accumulates in fatty tissues and is linked to allergies, hormone disruption, cellular damage, low birth weight.

Placental extract: Used in some skin and hair products, but linked to endocrine disruption.

Polyethylene glycol (PEG): Penetration enhancer used in many products, it’s often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide, both known carcinogens.

Silicone-derived emollients: Used to make a product feel soft, these don’t biodegrade, and also prevent skin from breathing. Linked to tumour growth and skin irritation.

Sodium lauryl (ether) sulfate (SLS, SLES): A former industrial degreaser now used to make soap foamy, it’s absorbed into the body and irritates skin.

And this is a long list....

Sources:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4387693/, http://www.treehugger.com/organic-beauty/20-toxic-ingredients-avoid-when-buying-body-care-products-and-cosmetics.html
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), based in Atlanta, Georgia, is a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov
http://naturalhaireverything.tumblr.com/post/3253973196/10-ingredients-to-avoid-putting-on-your-hair, http://thehairoine.com/pages/chemicals-to-avoid
http://www.livestrong.com/article/171916-ingredients-to-avoid-in-hair-products/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4387693/
http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/top-tips-for-safer-products/
http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/31850421/study-links-toxic-chemicals-to-black-hair-care-products
Image: So Malicious

Wednesday, 7 September, 2016

Are you a Healthcare Innovator? Join the Partnership at IPIHD


Innovations in Healthcare (founded as the International Partnership for Innovative Healthcare Delivery) is a nonprofit organization hosted by Duke University and founded in 2011 by Duke Health, McKinsey & Company, and the World Economic Forum. I am an IPIHD innovator myself and the learnings I had not only assessing my own innovations but engaging with other innovators is impeccable. At the heart of Innovations in Healthcare is our network of 60+ innovators from around the world working to expand access to affordable, quality healthcare. Every year, IPIHD identifies and recruit entrepreneurs with promising models of healthcare to apply to join their network as innovators. Through a highly competitive process, they then select the best organizations to join them. They help connect these innovators with opportunities, information, and contacts they need to scale up their work.

Nominations are open and the deadline is 16th September 2016. Do you know an organization that wants to be part of a global network of entrepreneurs working to innovate new solutions in healthcare? Would they like to connect with and be part of conversations about healthcare innovation with leading funders, corporations, academics, and other experts?

If so, recommend an organization to join our network! Again, the deadline for nominations is September 16th. You can nominate an organization you think should be in our network here: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4OA6hxGc5uU6ANT

Currently, our network is comprised of 67 healthcare innovators working across 49 countries. Through a competitive annual selection process, innovators are chosen to join our network based on their innovation, readiness to scale, and the financial sustainability of their approach. Last year, we received more than 160 nominations and selected the top 12 organizations from this pool.

For more details about our network and selection process, please click here.

Questions? Please contact Logan Couce at logan.couce@duke.edu.

We look to grow our network to include companies working in some of the geographies and health care areas listed below, as part of our efforts to scout for the best healthcare innovators globally:

• Geographies of Focus: Brazil, Southern and West Africa, Southeast Asia, India, East Africa, Mexico

• Type of Care Focus: population health management, chronic management for non-communicable diseases (especially as connected with primary care), healthcare financing models

What should innovators expect from here?

Innovations in Healthcare has a two tiered selection process:

• July 25th-September 16th, Nomination Period: Interested innovators can self-nominate through the short online form. Finalist candidates will be notified by October 1st.

• October 1st-October 31st, Application Period: Finalist candidates submit more detailed applications. Internal and external review committees help to assess the finalists. Organizations selected to join our network will be notified in mid-December.




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