Colour changing ‘Bruise suit’ shows hidden injuries

Students from Imperial College of London have come up with a novel way to help athletes and people with disabilities, who might struggle to correctly assess the severity of an injury. Internal injuries often don’t give visible warning signs such as swelling or marks on the skin and if left untreated can be potentially life threatening. But where an impact occurs in the ‘Bruise suit’ a removable pressure reactive film registers it as a magenta stain. The colour changes to reflect the intensity of impact. Although currently a prototype, the team is exploring further applications for the technology and developing a product line. Read more: Wired 

Editor’s Note: There doesn’t seem to be any sound on the YouTube video for this at the moment!


Sony to launch new telehealth camera at Australian Healthcare Week

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Sony Australia and New Zealand today announced it will officially launch its new Patient Monitor telehealth camera system at Australian Healthcare Week. Sony’s IP Patient Monitor,  NCSRS46P, has been developed in Australia to meet the specific needs of regional healthcare, according to Sony.

The solution enables two-way audio and one-way video communication over IP, typically a broadband internet connection. It has been created in an environment where privacy, ease of installation, simplicity of use and reliability are key concerns. The camera has a powerful 36x optical zoom that allows the healthcare professional or specialist to easily and efficiently view the area of interest and effectively assist with diagnosis.

Although the official launch is next week, there are over 200 IP Patient Monitors in use across Australia, say Sony, including in New South Wales where they are used as part of the Greater Western Clinical Outreach Project.

The Australian Healthcare Week will be from 25-27 March at the Australian Technology Park in Eveleigh, New South Wales.

Inexpensive reusable portable sensors for diabetes, UTI

Responsive holograms that change colour in the presence of certain compounds are being developed into portable medical tests and devices, which could be used to monitor conditions such as diabetes, cardiac function, infections, electrolyte or hormone imbalance easily and inexpensively, according to the University of Cambridge. It is claimed that the technique can be used to test blood, breath, urine, saliva or tears for glucose, alcohol, drugs, bacteria or hormones. Clinical trials are said to be underway to test glucose and urinary tract infections (UTI) in diabetics at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

It is estimated that the reusable sensors could cost as little as UK £ 0.1 (about US 15 cents) to produce, making them affordable for use in developing countries. A prototype smartphone-based test suitable for both clinical and home testing of diabetes and clinically relevant conditions is under development.

If this is a commercial success this could form the basis of a multi-purpose portable tester suitable for telehealth use.

A research paper, Light-Directed Writing of Chemically Tunable Narrow-Band Holographic Sensors, has been published in Advanced Optical Materials.

Turn up, tune in but don’t drop out with health monitoring earphones

microsoft_septimu_earphonesAs part of a recent research project, Microsoft has incorporated health and fitness monitoring into a pair of earphones.

One application being developed for the hardware platform named Septimu, is a smartphone app called Musical Heart. The app enables Septimu to generate tunes based on a person’s mood or activity. So for example, fitness enthusiasts who want to keep the heart rate high can use Musical Heart to automatically up the tempo, helping them keep up the pace. Or for those feeling stressed or angry, Musical Heart could select something more soothing to help bring the heart rate and breathing down to a more relaxed level. Reported in PSFK

A timely study published online last week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, demonstrated that ‘musical agency’ (i.e. music chosen by the study participants) greatly decreased perceived exertion during strenuous activity. (more…)

Don’t worry, there’s a wristband for that…

tactiluNot one for my Christmas list, but check out this TechCrunch review if you want to find out more about the Tikker wristwatch (which is currently doing well on Kickstarter). Tikker will calculate when you’re likely to bite the dust, based on factors like age, activity level, BMI and location.

If you’re hesitating as to how you might feel about wearing such a thing, just place a mood wristband on your other arm. (more…)

Dogs and monkeys to monitor your health!

In the on-going quest to support people to live independently without the use of cameras, scientists at Newcastle University have developed a sensor to monitor a dog’s movements (no, not those sort of movements!). The premise is that changes in behaviour patterns of pet dogs, such as the amount of food they eat, or the length and regularity of their walks, could quickly signal variations in the well-being of their owners.   (more…)

A sensor to treat your aching back

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]Wafer-thin sensors are popping up all over in wearables (Misfit Shine being the buzziest) but here’s one that could help that twinging knee or whingeing back. The Thimble patch uses a reasonably smart looking adhesive patch with a central sensor that delivers Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) to relieve pain. It will be controlled via Bluetooth by a smartphone app for pain tracking and management. CEO and developer Shaun Rahimi, a medical device designer, conceived of this as a way to deal with his own back and arm pain. Target date for release is later this year, but your Editor needed this badly last week. Job alert–CEO Rahimi is seeking iOS designers for the mobile app: Contact info. Gizmag

For the advanced in age, easy-to-use technology (US)

This item brings together news of some technologies appropriate for older people. “The companies that are successfully marketing new technologies to older people are not those that have created high-tech ways for seniors to open jars. Rather, they are the ones that have learned to create products that span generations, providing style and utility to a range of age groups.” Food for thought from the NY Times.

Next generation of door key box systems (UK)

Ahome4it has launched a website featuring a new digitally controlled secure system for providing door entry keys to authorised visitors. It comprises three components:
• a tough, intelligent digital key box
• a database of registered users, systems & expected delivery events
• a remote code generation engine

The digital key box needs no wiring to communication networks and is battery powered so installation is kept simple. Authorised carers are given a code when they need to gain access and they input it using a numerical access control keypad.
Ahome4it’s Key4care website.

Blue Tree Services launches people tracking service (UK)

This looks similar to the Loc8me story posted here 31 August, the Yorkshire Safe-T story from 28 January and even the Irish TopLocate story from 30 January. What’s not explained is how these services track people within, say, shopping centres and other such indoor locations where GPS doesn’t work. If you know, please post a comment below. Thanks.

Blue Tree Services press release on its ‘OurSOS’ service.

TopLocate: New service in Ireland

“The services are intended to give a degree of comfort to those who may be concerned about their friends or children,” says Mark Gleeson, general manager of Top Security, which has launched the services that are intended to improve people’s safety. They use a combination of mobile, landline and web technology, allowing friends or colleagues to be alerted in the event that a person doesn’t arrive home when expected, or if they find themselves in a difficult situation. Story from SiliconRepublic.