A Smorgasbord of Techie Goodness
Hello friends, much to talk about we have (yea...Yoda speak). Tons going on in the world of health and tech this week, let's get to it!
Don't Be Lame Grandma...
Researchers recently released the results of a cognitive skills study that used 39 60-77 year olds and good old World of Warcraft. Split into relatively even groups, one group played for 14 hours over a two week period, while the other didn't touch the game. Results showed that those in the gaming group who had the lowest initial cognitive scores improved, while those had a high score at the onset remained at the same level. Obviously, those who didn't play the game showed very little improvement. As every other test that has used gaming as its fulcrum has said, moderation is key and there are some serious dangers to addiction...thanks.
There are no surprises coming from this study, but it does bring me great joy that the research is still being done. There is much that gaming has to offer the world, if only the world at large were willing to accept the pace upon which our civilization is continually evolving.
A few months back I wrote a blog about a device that can be implanted in the body and power itself on fat rap beats. This week, smart people released images of a prototype implant device that can actually travel in the bloodstream. Using tiny antennae, the implant is powered and controlled outside the body. Equipped with front mounted steering rods and propelled by the bodies natural magnetic currents, this little beauty can go anywhere accessible by the bloodstream, which is quite the accomplishment when you really think about it.
There is no doubt that this mechanism, and those like it, are going to revolutionize the medical industry. Imagine a time where surgeons didn't have to put the stress of actual surgery on the patient, instead they can take a syringe, inject the machine, and then proceed with the surgery. Eventually, the patient will be awake and able to communicate with the surgeon during the procedure. This could spell doom for some surgeons, as their pre-madonna attitudes don't usually transmit well to bedside manner (hence why their subjects are usually unconscious).
There's Actually An App For That...
The Georgia Institute of Technology recently released a prototype dental retainer that has the capability of controlling an electric wheelchair. Using tiny sensors that sit at the top of the mouth, a small magnetic piercing in the users tongue, and an Iphone or Ipod integrated in the chair, the development team was able to track the movements of the tongue and translate them into directional movements of the chair. The retainer contains all the equipment needed to power the sensors, battery, induction coil, and a nice water proof cover.
One of my absolute heroes, Stephen Hawking, uses an integrated wheelchair like this, just with the think and go type mechanism. This will be an amazing replacement to that type of function, as it tends to take the energy right away when they have to think so intensely on their movements. Kudos smart people!
See you next week...