Glaucoma specialists not needed for laser treatment (Laser/Opthamology – 2017-06 – Belkin)


The first robot that could be licensed to practice medicine (Robotics/General Practice - 2017-11 - Futurism)

Xiaoyi, a Chinese AI-powered robot recently became the first robot to pass a national medical licensing examination. It achieved a score of 456 points – 96 points above the required pass mark.

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World-first: 3D-printed tantalum knee joint implanted in a Chinese patient (Additive Manufacturing/Implants - 2017-11 -

An 84-year-old Chinese patient recently received a knee-revision surgery with the implantation of the first 3D-printed tantalum knee joint in the world. Personalized 3D printed tantalum joints create better compactness, helping assure the initial stability of the implantation, simplify the surgery procedure, reduce the surgery time and risk of complication.

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Microscopic robots made from spirulina can travel inside the body guided by magnets (Robotics/Pharmacology - 2017-11 - Sciencemag)

Researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong have built a micro-scale robot swimmer made from spirulina, a green-blue alga, which is biocompatible and, being shaped like a coiled spring, is very maneuverable. Coating the alga with iron oxide nanoparticles tracks its position via its fluorescent glow, while shallow, or using nuclear magnetic resonance. Next step is to train the robots to deliver drugs.

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NYC patient receives Australian-made 3D-printed sternum and rib cage transplant (Additive Manufacturing/Implants - 2017-10 -

A partnership between Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and medical device company Anatomics resulted in the first successful implantation of a 3D printed titanium and polymer sternal and rib cage in a New York patient. Anatomics’ ‘PoreStar’ technology, a unique porous polyethylene material provided “bone-like” architecture to facilitate tissue integration.

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Swallowable robots could be the future of healthcare (Robotics/Pharmacology - 2017-10 - ZDNet)

Two Caltech researchers have developed a prototype microscale processor that can respond to magnetic fields as atoms in the human body do under MRI, thereby demonstrating their exact location and delivering drugs exactly the site they’re needed, with sub-millimeter precision. ATOMS (Addressable Transmitters Operated as Magnetic Spins) devices can give its location accurate to 360 microns. Next steps are to add sensors to transmit data as it travels, and to handle disposal when finished.

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Spine surgery faster and safer with a robot (Robotics/Surgery - 2017-10 - ZDNet)

A form of robotic-guided spine surgery results in a 5-fold reduction in surgical complications and a 7-fold reduction in revision surgeries compared to freehand methods. That’s according to the interim results of a multi-center prospective study that includes 379 spine surgery patients. The guided-surgery tech used in the spinal surgery study is called the Renaissance Guided System by Mazor Robotics. Mazor is a publicly-traded Israeli company.

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A Chinese robot dentist operated on a human patient for the first time (Robotics/Dentistry - 2017-09 - Futurism)

A robot dentist created in China has successfully performed dental surgery on a patient without human input. The robot implanted two artificial teeth within the margin of error required for the specific type of operation it was performing. The artificial teeth were created using 3D printing technology. Medical staff were needed to position orientation equipment, program the robot’s movements, and determine the angle and depth needed to properly implant the teeth.

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Switzerland joins Rwanda and Tanzania with a network of drones delivering medical supplies (Drone/Hospital - 2017-09 - Fast Company)

Switzerland will be the first country in the developed world to have permanent drone networks, with drones flying through urban airspace near busy international airports. Permanent drone delivery networks are already in use in Africa, where drones send units of blood for transfusions to remote clinics in Rwanda, and will soon deliver other medical supplies such as antimalarial drugs and emergency vaccines in Tanzania. Matternet, a Silicon Valley-based tech company, designed the drones, along with a cloud system for sending and receiving platforms–and a newly launched system that can autonomously load, launch, and land the drones.


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Australian man receives 3D-printed shinbone in world-first surgery (Additive Manufacturing/Implants - 2017-09 - The Age)

Surgeons at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital have performed world-first surgery, transplanting a 3D printed shinbone into the leg of a man who faced amputation. The surgery ensures there is sufficient blood flow to allow the new bone to grow around the outside of the 3D bone scaffold. The scaffold was modeled at the Queensland University of Technology, where it was “spun” from a polymer, and then ‘printed’ in Singapore. As the new bone grows around the scaffold, the scaffold will slowly dissolve.

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Walking DNA nanorobot could deliver a drug to a precise location in your body (Robotics/Pharmacology - 2017-09 - Kurzweil)

Caltech scientists have developed the proof-of-concept for a “cargo sorting” DNA nanorobot programmed to autonomously “walk” around a surface, pick up certain molecules, and drop them off in designated locations. Future uses could include creating programmable drugs or delivering them when a specific signal is received in the bloodstream or cells.

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Pluripotent stem cells generated using a 3D-printer (Additive Manufacturing - 2017-08 -

Researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science at the University of Wollongong have 3D-printed human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), using a custom bio-ink. This flexible 3D tissue engineering technology enables iPSCs generated from an individual’s own body to divide after printing and differentiate allowing the formation and replacement of any tissue type of the body. Once acceptable reliability is achieved, healthy tissue could be manufactured to replace or repair organs that were damaged due to injury or disease.

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Toyota completes 1st in-home human support robot trial in North America (Robotics/Geriatrics - 2017-06 - The Crunch)

The robot has wheels, visual sensors, and an articulating arm appendage. It can perform simple tasks around the house like opening/closing doors and fetching water bottles. Toyota also has projects underway targeting improved mobility for users with limited or impaired capacities, including a wearable robotic leg brace, help for those with sight problems gain improved surrounding awareness, robots to help transfer patients between beds and chairs, and a device to help transfer in/out of car seats.

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AI used to treat bipolar disorder in an app that could revolutionize medicine (AI/Psychiatry - 2017-06 - ScienceBlog)

David Fleck, an associate professor at the UC College of Medicine, and his co-authors used artificial intelligence called “genetic fuzzy trees” to predict how bipolar patients would respond to lithium. The best of 8 common models used in treating bipolar disorder predicted who would respond to lithium treatment with 75 percent accuracy. By comparison, the AI model was 100% accurate, and even predicted the actual reduction in manic symptoms after lithium treatment with 92% accuracy. Unlike other types of AI, fuzzy logic can describe in simple language why it made its choices. The model could help personalize medicine to individual patients, making health care both safer and more affordable. Fewer side-effects mean fewer hospital visits, less secondary medication, and better treatments.

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New 3D-printing method may allow for fast, low-cost, more-flexible medical implants (Additive Manufacturing/Implants - 2017-05 - Kurzweil)

University of Florida (UF) researchers have developed a method for 3D-printing soft-silicone medical implants that are stronger, quicker, less expensive, more flexible, and more comfortable than the implants currently available. Create a customized part for an individual patient using the current molding technology is very expensive and take days or weeks. The 3D printing method cuts that time to hours, potentially saving lives.

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First use of surgical robot inside the human eye (Robotics/Opthamology - 2017-05 - NewsWise)

Surgeons successfully used a remote-controlled robotic system operating inside the human eye, paving the way for robotic assistance in clinical treatments requiring extreme precision and stability, e.g. Controlled delivery of gene therapy & stem cells.

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New drill reduces complex cranial surgery from 2 hours to 150 seconds (Robotics/Surgery - 2017-05 - Neurosurgical Focus)

Researchers at the University of Utah have developed a computer-driven automated drill, similar to those used to machine auto parts, that produces fast, clean and safe cuts, reducing the time the wound is open and the patient is anesthetized, thereby decreasing the incidence of infection, human error, and surgical cost. The new machine can make one type of complex cranial surgery 50 times faster than standard procedures.

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Deep-learning neural network accurately forecasts onset of Alzheimer’s (AI/Alzheimer's - 2017-04 - MIT Technology Review)

South Korean researchers have developed a deep-learning neural network that can identify, with 81% accuracy, those likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the next three years. The evidence continues to suggest that deep-learning machines can spot complex conditions earlier and more accurately than humans.

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Machine learning algorithm beats ACC-AHA heart-attack risk guidelines by 7.6% (AI/Cardiology - 2017-04 - Engadget)

A team of researchers from the UK University of Nottingham has developed a machine-learning algorithm that can predict your likelihood of having a heart attack or stroke better than a doctor, using ACC/AHA guidelines. The neural network algorithm beat the guidelines by 7.6% while raising 1.6% fewer false alarms.

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Robots adapt to human unpredictability (Robotics/Geriatrics - 2017-04 -

Northwestern University mechanical engineering professor Todd Murphey and his team are engineering robots to make robotic assistance seamless by teaching them the tasks that humans do and helping them to adapt to human unpredictability. This approach may be helpful in stroke rehabilitation.

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3D-printed tooth for customized dental implant without drilling (Additive Manufacturing/Dentistry - 2017-03 - PR Newswire)

Natural Dental Implants AG (NDI) announced a 3D-printed tooth replacement, which features an anatomically-shaped, 100% customized, titanium-zirconia tooth, and a customized cover shield designed to protect the tooth during the healing process. This offers patients an immediate, minimally invasive alternative to traditional dental implants and three-unit bridges, which can be modified to overcome anatomical limitations or to meet specific clinical requirements.

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Swiss hospitals use drones to exchange lab samples (Drone/Hospital - 2017-03 - The Verge)

Two hospitals in Lugano have been testing the use of drones to transport laboratory samples. Since mid-March, logistics company Swiss Post has operated more than 70 tests flights and plans a regular service by 2018. It’s the 1st time drones will be used commercially for this purpose in an urban area. The drones are made by American company Matternet, have a load capacity of up to two kilograms, a range of 20 kilometers, and a top speed of 36 kilometers per hour.

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Google deep learning AI diagnoses cancer better than pathologists (AI/Pathology - 2017-03 - Int'l Business Times)

Google has been working on an advanced image-recognition system for several years, initially for the autonomous car project, now for cancer diagnosis. Recently the AI system was pitted against an experienced expert pathologist to examine slides in an unlimited time frame. While the human being achieved 73 percent accuracy, by the end of tweaking, GoogLeNet scored a smooth 89 percent accuracy.

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Panasonic unveils human-like companion robot (Robotics/Geriatrics - 2017-01 - ZDNet)

Panasonic has developed a proof-of-concept robot that boasts “human-like” movements and communication skills. The desktop companion robot connects via Wi-Fi to natural language processing technology. The robot can access and use cloud data and communicate with devices in other locations. The size of a standard kitchen countertop blender, the robot includes an embedded projector that is enclosed within the eggshell-shaped device.

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Astronauts to 3D-print medical tools in space, thanks to Toronto doctor (Additive Manufacturing - 2017-01 - CTVNews)

If astronauts aboard the International Space Station need a medical tool, such as a surgical instrument or a finger splint, they used to wait for a resupply mission. Now, they will use a 3D-printer aboard the ISS. This ground-breaking concept was devised by Toronto doctor Julielynn Wong. In 2011, Wong founded the company 3D4MD, which uses 3D-printing and low-cost technologies to supply remote locations, including space, with healthcare supplies.

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Smart microscope detects blood infections with 93% accuracy (AI/Microbiology - 2016-12 - FutureScope)

Microbiologists from Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have developed a smart microscope that employs AI to accurately diagnose deadly blood infections. The microscope is enhanced with machine learning technology, and initial tests achieved 93% accuracy.

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AI can detect bowel cancer in less than a second with 94% accuracy (AI/Radiology - 2016-10 - ZDNet)

Researchers from Showa University in Yokohama, Japan have built software that can detect bowel cancer in less than a second. In recently-conducted trials, the AI-powered system was able to spot colorectal adenomas – which are benign tumours that can evolve into cancer – from magnified endoscopic images. The images were matched against 30,000 others that were used for machine learning. The system analyzed more than 300 colorectal adenomas in 250 patients, taking less than a second to assess each magnified endoscopic image and determine the malignancy of the tumours with 94 percent accuracy.

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AI and life support for seniors in 2030 (AI/Geriatrics - 2016-09 - Stanford University)

ELDERCARE FORECAST: Smart devices in the home will help with daily living activities (cooking, dressing, toileting). In-home health monitoring and health information access will detect changes in mood or behavior and alert caregivers. Better hearing aids and visual assistive devices will mitigate the effects of hearing and vision loss, improving safety and social connection. Personalized rehabilitation and in-home therapy will reduce the need for hospital or care facility stays. Physical assistive devices (intelligent walkers, wheelchairs, and exoskeletons) will extend the range of activities of an infirm individual.

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AI reads mammograms with 99% accuracy (AI/Radiology - 2016-09 - Futurism)

A team from the Houston Methodist Research Institute has developed artificial intelligence software that analyzes mammograms for breast cancer with 99% accuracy. This could help keep women from undergoing unnecessary biopsies and would shield them from the agony of false positives.

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